Archive for the 'experimental' Category

3 solo works by Pere Ubu’s David Thomas

Due to some irritating computer problems across three systems, I’ve been unable to post lately. Sorry for the delay. I hope, in the mean time, you’ve found that I’ve posted many great new music blogs to the Now Rock N Roll Now! section of the sidebar. Click through to find some great tracks.

vocal.jpgToday’s post brings together three tracks from Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas. The first two tracks are from the Vocal Performances 12″, and they suggest that Thomas may have been a bit reigned-in by the structure of Pere Ubu. The “Sloop John B” cover is just strange, and sounds like it was recorded secretly in a public place. The version of “Petrified” (which also appears, in a more fleshed out vein, on Songs of the Bailing Man) is a bit more engaging, but still feels like it was made for an empty audience. I think the sleeve for this disc is a masterpiece of graphic design.

David Thomas “Sloop John B,” from the Vocal Performances 12″ on Rough Trade Records, 1981

David Thomas “Petrified,” from the Vocal Performances 12″ on Rough Trade Records, 1981

moreplaces.jpgThe third track in this post is David Thomas amongst friends, including Pere’s Tony Maimone on Bass. It’s more of a groover in the off-kilter Pere Ubu style.

David Thomas & The Pedestrians “Enthusiastic,” from the More Places Forever LP on Rough Trade Records, 1985

Relately and belatedly, RIP Jim Jones.

“The Man in the Dark Sedan” by Snakefinger

snake.jpgSnakefinger is lauded for his masterful guitar work, but I think his real genius lays in his ideas about percussion. This album, and this track in particular, give you a taste of that.

A frequent collaborator with the Residents, Snakefinger appears on most of their most recognizable recordings, like “Eskimo” and Tunes of Two Cities. He was set to lay down tracks in 1987 on the Residents’ God in 3 Persons album (which ruined my mind forever when I was 13), but he died of a heart attck while performing on stage just before the sessions.

Snakefinger,”The Man in the Dark Sedan,” from the Greener Postures LP on Ralph Records (1980)

“Behavioral Disorders & Therapy” from the Psychology Today Record Series

psy.jpgThese are two exceprts from “Behavior Disorders and Therapy” the strangest disc in the 1972 Psychology Today 4LP set. Each side of this disc is only one band, but anywhere you drop the needle is golden. It’s almost as if they were trying to cause Behaviorial Disorders with this.

The whole disc is thick with a strange FIresign-Theater-esque subversive sense of humor, and its cut-and-paste aesthetic has me longing for a time where people were willing to engage in a sort of impressionistic presentation of things. There’s no way you could recreate this in a Powerpoint slideshow.

The other topics covered in the series are Memory and Problem Solving, Human Development, Learning, Perception, and Social Psychology. I’ll post more excerpts if there seems to be any interest.

Behavior Disorders and Therapy (Excerpt 1) from the Psychology Today Record Series (1972)

Behavior Disorders and Therapy (Excerpt 2) from the Psychology Today Record Series (1972)

“State Assembly” by The New Age Steppers

newage.jpgGreat freaky dub from one of the best acts on Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sounds. The New Age Steppers were comprised of former Slits and Pop Group members, members of Aswad, and even Neneh Cherry.

Their earlier albums are a bit on the more experimental side, but they eventually became a pretty serious dub outfit. Frequently collaborating with heavies like Creation Rebel. If you like the sound of that and enjoy this track, I recommend you track down the Massive Hits Vol. 1. CD that was released several years back.

Back in the pre-MP3 player days, I lost my copy of that disc when I set my bag down to tie my shoe one night on Vanderbilt Ave in Brooklyn and forgot to pick it up. I’m sure someone’s enjoying it right now.

The New Age Steppers, “State Assembly” from the New Age Steppers LP on On-U Sounds (1980)

“Rail/Collapso” by Bosho

bosho.jpgNice noisy two-fer to keep y’all busy until we get back from our trip to the frozen tundra of Buffalo, which is actually only a bit colder than NYC this week. In between servings of wings and beef on weck, I’m hoping to get back into a couple of the record stores out there if they haven’t all dried up… any ideas or faves?

Back to the sounds at hand…  NYT has a story on Bosho from 1988 if you’re interested, written about a year after this disc was released:

Bosho sets in motion Western and Eastern, new-fangled and down-home sounds, layering them into crafty, off-center funk.

