Saturday, September 16, 2006

Peru Ubu - The Modern Dance

Pere Ubu, "Nonalignment Pact"

Pere Ubu, "Real World"

Pere Ubu are a name often referenced, rarely discussed and listened to. I always think of them like great European authors or foreign directors, shibboleths for pseudo-intellectuals and snobs to exclude. They're one of those bands who are played like a trump card, a name that has a level of obscurity and difficulty to make others feel stupid and unknowing. I remember coming across their name often, usually as some reference to post-punk or the real good music that people didn't appreciate enough. I eventually took the dive and bought some of their stuff, and I figured it might be a good starting point for a weekly look at some great albums. I'm forseeing this weekly Saturday post as a big brother kinda thing, a chance to put people up on some stuff that maybe they wouldn't have known about or were to intimidated to purchase. As an only child, I've always been sensitive to that feeling of having to learn everything my self, from drugs to girls to music.

The Modern Dance was Pere Ubu's debut album and is the most highly regarded by fans and critics, right beside their second album, Dub Housing. I'm not sure how to describe it genre-wise, as one of its charms is how unique it sounds. I guess it's best to call it post-punk, garage art rock, bringing a sense of songwriting, rhythm and outright weirdness to punk music. The band that comes to mind when I listen to one is Talking Heads, as both clearly couldn't stand the constrictions of punk and wanted to bring any and all influences into the mix. That, combined with the literary lyrics and great bass, set them apart in the late 70s.

The first song above, "Nonalignment Pact" is one of the best songs I have ever heard. For real, when I play walking around, I start to dance unconsciously. It begins with feedback and microtones, then bam! You get one of the best rock songs of that decade, imo. It sounds as influenced by the Beach Boys or doo-wop, as it does the Sex Pistols. "Real World" gives a good sense of the second half of the album, when the band gets more experimental and arty. If you like this one, then you will love the album. If not,

-I made it to Johnny Brenda's opening night last night and just wanted to let everyone know that the space is amazing. It's got gorgeous wood floors and bar, a balcony, perfect sight lines, an elevated stage, the whole nine yards. My only complaints were the volume, as shit was way too loud for the size of the space and there is a narrow passageway to get from the front room/bar to the concert section. They'll need to make sure that people don't clog that section up. But, those are small potatoes, really, especially when you think that this was the first big night and they've had no time for tweaking. For real, this is another jewel for Philly, another reason to move here and I cannot wait to see how this ups the music scene in the city in the rest of the future. Thanks to TA and EO for joining me, as it was great night on the northside, in spite my headache.

-I picked up my bike today and it is so gorgeous! Thanks to the good people at Via Bicycles on 9th Street for their help and guidance, as they really made it easy for someone who knew next to nothing about bikes.


Anonymous said...

flippy floppy

John Kertland said...

Manicured Noise-Northern Stories 1978/80
If you like this then you'll be interested in checking the above-the hitherto unheard Manchester holy grail of UK Post-Punk now released with both singles for PRE REcords and a wealth of other previously unreleased tracks.