Today at Aetix an experimental rock music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975. Despite many long-term band members, singer David Thomas is the only constant. While the band have never been widely popular—usually categorized as "underground rock"—they have a devoted following and are an influential and critically acclaimed band. They have compiled a list of guidelines for touring, live performances and the like: "Lighting should be theatrical rather than rockist. We are interested in atmosphere, mood, drama, energy, subtlety, imagination—not rock cliché." There's some strung stuff to get thru, what can i say ....N'joy !
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Pere Ubu emerged from the urban wastelands of mid-'70s Cleveland to impact the American underground for generations to follow; led by hulking frontman David Thomas, whose absurdist warble and rapturously demented lyrics remained the band's creative focus throughout their long, convoluted career, Ubu's protean art punk sound harnessed self-destructing melodies, scattershot rhythms, and industrial-strength dissonance to capture the angst and chaos of their times with both apocalyptic fervor and surprising humanity. Named in honor of Alfred Jarry's surrealist play Ubu Roi, Pere Ubu was formed in the autumn of 1975 from the ashes of local cult favorite Rocket from the Tombs, reuniting Thomas (aka Crocus Behemoth) with guitarist Peter Laughner; adding guitarist Tom Herman, bassist Tim Wright, keyboardist Allen Ravenstine, and drummer Scott Krauss, the group soon issued their debut single, "30 Seconds Over Tokyo," on Thomas' Hearthan label. The follow-up, "Final Solution," appeared on the renamed Hearpen in early 1976, and resulted in a series of live dates at the famed New York City club Max's Kansas City.
Laughner's longstanding battles with drugs and alcohol forced his exit from Pere Ubu in June of 1976; within a year, he was dead. The group continued on as a quintet, with bassist Tony Maimone signing on in the wake of Wright's move to New York, where he joined the pioneering no wave band DNA. In the wake of their third single, "Street Waves," Thomas was approached by Mercury label A&R exec Cliff Burnstein, who convinced the label to form a new imprint, Blank Records, for the express purposes of signing Pere Ubu; their debut LP, The Modern Dance, was issued in early 1978, and although the record made little commercial impact at home or abroad, its manic intensity and dark impenetrability proved profoundly influential on countless post-punk acts on both sides of the Atlantic. The follow-up, Dub Housing, was even better, pushing the band to further extremes of otherworldliness, but already the cracks were beginning to show, and upon completing 1979's New Picnic Time (working title: "Goodbye"), Ubu disbanded. Although the group re-formed months later, Herman opted not to return and was replaced by Red Krayola mastermind Mayo Thompson.
The Art of Walking followed in 1980, with subsequent tours in support of the record heralding the increasingly pop-centric sound that would distinguish later Ubu projects; a live record, 390° of Simulated Stereo, appeared a year later. Krauss was replaced by drummer Anton Fier for 1982's Song of the Bailing Man, but as before personal and creative differences began taking their toll and Ubu again disbanded; while Maimone and Krauss reunited in the group Home and Garden, Thomas continued the solo career he'd begun with the 1981 effort The Sound of the Sand (And Other Songs of the Pedestrians), a collaboration with guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson. He recorded 1987's Blame the Messenger with the Wooden Birds, a backing band including fellow Ubu alums Ravenstine and Maimone; after Krauss sat in for a Cleveland live date, the decision was made to begin working as Pere Ubu again. Guitarist Jim Jones and drummer Chris Cutler were also recruited for 1988's comeback effort The Tenement Year, a vividly idiosyncratic pop album far more accessible than anything in the band's back catalog.
