Saturday, September 29, 2007

Look back in wonder, part 3

I realize I said this would be an occasional series and I just wrote about seeing Saint Etienne a few days ago, but I could not let this particularly anniversary go by: On September 29, 1989, I saw the Jesus Lizard for the first time. Oh mama!

Back then I was in grad school at Rutgers in New Brunswick, so I saw a lot of shows at the Court Tavern, a local dingy, super-low-ceilinged basement venue. Of all the good gigs I caught there (Mudhoney, Laughing Hyenas, Tiny Lights, the A-Bones, Beme Seed), none made as much of an impact.

According to the Touch & Go site, the Jesus Lizard played its first-ever show on July 1, 1989, in Chicago, so the band must have been on its first tour when I saw it. And maybe a band can only have that sense of unhinged mania on its first tour; later, you learn that it's probably a good idea not to get wasted—in every sense of the word—every night. The Lizard mixed a sense of threatening, quasi-psychopathic rage with a surprisingly disciplined reptilian crawl forward (the band wasn't big on BPMs). The explosive rhythm section of Mac McNeilly and David Sims plus the economical Duane Denison on guitar plus one of the best frontmen ever in David Yow: These guys were the perfect rock unit.

It's too bad that Yow is now remembered, if at all, as that guy who used to drop his pants during shows. And yes he did expose himself during "Tight ’n Shiny" at the Court, but it's not like he was just letting it all hang out, as it were: Like everything else the Lizard did, he went further by pulling and stretching and choking himself in a way that would have been painful if he hadn't seemed to be in some kind of trance. Some people speak in tongue, others become rock singers.

Another thing about Yow: He was a man, not an overgrown boy indulging in rock because it's a cool thing to do. He was around 29 in 1989 (he'd already been in Scratch Acid in Texas), and he had a kind of beat-up gravitas. When he got in your face at a show, it was scary because you felt that he was old enough to know better—he just didn't care to know better.

The next time I saw the Jesus Lizard was on April 28, 1990, at Maxwells, where it was opening for some new Seattle band called Nirvana. Nirvana didn't stand a chance following up the Lizard; I left after maybe four or five songs by Cobain & Co. In retrospect of course I regret not staying longer for Nirvana, a band I never saw again, but that night in 1990, nobody could play after the Jesus Lizard.

That particular bill illustrated a dichotomy very much of its time: grunge vs pigfuck. I preferred pigfuck, especially in its midwestern incarnation, which included the Lizard, Killdozer and pretty much the entire Amphetamine Reptile roster. I just loved that amorphous genre's violent misanthropy and its strong strain of elaborate artiness, for lack of a better word (best example: Killdozer); the music was a lot more fucked-up, aggressive, and complex—and a lot less predictable—than grunge, which relied way too much on tension-and-release dynamics that quickly became generic. Plus pigfuck didn't wallow in self-obsessed misery: Pigfuck was all about taking it out on others!

The Jesus Lizard released the Pure EP in 1989 but I'm going to forego historical purity and post tracks from its 1991 album Goat, the studio album that to me best captures the mix of genius precision and batshit abandon that characterized the band live, and one of the best albums of the 90s. Here's a sensational three-track consecutive sequence from it.

Jesus Lizard "Karpis"
Jesus Lizard "South Mouth"
Jesus Lizard "Lady Shoes"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Foreign tongues

Listening to France Inter radio recently, I learned that Mimi Perrin, the founder and lead member of les Double Six vocal group in the 60s, also translates books from English into French. The revelation came in a discussion of the latest John Le Carré novel, which just came out in France; turns out Perrin and her daughter Isabelle have been Le Carré's regular French translators for the past 20 years.

What's fascinating about this is that les Double Six specialized in translation as well: the transformation of an instrumental jazz solo into a vocal one, with lyrics. Known as vocalese, this exercise has been made famous by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and the Manhattan Transfer, and les Double Six was the best-known (the only?) French act specializing in it.

Another fun tidbit is that during its short existence (1959–64), les Double Six featured a great roster of singers, including Ward Swingle (founder of the Swingle Singers), Eddy Louiss (usually known for his piano and organ playing), Bernard Lubat (also a drummer) and Christiane Legrand (sister of composer Michel, and the singing voice of Delphine Seyrig in Jacques Demy's crackpot musical Donkey Skin).

French is usually perceived as a language that's rhythmically unwieldy because it lacks a tonic accent as strong and adaptable as the one in, say, English. Since Perrin was the one writing the Double Six lyrics, she was accutely aware of that problem as she formed sentences that could flow in a way similar to a flute, trumpet or sax solo. You can check out how she did by "Rat Race" and "Meet Benny Bailey" (two Quincy Jones composition, with the Double Six adaptation based on Count Basie recordings), and Gershwin' s"Fascinating Rhythm" (based on a Stan Kenton recording).

