“Nonalignment Pact,” the first track on Pere Ubu’s 1978 album The Modern Dance, has been a staple of my playlists since a college fling introduced me to the post-punkers. But Pere Ubu is more than that song’s growly, rousing chorus (and more than a semiobscure reference to impress your date). Singer David Thomas, Pere Ubu’s only continuous member, has seen the release of dozens of albums and singles, a book (The Book of Hieroglyphics, described as “a song that doesn’t sound out loud”), and the Ubu Projex (half-Pere Ubu information vault, half-rock ’n’ roll manifesto). He also frequently dispenses eminently quotable, gravity-filled statements on the shape of all things Pere Ubu. He wrote in May on the group’s Facebook page, “We are the longest-lasting, most disastrous commercial outfit to ever appear in rock ‘n’ roll. No one can come close to matching our loss-to-longevity ratio.” But Ubu’s latest release, The Lady From Shanghai, is as delightfully disastrous as ever, not to mention raucous, melodic, loud, theatrical, and yes, danceable.
Pere Ubu performs with Gagarin at 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $16–$18. (202) 388-7625. rockandrollhoteldc.com.
Due to an editing error, this pick originally included a photo of Rocket From the Tombs, a band featuring members of Pere Ubu.