'Baptized Into The Buzz' is the companion to Pere Ubu's new album 'The Long Goodbye,' released by Cherry Red Records in July 2019.
Penned by lead singer and Pere Ubu founder, David Thomas, he introduces it as the chronicle of 'the making of the album and the thoughts and ideas that shaped it.' Obviously, being Pere Ubu, there are curveballs throughout. The cover is that of a 1950s pulp fiction science fiction novel, with not even the back text revealing details of the contents.
The songs from the new album are placed in context with previous material from the back catalogue to illustrate the journey of 'the road' that Thomas often references. There is also fascinating text that examines and deconstructs the often philosophical theories and protocols that Thomas and his band have abided by for the past forty years. For apparently the first time, there is also an autobiography of the author that tells of his early life and brushes with bees, Chevys and his search through literature for the essence of America and its people.
Greil Marcus, Double Trouble (Faber And Faber, 2000), pgs. 167-168.
Thomas' gnostic argument - that art exists to at once reveal secrets and to preserve them - makes sense of a particularly American - or modern - form of storytelling. In a big, multifaceted democracy, you're supposed to be able to communicate directly with everyone, yet many despair of being understood by anyone at all... Out of this comes an American language that means to tell a story no one can turn away from. But this language - identified by D. H. Lawrence in 1923, in Studies in Classic American Literature, as the true modernist voice, the voice of Hawthorne, Poe, Melville - is cryptic before it is anything else. It is all hints and warnings, and the warnings are disguised as non sequiturs. The secret is told, but nonetheless hidden, in the musings, babblings, or tall tales of people who seem too odd to be like you or me, like us - like the author who puts his or her name to the story, insisting that he made it all up, that she just did it for the money.