Sound Advice- 20. July. 2023
Today we're taking a look at Pere Ubu's latest, some Bay Area power pop, Second City post-punk, and more!
Longtime readers may recall that I reviewed 100 new (to me) records last year. Because
I’m a glutton for punishment love music, I’m doing it again this year. This is the latest in the series.
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Today we’re taking a look at several records, including Pere Ubu’s Trouble On Big Beat Street.
Pere Ubu- Trouble On Big Beat Street (2023)
(Click the record to listen on your platform of choice)
Dave Thomas has had a tough last few years. Between health issues and then the pandemic, most people would’ve been excused for thinking that 2019’s The Long Goodbye was Pere Ubu’s farewell letter to us all. And indeed, given Thomas’ health at the time, that may have well been his intent. But Thomas—and Pere Ubu—are nothing if not persistent. And their dogged determination has again delivered us another record.
The band is closing in on 50, almost despite themselves.
Their records are never easy to find; when they are, they’re often inaccessible and can border on unlistenable. But when they’re on, they’re on. Tracks like “Smoke the BBQ” and “Bus of Happiness” are some of Cleveland's purest pop songs. Pere Ubu is as much an art project as they are a band. Like many bands, each record feels like a snapshot of where the band's (or at least Thomas's) head is at the time. Unlike most bands, that unpredictability is an asset, not a liability.
While in school, a friend and I went to see Pere Ubu. They were opening for a band called Pixies (you may have heard of them?), but I’m willing to bet that he and I were two of maybe a handful of people who had heard of them and very likely the only two just as excited to see them as we were Black Francis & co.