Pere Ubu's 19th album, Trouble On Big Beat Street, is out in two weeks, and they've just shared a new song from it, "Crocodile Smile," which honks and skronks in true Ubu style.
Here's bandleader David Thomas giving his unique take on the discordant track: “I cross the Mississippi on US49, heading east. In Clarksdale, US49 intersects Highway 61 and that is the Crossroads of blues legend. Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the Devil. Pablo Picasso never sold his soul to the Devil but a black guy from the Delta ... I guess that's gotta be the explanation. Anyway, on one corner is a laundromat, the Devil May Care Quickie-Mat. In the window is a sign. 'Lay It Down And Suds It Up!' Across the road is a Popeyes Fried Chicken. I go in the drive-thru lane and stop at the menu board. A voice from the speaker says, "How-how-how may I serve you?" I order a 3-piece chicken dinner with hush puppies and a Sprite. "How-how-how do you want that chicken?" "Extra crispy," I say, and proceed to the pickup window. Howlin' Wolf leans out with a neatly folded bag dwarfed in his fist. Driving off I remember the pecan pie slice I wanted to order. I park and go inside. Robert Zimmerman and Alan Lomax wait behind the counter. Muddy Waters, wearing the manager's badge, is bussing tables. A song is playing on the jukebox…”
We've got the premiere of the "Crocodile Smile" video, made by Kiersty Boon, which immediately starts with a warning: "THIS SONG IS NOT SUITABLE FOR VISUAL MEDIA." They don't really want you to stop watching, though, and you can check that out below.
Pere Ubu will play Trouble on Beat Street in full at two shows in June with a band that includes MC5's Wayne Kramer, keyboardist Eric Drew Feldman (who played in the band in late-'80s and early-'90s), along with current bandmembers Michele Temple and Jack Jones, plus special guests Allen Ravenstine (synth) and Tony Maimone (bass).
Those shows are at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on June 19, which is with Faust; and L.A.'s The Lodge Room on June 22, which is with Mike Watt & The Missingmen. Check out the poster for both below.