Heart of the Beast with Pere Ubu

 

 

The show was about as well matched with an opening act as you could imagine—the rare appearance in these parts of Johnny Dowd, an authentic outsider voice in his own right, doing his own idiosyncratic  thing.

Raised in Texas and Oklahoma, living for decades in Ithaca, NY, he’s

created a bunch of weird spoken word, warped country, and neo-blues recordings that have lately been accompanied by the incongruous sounds of a drum

machine. Like Jim White (with whom he once formed a band a decade ago, Hellwood), he blends absurdist spoken word poetry and unexpected music for something that like Ubu, is in the tradition of Beat poets, jazz hipsters, and street corner savants.

Rather than being menacing as Thomas was capable of being, Dowd, 69, was goodnatured and laughed along with the absurdity, allowing his guitarist Mike Edmondson to begin with an a cappella Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good” (when clearly his life as a rock figure has been something else) before the sudden jolt of “I Crawled Up the Rat’s Ass.”

As in the handmade poetry books he sold on site, he could come up with sharp lines that stood out. He pretended to be a funk god as “The White Dolomite,” and deconstructed “Freddy’s Dead” for his own purposes. He and Edmondson almost seemed more interested in telling the dumb jokes between songs.

They even made fun of the hopelessly dated disco-era drum machine that backed most of the songs, suggesting we “give the drummer some.” But they won over the crowd enough to have them sing along to “I love the bright lights of Washington, DC; I wanna be a star like Conway Twitty.”

He ended the semi-sincere a cappella of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” before rocking out with a version of it, encouraging a gesture that  contrasted mightily with the headliner’s scowl.

 – Oringinal article by Roger Catlin, photos by Richie Downs

 

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Then it’s the PEre Ubu show and merch sales. Only thing lost on this trip: Johnny’s moustache. It was one snoop too many.

A quick shout out to  Franks Diner, latest of the fine diner finds on the road with Johnny Dowd.

Live @ The Woodward Theater with Pere Ubu

                                                               TONIGHT

Join Johnny and Mike as they open for Pere Ubu at the Woodward Theater

 

 

Touring Vaudville Style with Pere Ubu

 

One pit stop, a Sheetz lunch and an intimate view of the Alleghenies later,we arrived in Pittsburgh at Club Cafe. Dead on time, aka too early,
John and Mike said hello to
Gary,guitarist and old fiend…I mean friend…from Ithaca-Music
Capitol of the World.

 

 

 

John and Mike took advantage of the down time to go over the set.

Then it was time to rock…

 

And having the good fortune to be touring with Pere Ubu, watch them do the same.

 

Johnny says that the difference between an American rock star and a European rock star is you never see an American rock star combing his hair before a gig.

 

Live @Hill Country DC with Pere Ubu

                                          Hill Country Live Presents:

mentalist maverick & alt-everything troubadour has been added to in DC on 11/9 Chocolate-in-your-peanut-butter, son!

Pere Ubu

Pere Ubu’s new album 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo opens the doors of the avant-garage to reveal the hardworking mechanics hammering away at the

fundamentals of blue-collar rock. A three-guitar revision spans the state of the art for guitar-based rock in the year 2017. Keith Moliné is joined by Cleveland guitar legend Gary Siperko and Kristof Hahn in the now familiar orchestra of analog and digital

synths, clarinet, drums and Thomas’ unquestionably unique vocals.

The touring arm of Pere Ubu will be heading out with the new album; first-off in the USA in November-December, amd with a full European tour and further USA dates in 2018.


Johnny Dowd

“Sometimes music shouldn’t be easy, and instead should be mysterious, idiosyncratic

and the work of a true maverick. So we should welcome the arrival of a new Johnny Dowd album. . . . Never a man to run from the truth, if there was any justice, this guy would be a legend.” – Acoustic Magazine

“Soaked in swirling guitars with extraterrestrial synth sounds throughout Dowd here creates a piece which is on a par with the best of Beck.” – Americana-UK

Live @Club Cafe with Pere Ubu

Good stuff happening in Dowdsville.

