David Thomas’ web-only record label,
hearpen.com, announces new releases for 2009 including two singles and a PERE UBU live recording from 1987.
David Thomas will commemorate friend, band mate and long time collaborator, Jim Jones (who died unexpectedly of a heart attack on February 18, 2008), with the re-release of the 1980 single ”The Incredible Truth” backed with ”Long Walk Home.”
Jim Jones, a fixture of the Cleveland music scene, was a member of Pere Ubu for over 15 years. According to Pitchfork.com “Jones joined Pere Ubu in 1987, after serving as a roadie. Due to his declining health, he retired from the live band in August 1995, although he continued to record with Pere Ubu for some time after, playing on 1998’s Pennsylvania and 2002’s St Arkansas. Jones is particularly noted for his contributions to the more pop-oriented sound Pere Ubu embraced during his tenure with the band. A life-long musician, Jones also played with Mirrors, the Styrenes, the Electric Eels, Foreign Bodies, Easter Monkeys, and Home & Garden.”
Other releases slated for 2009 on hearpen.com include a single of two new songs from Rocket From The Tombs titled “I Sell Soul” backed with ”Romeo & Juliet,” and a Pere Ubu live recording from 1987. The line-up features the ‘two drummers version’ (Chris Cutler and Scott Krauss) of Pere Ubu. The release is as yet untitled. Further details will be made available closer to the release date.
The online-only record label, hearpen.com, went live on December 11, 2007. The site makes new releases available every month and specializes in downloadable rarities, live recordings, limited releases, and anything else of note by Pere Ubu and bands related to Pere Ubu or Ubu Projex. "In 1975 Hearpen Records was one of the first of the DIY labels. It was gloriously amateurish – we hand assembled and glued together the record sleeves. We schlepped packages down to the post office," Thomas says. "33 years later the market has cycled round to the same place – the only difference is that now we get the record buyers to hand-make their own records and their own sleeves – that’s what I call progress!"
David Thomas launched hearpen.com in partnership with Smog Veil Records ("They are Clevelanders"). Thomas was fed up with the "lousy compression ratios" that were being used on commercial download audio sites. hearpen.com uses only the best quality audio settings to manufacture its MP3 files.
In time Thomas hopes that all Pere Ubu’s studio albums will be available on hearpen.com. The label recently posted the 2008 re-master of the internationally acclaimed Pere Ubu album, Dub Housing (1978). The audio quality is the best available on the internet.
"Over the decades, whenever the technology advances, we go back to the original analog tapes and re-transfer them to digital and re-master accordingly," Thomas says. "We like to fix things. The ephemeral nature of download audio actually encourages this obsession. It is the advantage of the medium."
Smog Veil Records was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1991. The label is distributed by Revolver, Super D, CTD Ltd., Southern, Forced Exposure, Get Hip, Subterranean, Cargo, Sonic Unyon (Canada) and RoyaltyShare. Artists with releases on the label include Pere Ubu, Unknown Instructors, Peter Laughner, Complaints Choir, The Pagans, Teacher’s Pet, Thor, Rocket From The Tombs, Amps II Eleven, New Christs (featuring Rob Younger of Radio Birdman) and Rubber City Rebels. Visit Smog Veil Records online at: