Saturday, September 29, 2018

"Astral wailings from the black oozing pit of Cleveland's concrete hell": Chris D. on Pere Ubu's "Heart of Darkness"/Peter Laughner's mug in Slash Magazine August 1977

Although I have not reviewed it properly, the Slash Magazine coffee table book Slash: A Punk Magazine from Los Angeles: 1977-1980 (B. Roettinger & J.C. Gabel eds, Los Angeles: Hat & Beard, 2016) is essential reading, preferably by those with a magnifying glass. I could nitpick that there is no proper index to the reviews but that is my next task right? Also, I probably could use an index to the various aliases so that I could tell who was reviewing what, and who should have recused themselves from reviewing their roommate's/girlfriend's/boyfriend's band etc. Chris Desjardins' first reviews under his own name are in Vol. 1 No.3 (August 1977): Iggy and the Stooges' 1977 via 1971 Siamese "I Got a Right" single and a live review of the Dogs at the Whisky (August 15, 1977). But let's start with his September 1977 review of Pere Ubu's 1975 double A-side "Heart of Darkness/30 Seconds over Tokyo" from Volume 1, Number 4 ("hypnotic mindfuck singles" - exactly!). Or is it "30 Seconds" on the A side? Chris' question of where the lp (with the various singles) was answered the following year with Datapanik in the Year Zero. Along with Phast Phreddie Patterson's most excellent 1978 review of The Modern Dance in Back Door Man #14 (March/April 1978), there is no mistaking the psychedelic uptake by two of the most astute music writers in Southern California circa 1974-1978. Laughner was out of the band after the second 45 (with no eye contact for the unnamed photographer) and died June 22, 1977 - around 6-8 weeks before publication of this review, which no doubt he would have liked. To be continued with Chris D.'s earlier work . . .