“Twinkle, Twinkle” is finished. I thought it was going to be my most inside record, but at some point it leapt the fence and took on a life of its own. It will be released on my label in January.

Have some US gigs coming up, including three opening for the fabulous Pere Ubu (see Tour page: Pittsburgh; Washington, DC; Cincinnati). Will also tour Europe this winter. That will be something a little different, but I can’t reveal the details yet.

All for now.

—Johnny via Johnnydowd.com

 

Tickets

Live @PorchFest

John,Mike and Anna reunite to rock the neighborhood during PorchFest this week. at 304 E Marshall St.

Previous years:

PorchFest 2016

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PorchFest 2015

Johnny Dowd and The Sex Robots

“Dowd has dusted off the same drum machine that was the bedrock of 1997 debut Wrong Side of Memphis, concocting tart rhythms and overlaying them with distorted bursts of guitar and busy electronica.”- Uncut Magazine

2014

Additionally, Anna Coogan will be hosting three collaborative efforts on her porch (and handing out cupcakes!). The first set will feature Mary Lorsen performing old favorites and new songs from her new autobiographical theatrical project. Anna will sit in with her and possibly a visit from one or more Soubrettes. Then, Johnny Dowd takes the stage with a set that, in his own words, “won’t be for the faint of heart.” Anna’s hosting wraps up with her own project with Willy B. and Johnny Dowd that will feature songs from her upcoming CD “Anna Coogan & JD Foster: The Birth of the Stars” (CD Release November 15th). And, if you happen to wander by around 1pm, you might catch some vocal warmups with Anna and her students.

Twinkle Twinkle Pere Ubu

important announcement?—my record of public domain tunes is now recorded[for the second time-the first version was awful]—it will be called [i think] TWINKLE TWINKLE–it’s pretty wack in a folky kind of way—look for me at the grammies—hang down yer head tom dooley yo

– Johnny Dowd

UPCOMING TOUR

Big news: I have some dates in November opening for one of my all-time favorite bands, Pere Ubu!

November 8: Club Cafe; Pittsburgh, PA
November 9: Hill Country DC; Washington, DC
November 21: Woodward Theater; Cincinnati, OH

Ticket links on my Tours page here.

Also, my new record, “Twinkle, Twinkle,” is being mixed and will be released in December. I’m heading to Europe in January.

See you down the road.

Johnny Dowd

Johnny Dowd: new album “Twinkle, Twinkle”

Johnny Dowd has finished recording an album with public domain tunes. It might be called Twinkle, Twinkle and will be released on his own label Mother Jinx Records:

Howdy all. I have finished tracking my new record, tentatively titled Twinkle, Twinkle. All the songs are in the public domain — “Tom Dooley,” “St. James Infirmary,” “Red River Valley,” “Rock of Ages” . . . you get the picture. It features Anna Coogan and Mike Edmondson on vocals. If you ever wondered what folk music would sound like in an electronic setting, this is it. I’ll release it on my own label, Mother Jinx Records. Not sure when. I’ll keep you posted.

 

HCTF review of Execute American Folklore.

 – Original Article

 

 

 

Live @ The Silver Line Fri. 8/25 8pm

Friday at the Silver Line Tap Room: 

One of Ithaca’s true legends, Johnny Dowd settled in town in the ‘70s and never looked back, creating a body of work, varied, progressive and sharp. His music ranges from open and free alternative country, to post punk, to wild experimental density. His newest album “Execute American Folklore” is bold and individualistic, with jaunts into electronic alt-rock, funk rage and avant-garde folk rock.

Live @Atlas Bowl 11/3 8:30pm

 

 

Atlas Live & Local is bringing the best music in the area to the Trumansburg community, absolutely free…

Don’t miss legandary local maverick, John Dowd, as he graces Atlas with the gift of great music and good times!

Free music from 8:30 to 10:30pm.
Plus food and drink specials, and bowling all night long.

Check out the latest from Johnny at:
http://www.johnnydowd.com/

 

 

Live @ Casita del Polaris with Park Doing

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The Muggles Bros at Casita with Park Doing

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