Les Double Six "Rat Race" (Perrin's sings Billy Mitchell's sax solo)
Les Double Six "Meet Benny Bailey" (Christiane Legrand sings Frank Wess' flute solo, Perrin sings Henry Coker's trombone solo)
Les Double Six "Fascinating Rhythm"
(Claude Germain sings Frank Rosolino' trombone solo, Eddy Louiss sings Bill Holman's sax solo, Perrin sings Bill Perkin's sax solo, Louis Aldebert sings another Perkins solo)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Look back in wonder, part 2

Another installment of the occasional series in which I dig up my old logs and look back at something I saw the same day x years ago…

September 24, 1994: Saint Etienne at the Manhattan Centre on W. 34th St. For its first American gig, the band was stuck on a disparate Warner Brothers showcase for CMJ that also included American Music Club, Soul Coughing and Grant Lee Buffalo.

The reception at the time was noticeable cool. Typical was Neil Strauss' review in the New York Times: "The English band's singer, Sarah Cracknell, was a forgettable diva, unable to project her voice and almost painful to watch as she danced out of tempo to the band's weak disco beats. Even the synthesizers of Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs sounded too watered down to be effective except on ballads like 'Hobart Paving.' (…) On record, the appeal of St. Etienne is in the way it cuts out all the emotional and lyrical depth from pop songs and keeps only the structure and gloss to create infectious dance Muzak. Live, however, music without substance sounds simply like music without substance."

We've come a long way since then, and fortunately many more critics have now figured out that "substance" is both overvalued and able to take many forms.

Of course unlike Strauss I had a grand time that night; so grand, in fact, that I went back for seconds the very next day, when the band put on a repeat (and even better) appearance at Limelight.

Not too many specific memories from both shows: contrary to what Strauss wrote, Stanley wasn't on stage fiddling with synths; one of the backup vocalists was ex–Dolly Mixture Debsey; Cracknell wore a boa. Instead of individual songs I remember an overall feeling of intense happiness.

Cracknell's role in Saint Etienne has often been undervalued but she was particularly essential live. What threw a lot of critics—still mostly male at that time, and still very much in thrall to rock aesthetics—is that on record she could come across as impossible cool, but on stage she was friendly, accessible, goofy. She didn't fit in either of the basic rock categories for female singers at the time: tough girl or sexpot.

Looking back at Saint Etienne's early years, it's also obvious they were way ahead of the curve in their mix of pop and dance. Listening to Annie, Robyn or some indie band remixed by a hot German duo feels natural now, but when Saint Etienne had their tracks retooled by people as diverse as Autechre, Andrew Weatherall, the Dust Brothers or house honcho Roger Sanchez in the early 90s, the move was misunderstood as much by indie-poppers as by hardcore electronic fans (I vaguely remember Aphex Twin sniffing that he didn't care for Saint Etienne's music to begin with, so it was a pleasure to dismantle it).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Plaza wars

Like many in town, I'm excited by Gérard Mortier's impending arrival at City Opera. He's just outlined some of his plans in an interview, and the expectations are even higher.

Which brings me to a general point brought up by this interview: Mortier's arrival symbolizes the arrival of competition, and that's something opera lovers are not used to here. The Met has for years been secure in its self-appointed role as the center of opera, not only in New York but in the world (sure, if it makes them happy to think that). Suddenly, a new sheriff waltzes into town, goes up to the old one and says "Show me your stuff!"

Another monopoly being challenged here is the New York Times' hold on arts coverage: It is significant that Mortier's interview was in the New York Sun, not in the Times—seen by many as the go-to place to read the Met's press releases.

While Americans give verbal props to capitalism and competition, the reality often boils down to monopoly situations. (If you've ever had to deal with a cable company in New York, you'll know exactly what I mean.) Of course the world of opera is a rarefied one, but what's at stakes here is actually rather wide-ranging.

In cultural terms, you have an outsider coming in and showing that there are ways to do things other than the ones adopted by the local powerhouse. (Despite its cosmopolitanism, New York is actually relatively provincial when it comes to being aware of what's going on in other countries.)

In media terms, it means the local 800-pound gorilla may need to start looking over its shoulder a little more.

Exciting news, indeed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Elegant sleuthing

I love crime fiction, so it's no wonder that some of my favorite long-form non-fiction involves the meticulous dissection of a sham. The New Yorker has published two such pieces recently, one about counterfeit olive oil and one about counterfeit classical recordings. Tom Mueller's "Slippery Business" turned out to be rather frustrating—like most of the food-themed issue it was part of, actually—and I started skimming halfway through. Mueller just couldn't get me interested in the topic, perhaps because while he had a good villain in the shrewd, literally oleaginous Domenico Ribatti, his point just kept getting diluted, just like the oil he was writing about. (A nice coda the following week, however, when another Tom Mueller, ironically an exec in an American olive-oil company, wrote to complain that the journalist should have included a disclaimer that the two men are not related!)

The main themes of Mark Singer's "Fantasia for Piano," about the Joyce Hatto scandal, are similar to the one in Mueller's piece: The elaborate lengths to which some people go to deceive others, and how hardcore fans and professional critics can be fooled by the "product" (olive oil, piano recordings) they so passionately obsess over. This is compounded by the fact that in both cases said product is a symbol of sophisticated taste—though olive oil's become so commonplace that, like chocolate, coffee or tea, the challenge is now to make it re-"elitize" again by focusing on vintages and areas of origin. (This is why it's so fun reading about those deceptions: What's at stake usually is punctured ego rather than, say, the entire life savings of the poor, uneducated victim of a scam artist. But then The New Yorker isn't really interested in the grittier issues affecting the little people.)

Anyway, the Hatto scam is wonderful: In the ’00s, some dedicated fans of piano music became entranced by a British interpreter who, in her seventies, had started cranking out exceptional recordings on a label run by her husband, the wonderfully monickered William Barrington-Coupe ("Barry"). Long story short: Turns out Hatto didn't play on those albums—her husband just recycled relatively obscure recordings by other, better pianists and pass them on as his wife's.

A striking element in the story is that while Joyce Hatto was interviewed by various classical-music outlets, nobody checked with the people she supposedly played with. On some of her recordings, she was backed by a seemingly non-existent orchestra, but nobody—nobody!—looked into it. And this was in the mid- to late ’00s, when everything already was only a Google search away. No basic reporting was done, and there were no corroborating secondary sources in any of the Hatto profiles other than Barry.

Another great bit is that the switcheroo was first exposed by a New Yorker who in February 2007 put his newly purchased Hatto CDs in his iTunes, and another performer's name popped up from the Gracenotes database. Does this mean that no Hatto fan before that one had listened to her on a computer?!? It boggles the mind.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Train in vain

The NY Times' "Business Travel" supplement today includes a telling juxtaposition. The lead front-page article is about the ever-increasing delays at airports. In short: They're bad, and they're only going to get worse.

Inside the section is another, shorter piece, about the rise of high-speed train travel in Europe. Travel between Paris and London will go down to 2h15 in November; the French high-speed train, the awesome TGV, keeps growing eastward, linking up to more and more European cities. And needless to say, this is comfortable, virtually hassle-free travel since train stations tend to be in the center of cities, and you don't need to show up hours in advance either.

It doesn't take much IQ power to see that the US is completely clueless when it comes to transportation, and that its stubborn emphasis on planes and automobiles is pathetically short-sighted. Of course air travel cannot easily be replaced on long, cross-country distances, but all the short and medium trips could be done by train…if there was a political will to spend on infrastructure. And don't give me any of that "But the Acela doesn't even work!" crap: It doesn't work well because not enough money has been pumped into the infrastructure. There should be high-speed trains covering the Washington-NYC-Boston axis (no, the Acela doesn't count), as well as San Diego-LA-San Francisco-Portland-Seattle, or various routes around Chicago. It's completely useless to spend hours worrying about small ways to improve your "carbon footprint" when public transportation—which can have a major impact, much greater than recycling your office xerox paper—is so woefully neglected.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Like Basil Twist's Dogugaeshu, Josef Nadj and Miquel Barceló's Paso Doble (at St. Ann's Warehouse this weekend) tends to be filed under Dance. Both pieces, however don't resemble anything usually associated with dance. There are no humans on stage in Dogugaeshu, and the two men in Paso Doble spend the entire time sculpting clay. In both cases, the set becomes the show, and vice versa. In Paso Doble, the concept is taken to its logical conclusion as art literally ends up eating up/absorbing its makers. A brilliant conceptual move there.

In contrast, the much-publicized King Lear at BAM was completely lacking in the concept department. I enjoyed much of the acting, and Ian McKellen hit all the grace notes, especially in the second half, but Trevor Nunn's staging was stunning in its dullness—with special mention going to his use of music, which was full-on cheese. The storm scene was particularly underwhelming, with a light mist gently falling the center of the stage. On the plus side, the place seemed to be packed with a lot of Harvey Theater newbies; I can only hope they will be return customers and try out some of the more daring offering BAM has lined up in the Next Wave.

