Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


The Art Bears

GUEST,Josepp 03 Oct 11 - 07:15 PM
Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 11 - 02:47 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Oct 11 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,josepp 04 Oct 11 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Oct 11 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 05 Oct 11 - 04:57 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Oct 11 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 05 Oct 11 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 05 Oct 11 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,josepp 05 Oct 11 - 12:21 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Oct 11 - 02:35 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,Josepp
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 07:15 PM

I've had this CD forever (early 90s) but I've always loved this blending of medieval European and avant-gard. Features Chris Cutler on percussion and lyrics, Dagmar Krause on vocals and Fred Frith on guitar, fiddle, bass, piano, organ, glockenspiel, marimba and who knows what else. Frith has also played with Henry Cow, Brian Eno and Naked City (bassist). B.B. King once stated in an interview that Frith is one of his favorite guitarists. This 1979 CD is called "Winter Songs." These was some folks definitely off on they on trip:

The Slave

The Hermit

Rats and Monkeys


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 02:47 AM

Great stuff. Not listened to this for years...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:10 AM

I grew up thinking Henry Cow were the best thing on the planet - then I heard Zappa's Uncle Meat and realised in the first twenty-minutes they'd plagerised every note! Not the lyrics of course; where The Mothers sang of 'fuzzy dice and bongos', Henry Cow gravely scorned worlds of liquid syntax and foretold of the inevitabilities of revolution in sky-high 6th-form rhetoric time to sweep them down from power! Deeds renew words!. From a bunch of bougeouis muso drop-outs it made about as much sense as Tales from Topographic Oceans, but it was great fun all the same. Indeed, the first side of Henry Cow Concerts (Beautiful as the Moon etc.) is one of the most amazing slabs of rock 'n' roll ever recorded.

Henry Cow finally fell apart over the recording of album of more accesable songs than the dense political tracts of yore, but none the less uncompromising musically. The album finally came out as Hopes and Fears - the band was now called the Art Bears, though the line-up on that album is essentially the full H.Cow band. It was wasn't until the second album Winter Songs that the new trio really got their shit together and focussed on the sort of stuff josepp links to in his OP. Winter Songs is a very fine piece of work which has still (IMHO) to see definitive CD release - that package MUST not only include the songs that were not included on the album but also include Chris Cutler's Winter Songs booklet in full: essentially a hand written philosophical pamphlet in which he expands on the - er - concept. Weighty in more ways that one, but essential all the same.

They followed up with The World as it is Today - a return to the tedious political righteous brow-beating of H.Cow which doesn't come anywhere close to the beauty, craft and intensity of Winter Songs. To quote the lyrics to The Slave (linked to by josepp above): Then did we dream? Or were our houses lambent gold? In winter's pool did glory pass and hold us speechless in its spell?.

Glory passed all too quickly; it was 1979 FFS, how could the Art Bears live up to The Fall and Joy Division? - but I'm still still speechless in the spell of Winter Songs, the cover of which (on vinyl) always forms part of our Xmas decorations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 05:52 PM

I had the vinyl from '79. It had a folio or booklet with the lyrics and each song had a stone image from an old European church. Remarkable images. I also had a vinyl of them live in Poland. And I think I had them on a Ralph Records compilation.

The Slave

Once as the sun was setting
A slave came to the gates
Day dying

On its fiery tongue
An Opal lay
Of copper spun

Then did we dream?
Or were our houses lambent gold
In Winter's pool
Did glory pass and hold us speechless in its spell?

Where he had fallen used and cast aside
All he had touched
Was trembling and alive

Each life is present in this way
Each fashioned thing speaks of its change


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Oct 11 - 06:42 PM

The book was different to the lyric sheet; it came seperate from the album (I actually bought it before I found a copy of the album!). No idea where my cooy is just now, but here's a pic:

http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=341807

It featured the lyrics, photos, additional lyrics, including Collapse and All Hail that weren't featured on the album (the former featured as the B side to the Rats & Monkeys single & the later on a Recommended compilation) and lots of heady prose ideas / essays from Chris Cutler. If I ever dig it out I'll scan it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 04:57 AM

Just located my copy of the Winter Songs booklet - it was inside of my copy of Winter Songs (vinyl). Alas, the Rats & Monkeys single isn't there, nor is the live 7" of the Man and Boy Coda (with one of Frith's finest solos ever). Lost in the mists of time! Or is that too on YouTube?

No. At least I couldn't find it, but I found this (and more besides):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veXCFAVRqBo&feature=related

Bloody Hell. I had no idea about this. Still, lovely as it is I can't resist quoting Chris Cutler on such matters: "We will no be reduced to reproducing our past to earn our pensions." Time passes by: A snowflake in a summer sky.

Anyway - if I ever find time to scan the Winter Songs booklet, I'll post here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 06:54 AM

I fell into Hopes and Fears as a teenager. I took from it the idea that we were living in a society so dysfunctional, in so many entrenched and inter-related ways, that mental collapse was... well, what?

(a) the inevitable fate of anyone who tried to be sane
(b) a possible escape
(c) a possible source of revolt
(d) all the above?

Given time she can think it through...

