Exposé Online banner

David Thomas & Foreigners — Bay City
(Thirsty Ear Thi57085.2, 2000, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01

Bay City Cover artStarting with his tenure in the seminal art-punk outfit Pere Ubu, David Thomas has shown himself to be a lyricist of great talent and singer of acquired taste. For this outing he teams up with a trio of Danish musicians. Guitarist Jørgen Teller, clarinetist Per Buhl Acs (also playing guitar), and drummer P.O. Jørgens provide relatively minimal, fairly improvisational accompaniment for thirteen of Thomas’s emotional vocal pieces. There are a couple of real gems here, though nothing really approaching what could be called a “song.” My favorite is probably the bleak “Nobody Lives on the Moon,” with its wall of feedback and interesting drum pattern. “15 Seconds” contains a cryptic reference to “repopulating the American continent with clones.” Not sure what to make of that, but the same song contains this chilling observation: “I feared the worst that worst could be, that everything would be just what it seems to be.” Any of the others, in isolation, is interesting, but the cumulative effect of an entire CD of this music is probably too much for anyone but a dedicated Thomas fan or a lover of improvisation along the lines of Damo Suzuki. I’d recommend for the novice to start with one of Pere Ubu’s classics.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 23, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): David Thomas

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amon Düül II - Surrounded by the Bars – Actually, this is not a true reissue, in that these remixed versions of the band's better songs from their classic early seventies period have never appeared together on a compilation before....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues