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Our motto: Ars longa, spectatores fugaces ("Art is forever, the audience comes & goes.")
Last updated 11/20/13
David Thomas will give a Living Room Concert on December 10th in Farmington, Utah, near Salt Lake City. The host can be reached at email@example.com to make RSVPs and learn about suggested donations and directions.
Interviewer: Why was there no bass player for the 'Visions of the Moon' tour in Italy & the UK?
DT: Circumstances forced a range of scenarios. At the same time I became obsessed with the new material we had been developing since July following the 'Carnival of Souls' performance. The LFS project, as I have noted elsewhere, was the culmination of a 20 year project designed to integrate improvisation into the compositional process in a particular way. The new material suggested the beginning of a new long-term project and I was anxious to get on with it rather than repeat LFS in the UK and Italy. This suggested a 'shock troops' orientation for the Pere Ubu line-up since much of the performance would be improvised from night to night as ideas were explored. Having both a drummer and a bass player in the band would constrain the process. Bass players and drummers have a foolish notion that they should play together and it's hard to shake them from their convictions. I went with a drummer - Michele had not been involved with the 'Carnival of Souls' because of scheduling conflicts but Steve had. We are now working on bringing in Michele in a particular way reminiscent of the Chinese Whispers method.
WE HATE DAYS OFF, part 2
The last 'We Hate Days Off' appeal resulted in a very special evening in Troyes, France. We are now offering another Pere Ubu Living Room Concert opportunity Dec 15/16 for locations south of Portland and north of San Francisco. Imagine the possibilities - David Thomas himself rummaging thru your frigerator. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
West Coast Tour
Dates for the West Coast tour of Lady From Shanghai have been announced on the Calendar page.
Update 8/21/13: Visa Rejected
Ubu Projex, the art and business directorate of the American band Pere Ubu, can confirm that notice has been received this weekend from the United States Customs & Immigration Service (USCIS) rejecting the visa petition for British band members Keith Moliné and Graham Dowdall (aka Gagarin).
The sole grounds for rejection is the band's refusal to seek approval from the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
"The AFM are the antagonists in this affair," band leader David Thomas said. "They have no business telling me who can and who cannot be in the band."
Details can be found in previous press releases, www.ubuprojex.net/press/ubuvisa.pdf.
Cleveland guitarist Dave Cintron will join the band for the September US tour and provisions are in place for Moliné and Dowdall to link remotely for one of the songs in the set.
There has been much disbelief and incredulity about this not-uncommon example of the obstacles international bands now face when seeking to tour the US.
"The whole process has been going on since May, with several delays and absurd complexities," Thomas said. "The Cintron version will be magnificent, I have no doubt. If I cannot put a band together without government interference and without a pat on the head from the AFM, like a grateful dog, then so be it. I have no interest in frittering my life away with campaigning.
"We will proceed with our music. Nothing will be announced from the stage. We won't be writing 'protest' songs or haranguing audiences.
"There are visions and ideas to pursue. There's too little time to waste it on fighting stupidity. In the words of the MGM lion, Ars longa, vita brevis." [Yes, we know it was Hippocrates]
We Fought the Faceless Government Clerk
and the Faceless Government Clerk Lost
Following on from press release dated 8/11/13, Pere Ubu announce revised line-up and revolutionary remote performance from the two British group members.
Pere Ubu has added Cleveland guitar maestro Dave Cintron to the lineup for its September tour of the eastern USA and Canada. Mr. Cintron substitutes for British guitarist Keith Moliné, who is unable to enter the US due to the visa approval process delays, ongoing since May. The group's second synthesizer, Gagarin, is also unable to join the band on tour, but plans are in progress to produce a remote performance live from their homes in London, by way of a complex cell/broadband system.
Band leader David Thomas says that the show will be different to the UK and Europe tours but it will still be Pere Ubu and the audience will be witness to the morph that is part of this band's unique history. "Mr. Cintron brings a unique perspective to the songs and we will subsume that into the collective. Pere Ubu is The Borg."
The improvisational nature of both the band's composition process and its performances means that all the songs in the set will have to be rewritten and relearned, particularly those from new album Lady From Shanghai (Fire Records).