1989's Stephen Hague-produced Cloudland further refined the approach, with the video for the single "Waiting for Mary" even earning limited MTV airplay; after both Ravenstine and Cutler exited Pere Ubu (the former becoming a commercial airline pilot), one-time Captain Beefheart sideman Eric Drew Feldman was installed for 1991's Worlds in Collision. Feldman soon departed as well to join Frank Black, and the remaining quartet recorded 1993's Story of My Life for the short-lived Imago label; Maimone was the next to go, with bassist Michele Temple and keyboardist Garo Yellin stepping in for 1995's planned swan song, Ray Gun Suitcase. As Ubu again slipped into limbo, the band's massive influence was celebrated in 1996 with the release of the five-disc box set Datapanik in the Year Zero; the renewed interest spurred Thomas back into action, and he reunited with Tom Herman for the first time in two decades to record 1998's sprawling Pennsylvania (also featuring holdovers Jones and Temple in addition to keyboardist Robert Wheeler and drummer Steve Mehlman). Four years later, Pere Ubu captured some of their darkest and most theatrical work to date with St. Arkansas. Why I Hate Women followed in 2006. A remix album also arrived that year. In 2009, the band returned with Long Live Pere Ubu!, which featured songs from a musical adaptation of the band's namesake play Ubu Roi and included contributions from Communards' Sarah Jane Morris and Gagarin. Pere Ubu's next album, Lady from Shanghai, was nearly as ambitious; described as "an album of dance music fixed," it commemorated the 35th anniversary of The Modern Dance with abrasive, industrial-tinged rhythms and an accompanying book, Chinese Whispers: The Making of Pere Ubu's Lady from Shanghai.
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Ubu's live recording is a warts'n'all snapshot of their career. This collection focuses on the years 1976-1979 and includes recordings from the very early days with Peter Laughner and Tim Wright. And because this is an aural history, completeness and representation are more important than state-of-the-art recording technology. That's a nice way of saying that some of the tracks (especially those recorded in 1976) are of a very lo-fi quality -- I'm talking portable cassette recorder quality. But that doesn't mean it impossible to enjoy the music; quite the contrary, the grubby sound enhances what were probably grimy, claustrophobic gigs. The song selection is top-notch, and live, Ubu's edginess and gleeful avant-gardisms are in full effect. A great live album? Probably not, but its great moments are worth a considerable amount of your time.
Pere Ubu - 390° Of Simulated Stereo, Vol. 2 ( flac 331mb)
01 Vocal Liner Notes 0:56
02 Theatre 140, 5/5/78 0:07
03 Real World 4:32
04 Laughing 5:19
05 Street Waves 4:30
06 Humor Me 3:08
07 Over My Head 5:00
08 Sentimental Journey 8:49
09 Life Stinks 3:13
10 My Dark Ages 5:30
11 C. Teatro Medica, 3/3/81 0:11
12 The Modern Dance 3:40
13 Codex 3:24
14 Ubu Dance Party 3:57
15 Big Ed's Used Farms 3:27
16 Real World 2:46
17 Birdies 2:15
Pere Ubu - 390° Of Simulated Stereo, Vol. 2 (ogg 131mb)
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n a press handout that accompanied the original release of Pere Ubu's Cloudland, David Thomas quipped "We'd never been asked to write a pop record before. I guess it never occurred to anyone." Given the sonic Dadaism of much of Pere Ubu's work, what's most startling is not that it took so long for someone to suggest they make a pop record but that they were able to comply so successfully. Stephen Hague, who had previously worked with the Pet Shop Boys, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and New Order, produced these sessions, and Cloudland boasts a glossy surface that was unprecedented for Pere Ubu's work; the drums sounded crisp and tight, the songs included traditional melodies and melodic keyboard lines, Allen Ravenstine's noisy punctuations were pushed to the back of the mix, and the harmonies sounded as if they were performed by actual professionals. However, beneath the hipster friendly production, Cloudland remained a Pere Ubu record -- David Thomas' yelping vocal style was as unrestrained as ever, and while the tunes here lack the sharp angles of Pere Ubu's first era, the lateral sway of the melodies is still cheerfully off kilter. Lyrically, Cloudland finds Ubu moving cautiously from their passionate defense of the Midwest's industrial wastelands to a look at the broad plains that lurked elsewhere, as if they were looking for sunnier climes like many other denizens of the Rust Belt and finding many strange, troubling and wonderful things in their new surroundings. Ultimately, Cloudland showed that however much you dressed up Pere Ubu's music, their heart and soul would show through, and that is a very good thing. [In 2007, Mercury Records reissued Cloudland in a new remastered edition created with the input of the band. The new disc includes two non-LP B-sides, "Wine Dark Sparks" and "Bang the Drum," as well as a live BBC recording of "Bus Called Happiness" and alternate mixes of "Breath" and "Love Love Love." David Stubbs' liner notes describe the circumstances behind the making of the album as well as Thomas' lyrical themes on this material.
