Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Datapanik in the Year Zero
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Cleveland's Pere Ubu, led by howling lead singer David Thomas, have been doing their unique brand of nonlinear experimental garage synth-pop since 1975. Sharing an ethos (and the occasional band member) with experimental a... more »
Cleveland's Pere Ubu, led by howling lead singer David Thomas, have been doing their unique brand of nonlinear experimental garage synth-pop since 1975. Sharing an ethos (and the occasional band member) with experimental acts like the Red Crayola or Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu are tough to classify as just plain weird--sometimes their pop sensibilities, no matter how off-kilter, just get the best of them. Futuristic and retro at the same time, Pere Ubu never seem to know quite where they're going, and that's what makes them so engaging. This five-CD set documents the beginning to middle period of their career, including five early records, 17 live tracks, and an entire disc of songs from various side projects and Ubu-related acts. --Donovan Finn
Collection of Awesome, Underheard Music
Scott McFarland | Manassas, VA United States | 12/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set sneaked out, at a very reasonable price, a few years ago and was presumably gobbled up by those of us familiar with Ubu's music from decades gone by. Those unacquainted with Pere Ubu's work from the 70's should consider purchase too, at least if you're interested in dissonant music and/or in progressive, complex hard rock music. Let me try to describe each disc in this (very moderately priced) set. Disc 1 has the original "Datapanic" EP, consisting of tunes originally released on singles circa 1976 and 1977. These songs, such as the scarifying "Heart of Darkness" and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" are dark but within their moody framework extremely well-constructed. The band starts to open it out a little on tracks like "Heaven" (sounds like the Rolling Stones circa 1976) and "Cloud 149" (sounds like some of the most brilliant utilization of rock riffs and instrumentation that I have ever heard). We are then treated to Ubu's debut LP (from 1978) "The Modern Dance" which has always been my favorite of theirs. This is the true sound of the American underground, sitting fermented in a pile of Velvets and Stooges records for years and now ready to burst out and make the world take notice. Each element of the band (Tom Herman's inside-out and always tasteful guitar, Scott Krauss's perfectly on-the-mark, fluid and creative drumming, Tony Maimone's probing bass, Alan Ravenstine's Eno-esque [circa Roxy Music] keyboard dissonance, and David Thomas' Tiny Tim-like vocal journeys) congeals into a powerful whole. The LP contains 10 songs and suffice it to say that they are all different and all worthwhile. It is a brilliant album which did deserve, and still does deserve, to be heard. Disc 2 has the "Dub Housing" LP from 1978 and the "New Picnic Time" LP from 1979. Each of these is a classic in its own right and pursues furtherance of the band's adventurous and rhythmically dense style. "Dub Housing" is full of great instrumental interplay and fascinating stylistic maneuvers; "New Picnic Time" gets a bit dark and meandering but contains an EP's worth of stuff that probably ranks as some of the strongest and most delicious music ever to be filed under the "rock" genre. Disc 3 is not Ubu at their best - it has most of the tracks from the two albums recorded after Mayo Thompson replaced Tom Herman on guitar - "The Art of Walking" and "Song of the Bailing Man". These LPs are unusual curiosities, especially "The Art of Walking" which has to rank as one of the strangest products ever released, but you'll probably never be motivated to get up and play them each before breakfast on a daily basis. Disc 4 is "390 Degrees of Simulated Stereo Volume 2", actually the third live Ubu release. Like Volume 1 (still out-of-print) this collection is highlighted by material recorded live by the 1978 band. In addition to songs which were on Volume 1, there's an interesting run through "Sentimental Journey" (a dark piece which manages to be both droning and anarchic). The disc also contains some material recorded during the Mayo Thompson days. Disc 5 is an unusual collection of tracks by Ubu-related projects or bands, or Cleveland bands that had an effect on Ubu. It's an unusual concept, but contributes effectively to showing us the "Cleveland Scene" that spawned Ubu. My favorites include Rocket From The Tombs' version of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", Tom Herman (with Scott Krauss) doing a track called "Steve Canyon Blues", and Peter Laughner (who played with the band on their early singles) leading his band "Friction" through "Dear Richard". The Mirrors' "She Smiled Wild" is quite interesting too, as is 15-60-75's "It's In Imagination". "Syd's Dance Party" (which included Krauss and Maimone) contribute a very nice track also. Okay. What's the bottom line on all this? Well, it's indispensably great. A great conflagration of energies. At its moderate price, you should buy it if you're interested in Ubu."
This Is THE Essential Pere Ubu Collection
Eric R. Last | San Bruno, CA United States | 11/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget buying all those early (1975-1982) Pere Ubu albums on CD individually. You'll save money and come out way ahead by investing in this box set. It has all the original studio albums right up to their first break up. That's 6 albums, here presented as 3 "twofers" - 2 albums per CD. It also has a live disc of previously unreleased recordings, and disc 5 is devoted entirely to side projects of all the band members, which I for one found to be very interesting. Most of these side bands are pretty obscure, and the quality of the music on this fifth disc is pretty spotty, but there are some gems to be found here and I doubt you'd have much luck finding most of these recordings anywhere else. If you think you're enough of a Pere Ubu fan that you'd want to have, say, 3 or 4 of their early albums on CD, then take my advise and get this box set. It won't cost you much more than those single discs would have, but you'll get a heck of a lot more for you're money."
Eric R. Last | 04/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the greatest rock bands that ever existed, with all their greatest music in one box? Breathtaking, moving, deeply felt, completely uncompromising, and just as wondrous today as it was when it was recorded over 20 years ago."