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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Golgotha - Symphony in Extremis – Once a full band, by the first release - Unmaker of Worlds (1990), Golgotha had already scaled down to being the singlehanded project of one Karl Foster. That release, with its four lengthy tracks,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues