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March 17, 2010


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This is why I read your blog - who else is making these connections? However, I'll always slightly hold it against Thompson that he destroyed one of my favourite bands, Pere Ubu (well, destroyed is a bit strong, but 'rendered them unlistenable during his tenure' is more precisely what I think).

Glenn Kenny

@ Paul: I don't dislike the Thompson-era Ubu stuff at all, but aside from that, you could be misplacing some of the "blame." For sure "The Art of Walking" has Mayo wielding considerable influence. There are different stories about the seemingly tectonic shift of "Song of the Bailing Man;" citing very different influences and tensions. It was, in any event, a pretty fractious period for the group, but I also think that record is good, and I think that the solo record Thomas did in Britain, with Anton Fier on drums and Richard Thompson on guitar ("The Sound of the Sand...") is an out-and-out classic.

One thing's for sure: the Thompson/Ubu mix second time around didn't go as well as it did when the group guested on "Soldier Talk." In the aftermath Allen Ravenstine continued to make vital contributions to Krayola recordings.


I echo Paul's sentiments of why I visit SCR. I had no idea about this chapter in KB's life. Thanks Glenn.


I'll be a Modern Dance/Dub Housing man for life, but there's no Ubu that's without merit.

Phil G

Nice article. I was not aware of this side of Bigelow. While I still think THE HURT LOCKER is a a good movie that is overrated, I have always been a big fan of STRANGE DAYS. In that latter film, the chaotic, almost anarchic style fit the story. It is rare film where the choppy, lightning fast editing pattern fit the story. Plus, the complex sound design is pretty amazing.

Tim Lucas

Consider my eyebrows raised!


What Phil G said. I hope the success of 'The Hurt Locker' will enable Bigelow to do better and more interesting projects in the future.

Great OP, thank you.


Citing Bigelow's time as a painter has been a kind of shorthand for those wanting to praise her as an auteur, and I've always been a bit annoyed by the rather shallow way that information is bandied about. The precision with which you outline Bigelow's aesthetic milieu in her formative years is invaluable, and the necessarily specific place from which valid arguments can begin.

So thank you very much.

Joseph B.

My first job at the age of 14 or 15 was in a record shop. The owner purchased a large collection of albums and mixed in the bunch was an album from Thirteenth Floor Elevators. We listened to it, and yea, definitely trippy late 60's pysch rock. I'd forgotten about this band until now!

That album sold for bunches by the way... and more than made up for what he bought everything with.


About that precision: the member of Art-Language you refer to is Charles Harrison (among other things, the editor of Art in Theory) not 'Hamilton.' He died in 2007. Best.


Here's what I get for correcting you: Harrison died last year, not in 2007. Apologies.

Franklin Bruno

Lovely piece - I have to guess that (conceptual artist/later RK confederate) Stephen Prina knew all this when he taught his infamous "Films of Keanu Reeves" course, which must have included Point Break, at Pasadena Art Center in the 90s (where Mayo T. also landed for a time).

I've interviewed Mayo as well, and have always enjoyed his conversation.

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