Band: Tripod Jimmie.
Personnel: Tom Herman, guitar/vocals; Lennie Bove, bass/vocals; Glenn Reynolds, drums.
History: Tom Herman was the guitarist on the first three albums by Pere Ubu, forging the toughly textured bedrock for the Ohio pioneers' alternately whimsical and harrowing excursions into left field. He quit Ubu in 1981, and in his hometown of Erie, Pa., began working with poet-bassist Lennie Bove, drummer Roger Prehoda and a tape machine mounted on a tripod (it reminded Herman of a friend's three-legged dog named Jimmie, hence the group's name). For a videotaping session, the trio and machine set up on a pier on Lake Erie and recorded the 11 tracks that constitute Tripod Jimmie's one album, 1982's "Long Walk Off a Short Pier" (on Oakland-based Do Speak Records). A single, "No Autumn Leaves" b/w "Spike the Dike," was also issued by TMI Records. In 1983, Herman moved to San Francisco and teamed up with drummer Glenn Reynolds. Bove eventually followed Herman to the Bay Area to complete the current Tripod Jimmie lineup. The trio plays regularly in San Francisco, and has recorded 13 songs for a new album, "Warning to All Strangers," that the band is now submitting to record companies.
Sound: While David Thomas carries on with the divinely daft, free-form philosophizing that was his main contribution to the Ubu brew, Tripod Jimmie preserves and extends other fundamentals of the group's sound. Herman's and Bove's declamatory, deadpan vocals recall Thomas' intonation, with a touch of David Byrne obsessiveness tossed in, and the songs have some of Ubu's lurching, loose-limbed motion. Herman's rich, resourceful guitar is sometimes harsh, sometimes lyrical, and flirts with dissonance without caving in to chaos. Whether recounting the "famous dogs that I have known" or ranting about the cruel fate of composer Hector Berlioz ("Like many of us, he fell in love with the wro-o-o-ong person . . ."), Tripod Jimmie offers both a long-awaited fix for Ubumaniacs and an intriguing identity of its own.
Shows: Friday at Charley's Obsession, Saturday at the Anticlub.