But then there was punk, and post-punk, and besides the Cutlerian world-view was a bit too intense and a lot too bleak for me to fancy living there. So I got rid of the LP, gatefold sleeve, poster and all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 08:47 AM

I loved Hopes and Fears soon as I heard it; but however so shadowy its dystopian realms it paled beside Live at the Witch Trials and Unknown Pleasures, next to which I suppose it became, like Winter Songs, a cute piece of wistful escapism. On Winter Songs, the lyrics were more real somehow - less hung up on the sort of melodramic middle-class angst as portrayed in In Two Minds which just seemed indulgent. At the time I was working with all sorts of Physical and Mental disability / illness so it seemed a sort of Gorey-esque pastiche really, despite the earnestness of the intentions. Things like Piers and The Dividing Line combined to illustrate the sorts of urban & rural landscapes I revelled in during my late-teenage years but which, as I say, were a lot more vivid in the hands of post-punk than post-prog!

I've still got the album, but the poster's long gone. Maybe I'll give it a spin later, despite my aversion to the 6th form bullshit sloganeering (Contentment is Hopeless - Unrest is progress! and the equally catchy Self love deals in force and reaction - love of others deals in self-criticism and revolution) that underwrites it. When The Fall and Joy Division came along I embraced them with exactly the same eagerness with which I embraced the surreal antics of Vic & Bob after a decade's worth of so-called Alternative comedy. By the time the Art Bears did The World as it is Today it just seemed so out of step it was untrue. I tried though - I even bought it from Recommended on subscription, and I've even kept it all these years, but I never liked it - although the first News From Babel album had a certain folksy charm about it but I think that was the cover as much as the Arty & political sentiments contained in the music.

I always say that without Greeves and Blegvad the whole thing lost its humanity rather, which is why Kew Rhone is a far more enduring work than any of the above (The Fall & Joy Division notwithstanding). Just a shame they didn't take Dagmar with them; if Dagmar had been on Kew Rhone it would have been one the finest albums of all time. Maybe in some truly alternative universe, eh??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 08:49 AM

Oh - feck... and again:

I loved Hopes and Fears soon as I heard it; but however so shadowy its dystopian realms it paled beside Live at the Witch Trials and Unknown Pleasures, next to which I suppose it became, like Winter Songs, a cute piece of wistful escapism. On Winter Songs, the lyrics were more real somehow - less hung up on the sort of melodramic middle-class angst as portrayed in In Two Minds which just seemed indulgent. At the time I was working with all sorts of Physical and Mental disability / illness so it seemed a sort of Gorey-esque pastiche really, despite the earnestness of the intentions. Things like Piers and The Dividing Line combined to illustrate the sorts of urban & rural landscapes I revelled in during my late-teenage years but which, as I say, were a lot more vivid in the hands of post-punk than post-prog!

I've still got the album, but the poster's long gone. Maybe I'll give it a spin later, despite my aversion to the 6th form bullshit sloganeering (Contentment is Hopeless - Unrest is progress! and the equally catchy Self love deals in force and reaction - love of others deals in self-criticism and revolution) that underwrites it. When The Fall and Joy Division came along I embraced them with exactly the same eagerness with which I embraced the surreal antics of Vic & Bob after a decade's worth of so-called Alternative comedy. By the time the Art Bears did The World as it is Today it just seemed so out of step it was untrue. I tried though - I even bought it from Recommended on subscription, and I've even kept it all these years, but I never liked it - although the first News From Babel album had a certain folksy charm about it but I think that was the cover as much as the Arty & political sentiments contained in the music.

I always say that without Greeves and Blegvad the whole thing lost its humanity rather, which is why Kew Rhone is a far more enduring work than any of the above (The Fall & Joy Division notwithstanding). Just a shame they didn't take Dagmar with them; if Dagmar had been on Kew Rhone it would have been one the finest albums of all time. Maybe in some truly alternative universe, eh??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 12:21 PM

Was not a big fan of the Fall or Joy Division. I remember seeing New Order in concert but not really by choice.

By the 80s, I moved away from music and went into pure noise. I drifted occasionally into hardcore punk when it bordered on noise--No Trend, Meat Puppets first album, Swans, Tar Babies first album--but otherwise didn't follow mainstream punk or post-punk or whatever (Crass and Flux of Pink Indians were horrible as far as I was concerned). I liked Art Bears precisely because they weren't any of that. I've always liked bands that didn't seem to have their finger on the pulse of anything--just playing what they heard in their heads and the more subconscious, the better. That's the way it should be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The Art Bears
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 02:35 PM

Meat Puppets first album

That brings it all back. Many years ago I had a musically evangelistic friend who insisted on making me tapes of his favourite albums (or The Best Albums In The World, as he would have seen it) - he wouldn't trust the albums themselves to me, or anyone else for that matter. I discovered some great stuff that way - Horses, White Light White Heat. But I couldn't get on with the first Meat Puppets album, let alone the first single (which is even more extreme) - and the early Swans tape he made me was the limit. (When he pressed it on me I remember him saying, "You've got to hear this - it's unlistenable!" Can't say I wasn't warned.)

Meat Puppets' second and third albums, on the other hand, are rather fine - they were basically "taking drugs to make music to make drugs to", in the immortal words of Spacemen 3, but doing it in the desert. Unfortunately they took a swerve into C&W almost immediately after the third album, and by the time they came over here on tour they weren't playing anything I wanted to hear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 August 11:38 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.