A perfect example of an avant-garde band whose most subversive work (to these ears) adapted pop principles is Pere Ubu. Cloudland, my favorite album of theirs, was remastered with bonus tracks a few months ago, after being out of print since the early nineties. Singer David Thomas, gargling and spitting atop producer Stephen Hague’s glistening mix, is especially ghoulish in this context. No way is this as epochal as “Final Solution,” but there’s something to be said about Thomas doing his addled-John Goodman routine over “True Faith” wannabes like “Love Love Love.”
Anyway, I don’t often like to post YouTube clips, but this performance of Cloudland‘s Modern Rock chart hit “Waiting for Mary” (a Top Ten!) on David Sanborn’s “Night Music” has to be one of the most spectacular dadaist spectacles I’ve ever seen. With Deborah Harry on background vocals, Sanborn on sax, and Philip Glass somewhere.