Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DATAPANIK Records, Ubu Dance Party, A Tribute to Pere Ubu (CD, 1997)

Not all Dayton bands on this one, but there are several represented.  And the rest are still from Ohio.

I think this is our first CD offering on this blog.  It is undoubtedly the biggest so far.  I have shied away from posting CDs unless I know for a fact that it's out of print and there are no plans to revive it.  In the case of Ubu Dance Party, I can't say for sure, but every search I've done to find some distributor still selling it has turned up empty.  And even though I played on this record, I never got a copy and so bought one used for a dollar through some Amazon seller.  Now I can't even find second hand copies listed anywhere.  So I think we're safe, but if somebody comes out of the woodwork with the rights to this thing and wants it taken down, I'll comply.

That's doubtful though.  If I remember correctly, our contribution to this record was sort of a "right of first publication only" kind of license.  Assuming everybody else had a similar deal, then the rights to this one are controlled by at least 38 different people.

But enough legal speculation.  About this comp in general, I can't say much.  But Chad Van Wagner, who spent at least three years of his life putting it together, can and does have something to say in the liner notes:

Another tribute?  Yes, I know, but there's a bit more to it than that.  The problem with tributes is they too often lapse into straight covers, "maybe we can have a hit with this" remakes, and little else.  When I set out to start this thing (oh so long ago) I was determined to do what I could to do Pere Ubu, one of the few truly creative and original bands of the past couple decades, justice.  This meant, of course, altering their catalog in the most severe way imaginable: "Cloud 149," in the hands of One Riot One Ranger, goes from bubblegum meandering to a sinister dustbowl tale.  "Petrified" goes from a paranoid babble to Brainiac's nuclear meltdown.  Also, keeping in the spirit with the Ubu catalog, where the importance of studio polish ran a poor second to performance strength (as it SHOULD, dagnabbit) the tracks on this here CD go from the lushness of Cage's "Goodnight Irene" to the RC Mob's boombox-in-a-corner "My Dark Ages."  Beyond these two guidelines, I kept my hands off the creative process, letting the bands do what they will.  Ubu is about (at least to me) stealing pieces of your memory and giving them back in an almost unrecognizable package, one that blew your mind and caught your ear at the same time.  We tried to do the same with these tracks.  Hope you like 'em.
Obviously, this compilation was a labor of love for Chad, and I suspect the same was true for most of the bands.  I don't mean to say everyone who contributed to this was a big PERE UBU fan.  I, in fact, have never owned a single one of their albums (although I did see them at the Newport in the early '90s, and it was a pretty good show).  But there were certainly UBU fans involved, and the fact that Chad went out of his way to make sure only Ohio bands appeared on it made having a track on it kind of special.

I remember being pretty happy when this finally came out (three years after OXYMORONS broke up) to find that our cover of "Honeymoon" was chosen as the very first track.  I'm about 90% that song was one of three or four songs we recorded the very last time we were in the studio together.  And I remember being especially pleased with how we reworked the original song.  Everyone sort of did their part.  The processed voice saying "Honeymoon" at the beginning is Ben speaking through some kind of plastic, toy megaphone he got at the dollar store.  He, Nick, and Grog basically figured out the whole arrangement and dynamics.  I added the squealy riff at the beginning and end by tripling up the guitar part.  I remember Ben and I particularly liking that effect, and I was looking forward to using it more on other OXYMORONS stuff in the future.  But that never happened, of course.  We had gone into the studio knowing our days were numbered as a band, but I don't remember thinking of this as the last time we would ever record anything -- not at the time.

In addition to being a pretty good comp, this is also a pretty good slice of the statewide indie rawk scene in the '90s.  Not every good band is represented, but a lot of them are.  Other Dayton bands (that I recognize) on this are CAGE and BRAINIAC.  There might be others that I don't recognize.  Notable Columbus bands represented here are SCRAWL, NEW BOMB TURKS (of course!), and PET UFO (who have actually made 4 songs from their 1994 album available for listening on PET UFO's Myspace page).  You'll also find the rare, late '90s appearance of RC MOB on this one.  And then there's ASS PONYS who enjoyed some moderate (and deserved) success in the '90s representing Cincinnati.

Not much else to say.  Overall, yeah it's spotty in parts, like most compilations.  But there are some really great tracks.  It's been my pleasure to share the plastic on these discs with every one of these bands.

Track listing, Disc 1:
  • 1. sample - the original songs... (0:08)
  • 2. The Oxymorons - Honeymoon (2:22)
  • 3. Gary Lou Pico - We Have The Technology (2:52)
  • 4. Puff Tube - I Will Wait (2:06)
  • 5. The Revellers - Heaven (4:39)
  • 6. Blue - 30 Seconds Over Tokyo (4:37)
  • 7. Cobra Verde - Chinese Radiation (3:25)
  • 8. The Haynes Boys - Kathleen (3:34)
  • 9. Syrup - On The Surface (3:11)
  • 10. Code-X - Vivians (5:28)
  • 11. Clay - George Had A Hat (3:45)
  • 12. Muzzle - Bus Called Happiness (3:05)
  • 13. Campfire Walkers - Modern Dance (3:02)
  • 14. Steamshovel - Caligari's Mirror (4:44)
  • 15. Sosumi - Humor Me (3:53)
  • 16. Flaming Telepaths - Non-Alignment Pact (4:20)
  • 17. Laughing - Dock Ellis (5:28)
  • 18. Jones - Supie T (3:25)
  • 19. Lord Burger - Final Solution (Slight Return) (0:15)
Track listing, Disc 2:
  • 1. Cage - Goodnight Irene (3:56)
  • 2. Wax Tadpole - Turpentine (2:36)
  • 3. Scrawl - Go (3:41)
  • 4. Rainy Day Saints - Heart Of Darkness (4:23)
  • 5. Brainiac - Petrified (2:23)
  • 6. Skullbank - Streetwaves (3:52)
  • 7. Quazimodo - Non-Alignment Pact (1:48)
  • 8. New Bomb Turks - Life Stinks (3:36)
  • 9. G Spot Tornado - Come Home (5:01)
  • 10. Kaj Mi Nuka - New Broom (3:54)
  • 11. Creature - Heaven (2:33)
  • 12. Satellites - Real World (4:29)
  • 13. Ass Ponys - Not Happy (3:25)
  • 14. RC Mob - My Dark Ages (4:37)
  • 15. Pet UFO - Race The Sun (2:33)
  • 16. One Riot Ranger - Cloud 149 (3:35)
  • 17. Girly Machine - Misery Goats (3:20)
  • 18. Honk, Wail And Moan - Thoughts Go By Steam (5:33)
  • 19. Gem - Blow Daddy-O (6:05)
  • 20. Gaunt - "..." (1:53)

Download it!  (205 MB)

take care,


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