Music » Makin' the Scene

More Ubu

Art-rock group returns for show, album, and tour.


Integrity frontman Dwid, cutting loose at Peabody's October 28. - WALTER  NOVAK
  • Walter Novak
  • Integrity frontman Dwid, cutting loose at Peabody's October 28.
Led by Cleveland icon David Thomas, legendary art-rock band Pere Ubu will return to Cleveland's Beachland Tavern for a rare club show on Sunday, November 6. In the following weeks, the group will record a new album, its 18th, at Painesville's Suma studios. It's slated for a September 2006 release on Smog Veil, the Cleveland-friendly label that recently relocated from Nevada to Chicago.

"We are the longest-lasting, most disastrous commercial outfit to ever appear in rock and roll," says Thomas, once a Scene staffer who went by the name Crocus Behemoth. "No one can come close to matching our loss-to-longevity ratio. No one. Millions have been utterly flushed down the toilet on us."

The disc will be Thomas' 30th since his days with punk forerunners Rocket From the Tombs in 1974. More recently, he has recorded three albums as David Thomas and Two Pale Boys. Established in 1975, Pere Ubu has never officially disbanded and continues in two formats: a group that performs live film scores and a concert troupe that plays conventional shows.

Ubu's latest touring lineup features two holdovers from the band's 2002 restructuring: Pale Boy Keith Moliné on guitar and Robert Wheeler on synthesizers. Bassist Michele Temple and drummer Steve Mehlman have been with Ubu since the '90s. A national tour will follow the disc.

Thomas says that he has "no idea" how the album will compare to previous efforts, but that it will feature artwork from John Thompson, who has provided most of the band's packaging. Thomas says the live set will feature nuggets from the group's history.

"There's at least one new song, 'Texas Overture,'" he says. "And could be others. Depends. The rest of the set is a spread of songs from various eras. Working Keith in has meant that we have been able to take on a bunch of songs that we previously hadn't performed."

· Canton politico-punkers My Son Cid have changed their name to Riot of Words. Catch the band Friday, November 4, at Annabell's (784 West Market Street, Akron).

· Kent-based acoustic/traditional-music website has revamped its layout; the new, more navigable design includes a real-time playlist. The online outgrowth of the folk programming on WKSU-FM 89.7, the site plays music 24 hours a day, featuring live broadcasts from local shows. FolkAlley is a sponsor of the 39th annual Kent State Folk Festival, which takes place Friday, November 11, through Saturday, November 19.

· Cleveland's Sonic Swirl Records has signed two Swedish bands: the Tennessee Outlaws and veterans the Space Cowboys, both in the Hellacopters-Backyard Babies-Stooges tradition. The Space Cowboys' Dead End Streets & Devil's Night is available now, with an Outlaws LP to follow soon.

· Sting/Steely Dan drummer Keith Carlock will make a lengthy in-store appearance at George's Drum Shop (2091 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls) on Monday, November 7, at 7 p.m. Carlock will perform and sign autographs.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.