Tuesday, August 2, 2016

100 Mavericks # 15 David Thomas

                                                          'the stars are coming all undone...'

When I was in my late teens I discovered two records, released a few years previously that changed me, if only incrementally: Television's Marquee Moon and Pere Ubu's The Modern Dance. The two bands had certain things in common, a desire to stand apart from the herd, and a determined and focused exploration into the way that the world could be, not simply how you were told it was and inevitably had to be.

Both of these records were small but seismic personal discoveries for me and have stayed with me ever since never once letting me down. Thomas was something new as a Rock and Roll frontman. Not thin and wiry like Bowie, Verlaine or Iggy. Not apparently sexy or dangerous in the conventional sense. A huge intellect, but also a mass in every respect. Originally calling himself Crocus Behemoth, Thomas chose his name well.

The first Pere Ubu records are very difficult to beat. Arty, sly, reinventions of form. He and his band have been making records intermittently ever since and good as they've been, and many of them have been great, if it had been a lone statement The Modern Dance would have been enough in itself.  And Thomas is the propulsive motor at its heart.

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