"What part of the dream is true, what part of the truth is a dream?": Pere Ubu’s Lady from Shanghai

Bubbling up from the murky waters of Lake Erie and spilling over into the basements, alleyways and abandoned factories of the industrial wasteland that was Cleveland, Ohio in the 1970s, there emerged a monster. Clad in scales of iron oxide and lead, breathing in toxic smokestack emissions and pulsing with spikes of electricity, each of its tentacles formed a band that didn’t just exist in the midst of this stark landscape, but thrived in and celebrated its surroundings. Some of these bands, like Electric Eels and Rocket from the Tombs, were primal and fierce, inspired by the similarly primitive sounds of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground, and the racket they made would, in retrospect, be dubbed punk. One band, however, was another creature altogether. Avant-garage was how Pere Ubu described their own sound, and while rock music indeed may have formed the initial foundation for what they did, a heavy dose of experimentation raced through their veins, and a name culled from French absurdist literature spoke volumes about their character. Continue reading “"What part of the dream is true, what part of the truth is a dream?": Pere Ubu’s Lady from Shanghai”