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Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

December 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Art-punk pioneers Pere Ubu at Neumos | Concert preview

Pere Ubu

Pere Ubu plays Seattle Friday. Photo by Alexandre Horn.

In the late 1970s, with the world’s eyes focused on New York and London, Cleveland’s Pere Ubu was raising its own transgressive racket — a reaction, perhaps, to the relative simplicity of The Ramones and Sex Pistols — below the pop-cultural radar.

On seminal work like 1978’s “The Modern Dance” and 1979’s “Dub Housing,” the band, which performs live at Neumos in Seattle Friday, mixed garage-rock and free jazz to bewilderingly anthemic effect — post-punk, while punk itself was still brand-new.

Three-plus decades later — and dozens more albums, spanning synth-pop flirtations (1989’s “Cloudland”) to shrieking cacophony (1995’s “Raygun Suitcase”) — Pere Ubu is still observing surrounding trends and ripping them to pieces.

Boldly billed by outspoken bandleader David Thomas as “dance music, fixed,” 2013’s “Lady from Shanghai” is the group’s latest sonic mutant — part David Lynch-ian dark disco (“Mandy”), part cold, claustrophobic sound collage (“The Carpenter Sun”).

With England’s similarly ageless, genreless Wire having made a recent appearance at the Capitol Hill club, and Pere Ubu now following suit, Christmas comes early this year for experienced, adventurous listeners feeling alien in an E.D.M.-dominated landscape.

Pere Ubu, Monogamy Party
8 p.m. Friday at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $15 (206-709-9467 or neumos.com)

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Cleveland, Neumos, Post-punk


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