A Word With Moshammer's Ghost
"Information is not knowledge."
Datapanik In The Year Zero is really a collection of Pere Ubu's singles, dating all the way back to 1975, that hit the streets the same year as their first two longplayers...So, if 1977 was the Year Of Punk, does this make 1978 the Year Of Post-Punk? Because to my mind, Pere Ubu owned 1978, and they weren't really a Punk band. "Final Solution" might have the right attitude and guitars, but it's too slow. Metal slow. Shit, "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" has a metallic ring to it as well, and as I'm writing this, I'm wondering, as I have so many times over the years, exactly what kind of band is Pere Ubu? My friends and I always called 'em "Art Punk", although I guess we considered 'em punk because they mostly defied classification, the ultimate punk maneuver, and we thought they were arty because they were purposefully doing so. David Thomas has an "interesting" voice that he uses in interesting ways, singing enigmatic lyrics that might be children's stories and myths, but could also be dark and creepy, and other times seemingly non-sensical. He sang about animals and monsters and neighborhood weirdos, but he also sang about young love and lust, teen angst and drinking wine, and war and death and God and devils...Life. [An affordable an easily available alternative to this album is Terminal Tower, a collection which actually has all these songs, plus a couple more]
03: The Tenement Year 
Featuring..."Something's Gotta Give!", "George Had A Hat", "Talk To Me", "Busman's Holiday", "Universal Vibration", "Miss You", "We Have The Technology"
It's 1988, and Pere Ubu are a decade into their recording career when they get the original line-up (minus guitarist Tom Herman) back together and locked into an undeniably strong groove. This album has energy to burn, coupled with a move towards Pop...Capitalized P...Capitalizing on their always-strong songwriting skills and their ability to find melodies in the strangest places...Cashing in on Tony Maimone's bass. Over the next five years and three albums, Pere Ubu would take a deep and almost sentimental journey into the land of Pop, even garnering a small but respectable hit with "Waiting For Mary" thanks to a video and MTV's 120 Minutes. The Tenement Year is the album that really started that journey into Pop, while still retaining most of the band's quirkier, Art Punk aspects. In fact, this might not be their best album, but in most respects, it might very well be the easiest entrance into Pere Ubu for a newbie because it does deftly balance their past and future , with David Thomas' unique vocal style and lyrical views remaining the one true constant, the pin in the middle...
04: Dub Housing 
Featuring..."Navvy", "On The Surface", "Dub Housing", "Caligari's Mirror", "Ubu Dance Party", "Blow Daddy O", "Codex"
Dub Housing is critically-acclaimed in most circles, but I've got to admit, it remains the knottiest of Pere Ubu's 1978 recordings for me to understand and appreciate, and there was plenty of Pere Ubu mersh hitting the streets in '78. Two full-lengths and an extremely deep EP (a singles comp, really) to be exact. Of course, that's about the best I can say about an album I've listened to enough times over the years to finally find some agreement and comfort with, if not an outright appreciation and full-on connection to these songs. Still, Dub Housing is a fine example for a young musician such as myself, of how a band like Pere Ubu might stretch things out, take some chances and find out how far they might go as some sort of art-damaged Post-Punk band. This was the album where they first took a few giant steps into unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable territories, which they would continue to wander into deeper and deeper over the next few years and albums before making a fairly quick u-turn towards Popland.
By 1979, Pere Ubu were 4 years into their career, and had evolved from a somewhat weird but still fairly conventional Punk band into an entirely different beast. New Picnic Time and 1980's Art Of Walking rarely sound like anything they were doing just a couple years prior, save the singular vocal stylings of Mr. Thomas. Still, there's some sweet urgency to the album opener "The Fabulous Sequel", which still ranks high on my list of great album openers because of the wonderful jolt of silliness that comes with David Thomas' voice "It's me again!" that starts the whole thing off...From there, the songs go to some rather strange and whimsical places, trying to keep up with the lyrics, I suppose. Like most every album in Pere Ubu's long and varied discography, this isn't the best place to start, but it's an album worth visiting soon if you decide to follow the band's journey yourself.
I haven't fooled around with the list lately, but I'm pretty sure "Stay With Me" still maintains a spot in my top ten favorite songs of all time. That opening guitar riff alone enshrines this song for the ages in the greater Rock pantheon, and then it choogles along for another five minutes as perfectly as any Rock song ever has or ever will.
I believe this song is so fucking good that it embarrassed and pissed off Keith and Mick so much that they pilfered Ron Wood just 3 years later. If the Rolling Stones couldn't even beat the Faces at their own game, might as well nick their guitarist...
I mostly just kidding about that, but just mostly.
One time, just once, I had this dream that I was standing on a beach at night, and way, way, way up in the sky above the ocean, there was what appeared to be a rather enormous flourescent tube, just kinda floating there, a mile or three above the water.
I decided that this was the corridor from the reoccurring dream (what else could it be?) but wondered exactly what it was...Heaven? An alien vessel? An enormous flourescent tube?
Now, Imagine that the the entire world has a PA system, which is typical in most of my dreams. Well, in this particular dream, Tom Petty was acapella singing "The Waiting" from the skies.
He really doesn't have that good of a voice without the Heartbreakers.
See, here's one of my greatest fears, of which I have many...Phobias might be a better word, but whatever...
I have an almost deathly fear of water, of large bodies of water, and of being submerged in said bodies...
And I'm an Aquarius, babycakes!
I've had a reoccurring dream since about the age of six or seven, of barely treading water out in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a black, black night. I've had this dream at least two dozen times in my life, and half of the time the dream is nothing more than that - me floating in the ocean at night - except to say that there is an overwhelming feeling of helplessness, that the situation will never change, a feeling that borders on dread. What is in the dark, dark waters beneath my feet? What toothy death awaits?
Like I said, half the time I wake up before anything happens, though there have been variations of the dream. At some point in my teens, I began dreaming that there was a door in the sky, just out of my reach, a few feet above the water. So of course, there was hope in the dream now. Hope that my paddling and the fate of the swelling ocean would lift me to this door.
Which it did, eventually. On the other side of the door, I found myself in a long, white corridor. Extremely clean and brilliantly white like a brand-new hospital, except it was also extremely empty. At one end of this long corridor was a glass counter, and behind counter was a voluptuous Hispanic woman in a nurse's uniform. Ahh, puberty...
I walked the long corridor towards the woman, passing door after door on both sides, until finally she stood in front of me. I spoke to her, asking her the questions you might expect me to ask - Who are you? Where am I? What the fuckity fuck fuck is going on? Are you God? Goddess? Can I see your boobs?
The Goddess never spoke and never showed me her boobs, but she did hand me a fairly large, black spider encased in amber, and at this point I should note that I have a fairly strong fear of spiders.
I turn and walk down the hall away from the woman. Some of the doors are now open, revealing random scenes of life on earth, including the middle of the black ocean at night. I keep walking towards the opposite end of the corridor, which is so far away at this point as to be a brilliant white pinpoint in the distance.
I've never made it anywhere near that brilliant point, but I do have to mention that one time about ten years ago I had this dream, and the door from which I had came from had another guy floating in it as I passed, and I heard his yelling, and so I lay down on my stomach, dangling my arms down towards him who was splashing about no more than twenty feet down and away from me.
This went on for awhile, until the fate of the ocean took him out of sight and sound of me and the door...
Then I woke up.