Pere Ubu - Cloudland (flac 361mb)
01 Breath 3:59
02 Race The Sun 3:25
03 Cry 2:34
04 Why Go It Alone? 2:50
05 Waiting For Mary 3:30
06 Ice Cream Truck 2:49
07 Bus Called Happiness 3:15
08 Monday Night 2:16
09 Love Love Love 3:29
10 Lost Nation Road 2:16
11 Fire 3:46
12 Nevada! 3:21
13 The Wire 3:21
14 Flat 2:23
15 The Waltz 3:31
16 Pushin' 2:27
Pere Ubu - Cloudland (ogg 114mb)
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Pere Ubu's troubles with record companies are legendary within certain underground rock circles. In perhaps the most bizarre turn of events, the group's collected works of 1978-1982 -- after being out of print for nearly a decade -- were reissued by Geffen as a five-disc box set, Datapanik in the Year Zero. Named after the group's 1978 EP, the set is arranged chronologically and occasionally substitutes live versions for studio tracks, but that hardly matters -- nearly every song the band recorded during the five-year time span is included. In addition to the official Pere Ubu material, the box includes a disc of rare singles from early incarnations of Ubu and other Cleveland-area punk rockers like Rocket from the Tombs, 15-60-75, and Mirrors, which were released on David Thomas' independent record label. With this much material, it's safe to say that the set is a definitive retrospective. However, if you're simply interested in Pere Ubu, consider the set carefully before investing. Pere Ubu were indeed one of the most innovative and challenging bands of their era, which means that their music is an acquired taste. However, those willing to invest in the box will find a wealth of inventive, hard-edged avant rock & roll.
Pere Ubu - Terminal Drive (Cleveland Rarities) (flac 558mb)
01 Foreign Bodies - The Incredible Truth 2:35
02 15-60-75 - It's In Imagination 4:43
03 Syd's Dance Band - Never Again 2:20
04 Carney & Thomas - Sunset In The Antipodes 2:26
05 Home And Garden - (Please) Fix My Horn (My Brakes Don't Work) 3:24
06 Neptune's Car - Baking Bread 2:13
07 David Thomas - Atom Mind 2:29
08 Tripod Jimmie - Autumn Leaves 4:17
09 Friction - Dear Richard 5:56
10 Pressler - Morgan - You're Gonna Watch Me 1:40
11 Rocket From The Tombs - Amphetamine 5:32
12 Mirrors - She Smiled Wild 3:57
13 Electric Eels - Jaguar Ride 1:46
14 Tom Herman - Steve Canyon Blues 4:17
15 Allen Ravenstine - Home Life 6:47
16 Rocket From The Tombs - 30 Seconds Over Tokyo 7:00
17 Proto Ubu - Heart Of Darkness 8:47
18 Pere Ubu - Pushin Too Hard 3:54
Pere Ubu - Terminal Drive (ogg 169mb)
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It had to happen one day and just now after 5 years Media fire locked my account. Earlier, unwilling to pay for more storage and deciding to delete hardly downloaded files didn't help and now without warning the account is blocked. There had been a handful of complaints this last year but these were always taken down immediately. In the end i get the feeling not paying up has been my biggest sin. It's a pity because as mentioned 5 year old files were live in contrast to the new hosts were files get deleted quickly.