Reading it, I want to hear their “broadened” post-Chop Socky sound. I think this album has an amazing cover. Open the kitchen cabinets and play along!
Bosho, “Rail/Collapso” from the Chop Socky LP on Dossier Records (1987)

“Coprolalia” by Hole

hole.jpgNo, not that Hole. Not much online about this group or label, but they did put out this and another 12″, Dyskinesia, which I’ve yet to find in a store. This is one of the few records I managed to actually buy at Cheapo in Austin.

A nice, dark sample play track to increase your holiday cheer. Some nice dubby overtones here.

Hole, “Coprolalia” from the Other Voices Other Tongues LP on EYAS Media (1988)

“Decollage” and “Fonce a Mort” by the Honeymoon Killers

honey.jpgA couple of great tracks from Belgium’s The Honeymoon Killers. I couldn’t settle for a single one, so here are my two faves from this disc. Actually, now that I’m looking around, I realize you can purchase pristine versions of the entire album from other’s digital download site. Go for it. Also, there’s a 2007 remix of “Decollage” Prins Thomas’s 2007 release Cosmo Galactic Prism 2CD, which you can and should by at other music.

An uncited Wikipedia quote sez:

Live on stage The Honeymoon Killers often used pre-recorded drum machine loops which were played from cassette, over this they put guitar, bass, drums, trashy percussion, cheap-sounding organ, with Vromman and Vincent taking turns on singing. Some of their songs were extended to 20 minutes with their own brand of dub echo effects.

Sounds like fun, huh? I once posted that I purchased this album, and someone emailed me offering like $50 for it. Here’s a little for free. The CD/digital re-release of it are well worth tracking down.

The Honeymoon Killers, “Decollage” from the Les Tueres de la Lune de Miel” LP (1981)

The Honeymoon Killers, “Fonce a Mort” from the Les Tueres de la Lune de Miel” LP (1981)

Mutant Sounds has a super-rare album available (for free of course!) of the group that eventually released this disc in 1981, named, like this album, Les Tueures de la Lune de Miel. Go grab it and thank them!

Also, the always-terrific MissingToof.com featured them earlier this year on a New Wave Tuesday post; a couple tracks available there, including their full-blast version of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Laisse Tomber Les Filles”. 

Here’s a somewhat-tame live taste, from Dutch TV in 1983:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/HZrDJvXyKBY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Update: The Walrus Music Blog has what sounds like a higher-quality version of “Decollage” as well as the song performed above.

“Can You Feel It” by the Jacksons with Jane Fonda

jane.jpgWhy? No real reason, I guess.

I love this Jacksons song, and the reason I picked up this disc for a quarter or whatever was to have an additional copy to juggle with the actual song. I hope Jane’s counting off is as jarring to you as it was for me.

Get fit folks!

The Jacksons with Jane Fonda,”Can You Feel It” from the Jane Fonda’s Workout Record LP on Columbia (1981)

“Bint (Cornelis De Bondt 1979-1980)” by Hoketus

bint.jpgI bought this record on a trip to Amsterdam with my friend Jay, whom I was visiting while he lived in Germany in the late 90s. We were there for about a week, and managed a couple of great days for record shopping. I picked this up at a store called Record Palace which still seems to be going strong. I also picked up the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies, Over the Edge, which is one of only 2 LP covers I’ve ever put in a picture frame. This one is probably suitable for framing too.

Anyway, this mp3 is one whole side of the LP, about 30 minutes of the ensemble Hoketus playing Cornelis De Bondt‘s 1980 composition Bint. Click on it and find something to get lost in for about a half hour. It’s a rich bit of minimalist composition with a resolution that is worth the wait. From the sleeve:

Bint is a process: the proccess of making audible a structure based on a framework of two different pulsations. — Cornelis de Bondt

Indeed. Flip side is Diderik Wagenaar’s Tam Tam.

Hoektus, “Bint (Cornelius De Bondt 1979-1980)” from the Composers’ Voice 8101 LP (1981)

“Sound Alarm,” by Polyrock

poly.jpgGreat new wave from NYC. I really love the use of warm, light keys in all of this band’s music. This album was produced in part by Phillip Glass, which may be why it sounds so fresh still.

I just found out that this album, as well as their album Changing Hearts were re-released by Wounded Bird this year. I think I’ve picked up all of their discs in the dollar bin, but I urge you to get the cds. That way you don’t have to deal with any surface noise. & check out Wounded Bird’s tons of other great 60s, 70s, and 80s re-releases while you’re at it.

One of the things I love about this record sleeve beyond the awesome colors and typography, is the portraits on the back… it seriously looks like 5 of the 6 are the same person in different clothes and poses:

poly2.jpg

Now that’s a look. Find more tracks on their myspace page.

Polyrock, “Sound Alarm,” from the Polyrock LP (1980)