Austin Jukebox No. 7 part 1 w/ Rocket From the Tombs, ST 37, Will Courtney

Dave Thomas of Pere Ubu and Rocket From the Tombs

Fri., May 19, 8pm


711 Red River, 512/479-7625


Even today, 40-plus years after forming in Cleveland, no one sounds like Pere Ubu. Its organic blend of arty noise and Midwestern garage rock grew out of Rocket From the Tombs, a legendary proto-punk band that contributed songs and band members to Pere Ubu and which revived with original members early in the new millennium. The two groups rarely play in close proximity, with this unique double-header last seen in 2003. Both will concentrate on the songs performed in their original incarnations – an experience dubbed the Coed Jail Tour. Sharing repertoire (“Life Stinks,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” “Final Solution”) and personnel (frontman Dave Thomas, guitarist Gary Siperko, drummer Steve Mehlman), the lines between the two acts could blur, but that’s not the case. “I can keep them separate because each one has a very specific function in my mind,” says Thomas from London. “In practical terms, Pere Ubu is my main band. Unfortunately Rocket has always had to take second fiddle, often because it’s more difficult to get the people together. It’s not to say that I don’t like doing Rocket as much. Rocket is exciting, because it makes no pretense other than to be a brutal rock experience, and it’s fun to do. “It’s also fun to not do it, which is why Pere Ubu’s had the evolutionary curve that it’s had.” That evolution’s kept Ubu constantly pushing its sound forward, which makes a show dedicated to the past a surprise. “It used to be we would record an album, tour it, then come home and sit there for two more years doing nothing while we recorded a new album,” says Thomas. “In the last number of years, it’s come to be a useful tool [to do shows] like Coed Jail. We all keep working, keep in touch with each other. “Over the last year we’ve been working on a new album. It’s coming out in the fall and will be called 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo, then that’ll be the end of Coed Jail for a period. Unless somebody comes along and says, ‘Here’s $30,000 if you do “Final Solution.”’ We have our principles, but hell, $30,000, I’ll do it!” – Michael Toland


ST 37
Will Courtney
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.