It's the first album by David Thomas and two pale boys and the seventh "solo" album by David Thomas, founder of the legendary Pere Ubu, a group that's exerted a huge influence on the way countless bands have approached music over the last twenty-three years.
The two pale boys, Andy Diagram & Keith Molinè, are the latest in a series of daring musical groupings fronted by Mr Thomas since 1980. These groups have featured, in various combinations, Richard Thompson, Chris Cutler, Lindsay Cooper, Daved Hild, Ralph Carney, Ira Kaplan, Garo Yellin, George Cartwright, John Kirkpatrick and Alan Dunne, as well as members of Pere Ubu.
Originally released in 1996 as a digipak and in the CD Plus, or Enhanced CD, format. Cooking Vinyl re-issued it in 2006 in a standard jewel-case and as an audio only cd, i.e. without the multisession multimedia content. The reissue audio was remastered by David Thomas and Paul Hamann at Suma in 2005.
Obsession, Planet of Fools & Highway 61 Revisited are written by Thomas-Molinè and published by Hearpen Music. Nowheresville, Weird Cornfields, Lantern & Morbid Sky are written by Thomas-Molinè-Diagram and published by Hearpen Music. Kathleen & Fire are written by Pere Ubu and published by Ubu Projex.
David Thomas - vocals, melodeon
Keith Molinè - guitar
Andy Diagram - trumpet, thumb piano
The ROM content is essentially the same for Mac or Windows. It was designed on a Mac.
See Flaws for problems.
Erewhon is an Enhanced CD. It plays like a music cd in any audio compact disk player. It will also function as a ROM disk in a suitable Apple or wintel computer. (For detailed information see the Avant Garage Tech Support Page.)
The ROM interface is based on a postcard of the Blue Hole of Castalia. The Blue Hole, located in the Firelands of Ohio, is a bottomless spring fed by an underground river. The Blue Hole is a tear in the fabric of the world, a secret scene. It had to close recently because the owners couldn't afford to make the site accessible to wheel chairs.
The rom content is programmed by David Thomas and Simon Lucas. Mr Lucas is a longtime Ubu fan and a lecturer at a university near Mr Thomas' home in London. Many artists release multimedia titles but fewer than a handful actually program the code themselves. This is the third Enhanced CD Mr Thomas has programmed in the last year.
The packaging is a digipak designed by John Thompson, the designer/promoter who's designed nearly every Pere Ubu release for the last 21 years.
Why we choose the digipak:
The jewelbox case for the cd paved the way for the internet. Both serve to devalue the object, smear rock with the greasy film of obsolescence, and promote Art as software. Both have alot to answer for. The digipak is the fight back. It tears, gets dirty and worn. Because it can be damaged and defaced it has intrinsic value. People love vinyl because the object must be valued else it is damaged beyond use. The value of the vinyl object emphasizes that the music contained therein has value. The jewelbox says, I am disposable, what I contain is disposable. It says, Dispose of me and choose another, we are all the same.
This is an album about places that don't exist and the people who live there. The interface is designed around a postcard of the Blue Hole of Castalia, a mysterious site closed to the public some years ago because the owners couldn't afford to make it wheelchair-accessible.
From the postcard you can choose:
Pioneer DEH840 (Car CD Stereo) has trouble finding Track 1. It takes about 15 seconds to locate the start on Track 1. After it starts, it works OK.
JVC XL-V250 starts at Track 1 (no sound) and counts down from -4:49 to 0:00, then counts down from -9:59 to 0:00. Then starts playing Track 1 and so on. This means that the start of Track 1 is almost 15 minutes from when the Play button is pressed.