May 28, 1989 |
"We are this cup," said a slightly agitated David Thomas, holding up a Styrofoam vessel to represent the perception-vs.-reality dilemma his band Pere Ubu has faced since it formed in Cleveland in the pre-punk mid-'70s. "We did 'The Modern Dance' and you say, 'Yeah, that's Pere Ubu,' " he said, referring to the band's 1978 debut album. "That's like just looking at the bottom of the cup. The bottom's not very pretty, no one sells it by showing the bottom, though it's a very important part.
June 13, 1991 |
Pere Ubu was a band designed from the outset to do things differently. Founded in Cleveland in 1975, named for the lead character in the Dadaist play, "Ubu Roi," the band succeeded in taking homey old garage rock in striking new directions. Along with such contemporaries as Television and the nascent Talking Heads, Ubu brought a refreshing strangeness to rock that has kept on resonating in rock's more adventurous, less blatantly commercialized wing.
July 24, 1989 |
"Home" was more or less the theme of Pere Ubu's concert Thursday at the Roxy. But given that it was Pere Ubu, the highly original and highly influential band that emerged out of Cleveland in the mid-'70s, this view of home had a slightly skewed perspective: "We spell it H-O-L-L-M-J," announced singer David Thomas cryptically. At this show, the Ubu domicile contained more than enough hooks to hang your hat on.
June 15, 1991 |
"From our point of view, this has been two steps short of a disaster," singer David Thomas informed the Roxy audience at the end of Pere Ubu's show Thursday. That probably came as news to most of the crowd, who had seemed to enjoy the veteran Cleveland band's accessible but still quirky brand of pop-rock. "This isn't how rock 'n' roll's supposed to be," the rotund Thomas continued. But, perhaps overreacting, he abandoned his lecture in exasperation when the crowd wouldn't keep quiet.
October 31, 2006 |
If there was a band destined to provide new music for the 1963 science-fiction movie "X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes," it was Pere Ubu. An exemplar of idiosyncratic, innovative avant-rock for three decades, give or take a hiatus or two, the Cleveland group has a profound affinity for pop culture and the stratum of exploitative entertainment represented by a movie generally regarded as one of the best products of director Roger Corman's horror and fantasy factory.
May 6, 1993 |
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame probably isn't hip enough to induct these hometown heroes from Cleveland, but Pere Ubu long has held a secure spot on the alternative-rock honor roll. Along with Television and Talking Heads, Pere Ubu emerged in the mid-'70s to fan the commercially invisible dark flame first ignited in the '60s by the Velvet Underground. Now, alternative rock is a fairly raging fire that makes newer, less-deserving bands incredibly rich.