"We will do what others call impossible," Thomas says. "The songs from the new album are anti-logical, played in nonsensical structures and with inscrutable tunings. None of it can be written out or translated. We will devise new patterns of anti-logic.
"The remote performance will only be for one song but it's a victory nonetheless," Thomas said. "For a month I've been in my studio working on this project. Everyone says it can't be done... Oh well."
Gagarin was to play his own material as a support act in many of the tour's cities. Instead, Mr. Thomas will take to the stage and manage a remote performance of the music. Other members of Pere Ubu will contribute and Mr. Thomas promises to dance.
"Moral victories? We got a million of 'em," Thomas said. "And lots of Pyrrhic ones!"
Many fans are angered by what they see as an attack on freedom of expression. "With all due respect, it's nothing as grand as that," Thomas said. "Big organizations are comfortable with hierarchical methods of production, but the cultural history of the last hundred years is marked by the emergence and then dominance of a more chaotic folk methodology found in jazz, rock, blues and country music - music of the 'people.'
"The visa restrictions are the product of a mind set relevant to the 20s, when the hierarchical paradigm seemed to be the only game in town: orchestras, big bands, show bands, Tin Pan Alley, etc. Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph/microphone would eventually change all that.
"Lawmakers, in response to the paradigm shift, have been encouraged to codify 'artistic merit' as a visa requirement. That's when you get a real mess - faceless government clerks ticking boxes.
Pere Ubu at Camber Sands
Ask not what Pere Ubu can do for you
Bring Me The Head Chamber Version
Living Room Concert in Norway
Lady From Shanghai
David remixed a 7" single by by Roshi and Gagarin, a partnership known as Pars Radio, to be released December 10 on Geo Records. Gagarin is a de facto member of Pere Ubu these days and longtime soundman. Listen here.
UK Tour Dates Announced!
The dates for the UK tour in April have been announced. See the Calendar for details.
pale boys Solo
Keith and Andy have released a collaboration called Ley on the Entr'acte label. Keith has a blog with reviews and news.
National Public Radio (NPR) is currently premiering a track from the upcoming Pere Ubu album Lady From Shanghai. It can be played online.
A book about Kevin Coyne by Pascal Regis is posted online at http://kevincoynebook.tk/. The 2pbs did a short UK tour with him some years ago. It was a privilege and an honor. Buy everything he ever recorded and treasure it.
Download Excerpts from Book of Hieroglyphs
For a limited time a PDF of excerpts from The Book of Hieroglyphs can be downloaded. Click here.
Van Dyke Parks
"I have trod and will retread this confirming and inquiring work time and again. It's strangely home. Epic in scope. As mighty on the page as on the stage, with scat and logic, this MacDuff leads us on."
J.C. Menu, French publisher, L' Association
"This book is not a book, it's an alien."
Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club
"Thomas refuses to call the pieces in this book poetry, says they are not the songs. I really don't care what you call them, and it's true that they are unlike anything you've ever read before, but what they are are zings, stings, word bullets that tell stories so condensed that your mind changes on every syllable."
The Book of Hieroglyphs
The Book of Hieroglyphs by David Thomas goes on sale to readers of ubuprojex.net on Friday, June 8 in its hardback edition. The official launch is scheduled for September, when a paperback edition will also be available. The hardback is a limited edition, 268 pages with a color dust jacket.
Bob Holman (Bowery Poetry Club) reports, "I'm having the pleasure of previewing David (Pere Ubu) Thomas' book of nonpoems called The Book of Hieroglyphs. Thomas refuses to call the pieces in this book poetry, says they are not the songs. I really don't care what you call them, and it's true that they are unlike anything you've ever read before, but what they are are zings, stings, word bullets that tell stories so condensed that your mind changes on every syllable."
Allen, Robert and the EML
Allen Ravenstine and Robert Wheeler are interviewed and play the EML together in this video, Dream Of Wires, produced by Bill Blakeney. Recorded at Grant Avenue studio in Hamilton, Ontario. A must-see.
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The Kidney Brothers
Buyer's Guide to Pere Ubu
For those wondering what to buy first, next or last.
A good place to find information concerning Pere Ubu, David Thomas, Special Projex and other sources on the site.
Pere Ubu Studio Albums
David Thomas Albums
Rocket From The Tombs