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The Home of Rocket From The Tombs
Last updated 02/27/2017
In the lead up to the West Coast Coed Jail tour in June of 2016, David Thomas told an interviewer that he'd like to play 'some town out in Texas.' Austin Jukebox approached Ubu Projex earlier this year and the date has been set for an (almost) unique weekend of back to back Avant Garage with both Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu in one weekend.
On Friday, May 19th, Rocket From The Tombs will take the stage at Beerland in Austin, Texas, as part of the events organised by Austin Jukebox; a quarterly series of shows that provides a platform for local bands whilst showcasing one-off appearances of iconic bands and artists to produce "interesting, cool and, most of all, not boring shows." RFTT will play material from both the back catalog and the most recent album, 'Black Record' (Fire Records, 2015). The following night, Pere Ubu will take the stage with the 'Coed Jail' set of songs from 1975-82, which were recently issued in the two box sets 'Elitism for the People' and 'Architecture of Language' (Fire Records).
In 2003, Rocket From The Tombs played Houston but Pere Ubu have not visited the state of Texas in over twenty years. The RFTT/PU collaboration has only happened once before at Disastodrome at the UCLA in Los Angeles, 2003.
Formed in 1974, by August 1975 RFTT was burned out and gone. In less than a year it blew through four different drummers and never went into the studio. Left behind were live recordings of songs that would become anthems. Thomas and Laughner went on to form Pere Ubu, taking the songs 'Final Solution,' 'Life Stinks,' and '30 Seconds Over Tokyo;' songs that were to become iconic in the new wave that would influence many bands thereafter.
40 years and 40 albums later, the two bands are still recording and touring.
Austin Jukebox: https://m.facebook.com/AustinJukebox/
Who's Who, What's What and Why's Why
Pere Ubu continues to expand. That's the plan. One of the goals of David's last Five Year Plan is The Pere Ubu Orchestra. As far as he's concerned the only limit is phynance. Cleveland guitar legend Gary Siperko is the latest recruit (well, almost - there is a new member lurking in the wings). That doesn't mean that Keith is replaced, or out. It means that David wants to expand the Guitar Corps of Pere Ubu, as he did with the Synth Brigade. Everything is to expand. David has been studying the life cycle of the slime mold for inspiration.
Communex has produced a 158-page, A4-sized paperback book chronicling the years 1975 to 1982, "gathered from the debris."
"It wasn't supposed to last for more than one single - one gig - one album - one tour... As told by the band themselves and the people who watched them."
Book designed and compiled by Kiersty Boon. Cover designed by John Thompson.
Box Releases and related
The studio albums contained in the Architecture box will have individual releases on cd and vinyl at some point, but not right away. The extras disk, 'Architectural Salvage,' will not. 'The Hearpen Singles,' from the Elitism box, will have a cd and vinyl release soon. The 'Manhattan' disk will not.
There is a special vinyl release in limited edition prepared for National Record Store Day.
Box 3, as yet untitled, will be the Fontana years albums but negotiations are not completed so Box 4 will come out next, sometime in the September/October region. Box 4 will be the time period of 'Raygun Suitcase,' 'Pennsylvania,' and 'Saint Arkansas.' RGS will not be re-mixed. PA will be remixed because the digital technology used to record it was too limiting on the mix stage. STARK may or may not be re-mixed - the jury is out and vacillating.
At some point there may be an all-inclusive Pere Ubu live box.
The guiding principles behind the Box Set initiative are:
2. The albums are being prepared 'for posterity.' That means the box sets, and subsequent individual releases, are the end of the line. They are the final and permanent representation of what was supposed to be going on. We are using cutting edge technology to prepare them. It's unlikely many members of the band will be alive when any more advanced technology makes a reconsideration possible.
3. The boxes will not contain any historical notes or commentaries or associated ephemera. The albums stand on their own.RFTT Expresses Solidarity With Pere Ubu
In 2015, in order to express solidarity with Pere Ubu, RFTT renounced its 'US citizenship' and applied for creative asylum in Port Talbot, Wales. In 2014 Pere Ubu renounced its US citizenship and moved to Leeds, England, after a cabal of the American Federation of Musicians and a clique of government clerks in a small town in Vermont determined that Pere Ubu was unworthy of being granted permission to perform in America.
the pharaoh's bee
Allen Ravenstine's first solo album, the pharaoh's bee, is now available in the Apple Lossless format at hearpen.com
Elitism For The People, Pere Ubu 1975-1978
On August 21 2015, Fire Records released a box set of four vinyl lps caled 'Elitism For The People, Pere Ubu 1975-1978.' It consists of 'The Modern Dance,' 'Dub Housing,' 'The Hearpen Singles,' and a live set recorded at Max's Kansas City in 1977 called 'Manhattan.' Also in the box are a reprint of the 'Datapanik '77' poster. Included are codes for free audio downloads in the MP3 (VBR), MP3 (320 kbps), FLAC, Apple Lossless, AAC (iTunes), and/or Ogg Vorbis formats. Purchase allows unlimited streaming via the Bandcamp app. 'Elitism' is also sold as a digital box set.
Paul Hamann at Suma digitally transferred the original quarter-inch two-track analog master mix tapes at the highest resolution available, 192khz / 24 bit. That's more than four times the audio resolution of CD music. The vinyl was cut directly from those files on the best lathe Neumann manufactured. The down-sampling necessary for cd production and audio download files was accomplished after a two year study of the 'black arts' of the realms beyond human hearing. The result is probably the best fidelity that's been commercially produced and as close as can be achieved to audio transparency between the various media.
All releases are available in all territories. An April 18 2015 release of the box set in conjunction with National Record Store Day was limited to the UK and EU.
Fire has also released individual cd, vinyl and digital album editions of 'The Modern Dance' and 'Dub Housing.' Purchase includes free download audio codes and unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
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Buyer's Guide to Pere Ubu
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A good place to find information concerning Pere Ubu, David Thomas, Special Projex and other sources on the site.
Pere Ubu Studio Albums
David Thomas Albums
Rocket From The Tombs