Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Hopscotch Festival is Music Geek Heaven, Once Again

Posted By on Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Page 5 of 8


For better or worse, Pere Ubu weren't interested in recreating much of anything. The 70s punk legends didn't look much at all like the Pere Ubu from my imagination until singer/only constant member David Thomas shuffled onstage, took a seat, and starting pulling from a silver flask. He looked understandably aged, shrunken from the glory days when he called himself Crocus Behemoth and the name made perfect sense. He looked a little like John Popper from Blues Traveler's dad, and a lot like the grouchy guy on your suburban cul de sac who yells at the Asian mailman. His stage banter was bizarre, and his mood was at a Harvey Pekar sourness level. As a larger-than-life character I've read about in books, this couldn't help but be slightly, unfairly diminishing. Hearing him sing in that weird electric goose honk, though? That was good. Most of the set focused on 80s or later pop material, which isn't totally my bag, even in a deconstructed form, with a casually dressed fella playing a silver faucet-esque theremin all over. Brief glimpses of their prime punk era, like a vicious version of "Modern Dance", made it kind of a crucial mess.

While this was happening, a weird lady pulled up a chair at stage left, stood on it, and furiously drew Crocus as if he were on trial for his life and she were the court-appointed sketch artist. This seemed unusual.


Her drawings were actually not that good. Though to be fair, I did not get a good look at her Merzbow.

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