by carl wilson

The Humid Summer Air
Pulls at the Ring in My Snout

babylon-springs.jpg

Just found out today (I've been distracted) that there's a new four-song Mountain Goats EP - in Australia only, so far, though I believe it may be downloadable on iTunes and eMusic and such. It's called Sail Babylon Springs and seems more of a miscellany than a signpost toward the next full album, though there are whispers of the rumoured monster-myth themes (see the quote in this post's title), as you can learn from the Girlpants transcription of all the lyrics. You can hear a sample, the Monkees-jaunty cheatin' song Alibi, over at I Guess I'm Floating, and the Trembling Blue Stars cover Sometimes I Still Feel the Bruise at The Rich Girls Are Weeping. But what you really must hear is not on the EP, but a live track in an earlier Rich Girls post: the Goats' cover of The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy in a medley with one of the greatest songs ever, R. Kelly's Ignition (Remix). Ambrosia of the greasemonkey gods! I never realized the Thin Lizzy song was so much like an early Springsteen tune.

Other news bits: I've heard that Zoilus has converted at least one previously uncorrupted soul over to Pere Ubu fandom, so I'll pass along the news that proto-Ubu-reunited unit Rocket from the Tombs is apparently going into the studio to record new material this month. Given that the RfTT reunion always seemed like a doomed clatch of longtime mortal enemies, it's lovely news. Plus, the rawk. As well, the new Ubu album, due in September, is reportedly an album entirely of love songs, and as such the beginning of a new "cycle" (the past few albums have fixated on themes of geography, culture and film noir). It will be interesting to compare it to the last love-song cycle in David Thomas's work, an extended narrative on marriage that stretched from the solo Monster Walks the Winter Lake (one of my favourite albums of all time) through the first Ubu reunion album The Tenement Year and the underratedly "commercial" Cloudland and Worlds in Collision. The new disc's title is under wraps because David Thomas suspects it will be controversial and doesn't want to bother with flak till he must. ... Does anyone else find it deliriously funny that there's now a Pere Ubu MySpace?

Canadians jealous of the treasures of the recently much-discussed troves of 78s and cylinders of early American music that are now online should be aware we have our own equivalent: the Library of Canada's Virtual Gramophone. On brief inspection, I mustly sadly acknowledge that our forbears' music was nowhere near as racy, as usual, as our American cousins'.

Wait, when did Amazon suddenly turn itself into a blog for authors? I just noticed this when I was looking up the latest 33 1/3 release, Kim Cooper's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and I have to say I think I'm ag'in' it.

Also new, for we few, we proud, we neglected fans of Hefner (or The French) is Darren Hayman's new EP, Ukulele Songs from from the North Devon Coast, following up from his recent album, Table for One. The cover font is curiously reminiscent of the one from Rodney Graham's Rock is Hard - coincidence, or are they both referencing something else I can't call to mind?

Finally, I'm often dubious of flashmobby projects, but must admit that an Easter Egg hunt through Kensington Market does sound fun.

| Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, April 11 at 2:32 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)

 

COMMENTS

The font used for Ukulele Songs is called Cooper Black, and was used for every third record in the sixties, but most famously on Pet Sounds. I think. Right?

Posted by Marc on April 13, 2006 6:53 AM

 

 

thanks! i'll start with modern dance or dub housing as my next CD purchase!!!

Posted by andrew on April 12, 2006 5:48 PM

 

 

The usual and probably most persuasive place to start is at the beginning: The first two classic albums, The Modern Dance and Dub Housing, as well as the pre-album singles, aka "the Hearpan singles," which tend to go in and out of print on various collections. If you can find "Terminal Tower: An Archival Collection," that includes singles from the whole 70s-early 80s period, which gives you a better idea of stylistic range - after Dub Housing things get a little less "hard," but contrary to received opinion, not necessarily less good. (Wait, I just found it for you: http://tinyurl.com/fd5o3. And it's a deal!) The "Shape of Things" live album is also amazing, recorded in Cleveland, April 1976. (Thirty years ago this week, actually.)

In the more recent period, of the stuff in print, I'd suggest 1995's Ray Gun Suitcase: http://tinyurl.com/zpdnd. That's probably the best outing from the new-generation lineup. In between, during the Fontana/EMI period, the records are mostly unavailable, but there's a really good live recording called "Apocalypse Now" that covers some of it.

It's worth noting this: The new album will be the first Pere Ubu album ever that includes no Seventies-era members other than David Thomas. (Although some of the current members have actually been in Pere Ubu longer than any of those people were.)

Posted by zoilus on April 11, 2006 4:30 PM

 

 

i've always loved the idea of ubu, but alas i've never actually heard any... where should I start?

Posted by andrew on April 11, 2006 3:44 PM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson