Friday, July 04, 2008

Suicide by box set
"A fertile year for No Wave nostalgia reaches its apex, as one of the movement's forefathers is honored with a year-long series of special releases. Suicide formed in 1971 when artist, gallery-owner, and singer Alan Vega met Martin Rev, a keyboardist who had studied with jazz great Lennie Tristano. The downtown New York duo created confrontational, cathartic rock, with Rev churning out warm, minimalist keyboard melodies — a blueprint for synth-pop — while Vega literally and figuratively attacked the audience with spastic spoken word. As Lydia Lunch [who recently played with the reformed Teenage Jesus and the Jerks] says in Marc Masters' new book, No Wave, "[Suicide] were one of the most extreme things. I just fell to my knees in praise of the gods. The terror was such a beautiful thing to me."

The limited-edition, raw-sounding six-CD set Live 1977-1978, released in June in the UK on BLAST First (Petite), contains concert recordings drawn from New York shows and a support slot for the Clash and Elvis Costello on the group's first European tour. Only one of the live recordings, "23 Minutes Over Brussels" — which ends when the pissed-off crowd steals one of Vega's microphones — has ever seen official release.

In addition, a monthly series of 10-inch vinyl singles (also available as downloads) begins in July, with each installment containing a Suicide rarity along with covers by both an established and upcoming act. The eclectic array of "established" contributors includes Liars, Spiritualized, Sunn O))) and Pan Sonic, Peaches, Nick Cave's Grinderman, Klaxons, and, surprisingly, Bruce Springsteen, reportedly a fan of Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop." - Pat Sisson, Earplug.

Alan Vega recently turned seventy.

Ghost rider, live, 1979. Youtube link. "Video was recorded By Paul Tschinkel at Max's Kansas City in New York in 1979 for his cable TV show 'Paul Tschinkel's Inner Tube'." More here.

No comments: