I was turned onto Pere Ubu by some interesting folks back in Bloomington Indiana. It involved working at MCL Cafeteria at the College Mall. They sang lyrics I’d never heard and had them hand written on their paper hats while making the green beans, jello, fried chicken and fresh baked cinnamon rolls for the mall goers. Two of them loved Pere Ubu and got me hooked. We used to hang at a log cabin partying and listening to punk rock. Some nights may have ended jumping off the second floor stairs down into in living room dance pit. Good times – and we loved Pere Ubu’s Modern Dance Album (1978). Non Alignment Paa-aaa-aact! The other whiskey drinking truck driving hank loving folks… tolerated us but still had fun!
Fast forward a few years to 2013 and lo and behold Pere Ubu is playing at Chicago’s Empty Bottle venue, touring behind their latest release – Lady From Shanghai. I’m there! David Thomas opened with Gagarin a collaborator and producer/musician who performed via remote feed from London. Excellent show, impressed my non Ubu music mate Curt and had me bouncing.
Not to forget – after the show and with a mostly empty Empty Bottle I seated next to the only man at the bar, David Thomas, lead man and only original Ubu member on this tour. His eyes squinted as they were during the show (he seems to be visiting another world deriving or conjuring up creative energy for this one) and hovering over a drink he politely endured, possibly enjoyed my banter including of learning about his band in Bloomington Indiana and how we used to dance. David then asked about it as they were playing in Bloomington in a few nights. Yep, good show!
My shot at the lineup that night:
- David Thomas – voice
- Keith Moliné – guitar
- Robert Wheeler – analog synthesizers
- Michele Temple – bass
- Steve Mehlman – drums
- Gagarin – digital electronica