Avant-Garage

Pere Ubu

At long last I actually like Pere Ubu

Years ago, when I was in my teens, I bought an album called The Tenement Year by Pere Ubu. I bought it on a whim, can’t even remember why I bought it. When I played it I absolutely hated it. |I thought it was tuneless, beatless and painful to listen to. My mate Mark quite liked it, I think, and he ended up having it. Over the years I’ve tried listening to bits of it again to see if I could like it but I never did. As part of my ‘proper listening’ thing I actually listened properly to that album I bought years ago (a remastered, updated version on Spotify).

pere

For the first time, I really loved it! Surprisingly, it was not tuneless and beatless in fact it was very melodic. It’s still quirky but I now like quirky. The music is the same but I’ve changed. I listen in a different way now. I’m not looking to like something in the first ten seconds any more and this has opened up a whole avenue of stuff that I was missing out on (see my post on A Love Supreme). The track Miss You linked in the previous post is my favourite from the album.

Pere Ubu is a rock group formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975. The line-up has changed a lot over the years; singer David Thomas is the only constant. The group’s name is a reference to Ubu Roi, a play by French writer Alfred Jarry. While Pere Ubu have never been widely popular they have been critically acclaimed.

The band coined the term avant-garage to describe their music. The tracks are experimental and avant-garde Thomas’s yelping, howling, desperate singing is weird and unique when compared to most other rock singers. Pere Ubu have a small number of devoted followers and now, at long last, after years of trying, that finally includes me.

pere-ubu-david-thomas

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