My favorite "traditional" Lear remains Ingmar Bergman's version, seen in Paris in the mid-1980s, with Akira Kurosawa's Japan-set Ran (with three sons instead of three daughters) topping the film adaptations. When it comes to Euro-directors dynamiting a classic, Jan Lauwers' Lear, culminating in an apocalyptic, deafening finale, and seen at BAM at few years ago, is hard to top. That show actually got the most hostile reception of anything I've ever seen at BAM—two thirds of the audience were gone by the end, with many patrons expressing their rage by departing very noisily. I can't say I have any idea of what was going on much of the time, but I loved the overall chaos—precisely choreographed and sound-designed, of course. Much to its credit, BAM invited Lauwers back and he returned with the amazing Isabella's Room, which replaced shock value with intelligent emotion and made lifelong converts out of those lucky enough to see it.

Something's missing

I'd been meaning to check out Corey Dargel for a while and finally did this weekend when I saw his song cycle Removable Parts at HERE. Sadly I was a little underwhelmed: I felt the songs were hard to tell apart from each other, and that too often the show's theme, Body Integrity Disorder (a syndrome in which the afflicted searches for voluntary amputation), was a skin-deep (ahem) pretext for groan-inducing word play. I did very much enjoy the musical and dramatic interaction between Dargel, who sang, and the always-game, will-try-anything pianist Kathleen Supové.

At the very end, Dargel asked her if what she played depended on her mood. She answered by singing the first few lines of the Chapi Chapo theme (a recording then played over the curtain call). This was completely unexpected and completely delightful, as that theme is a longtime favorite by one of the most cultish film and TV composers ever, François de Roubaix.

De Roubaix's career spanned just ten years—he died in a scuba-diving accident in 1975, at age 36—but it was extraordinarily fertile. In the 1960s, he was among the first to incorporate synthesizers into his scores, and he displayed a constant melodic streak, which worked wonders for the many noir scores he wrote, but also for about 150 commercials and children's shows such as Pépin la Bulle (1969) and the aforementioned Chapi Chapo (1974). You can watch a full episode of Chapi Chapo here; De Roubaix's music throughout is a neverending pleasure.

MP3 François de Roubaix "Chapi Chapo" (from La Télé des Tout P'tits)
MP3 François de Roubaix "Pépin la Bulle" (from La Télé des Tout P'tits)
MP3 François de Roubaix "Xavier à la maison d'arrêt (Main Theme)" (La Scoumoune soundtrack, 1972)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chewing the scenery

For some reason it bugs me a bit when audiences applaud the sets on Broadway. On the one hand we cheer the cast at the end, so why not give the set designer some love as well? On the other hand, it's a chandelier, people! The worst is when overstuffed, super-realistic apartments pop up in Roundabout or Lincoln Center Theater productions. Interrupting the flow of a show to applaud them is pushing interior-design envy a little too far…

But if there's one show where the sets deserve applause, it's Basil Twist's Dogugaeshi at Japan Society. In fact, they literally provide the action in the wordless piece. A puppet pokes its head up from time to time, but otherwise the show consists of series of painted backdrops moving back and forth to create an illusion of depth, plus occasional projections (I often was reminded of that falling feeling in Hitchcock's Vertigo).

I'm far from being an unconditional Twist fan: I thought La Bella Dormante nel Bosco a couple of years ago at Lincoln Center Festival was a precious snooze, and I tend to prefer when he contributes to a preexisting production, like Paula Vogel's Long Christmas Ride Home in 2004, or even Theater Couture's Carrie and Mabou Mines' Red Beads.

But Dogugaeshi, I'm happy to report, is a genuine trip—in both the literal and figurative senses. Twist respectfully uses an arcane Japanese tradition, but he also updates it by incorporating very clever electronicky sound design along with Yumiko Tanaka on the shamisen. The scene in which the scenery decays under our eyes is spellbinding, for instance, and the balance between projections and moving backdrops in the city scene is perfect. In fact, it's the ever-shifting relationship between high- and low-tech, past and present, figurative and abstract, that makes Dogugaeshi so appealing.

Hurry if you want to go: The Japan Society's performing space had been reconfigured to fit the piece's stage and it only seats 70 people at a time.

On a sorta related note, Steve Smith's come up with an excellent review of Wednesday's Chthonic show at BB King's, and so I invite you to pay a visit to Night After Night posthaste.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Swedish enigma

Of course Sally Shapiro is not the only Swedish enigma preoccupying me (others: why is Swedish pop music so consistently amazing? What's with herring for breakfast?) but it's the one that holding my interest right this minute. The official line is that there's no Sally Shapiro: The woman singing on the album Disco Romance is anonymous and all the tunes and sounds come from songwriter-producer Johan Agebjörn. The singer is so mysterious, in fact, that supposedly she records on her own and nobody's actually seen her behind the mike. Agebjörn said to Svenska Dagbladet: "I still haven't heard her perform one single song from the album live. I was outside mowing the lawn when we recorded the vocals." (Many, many thanks to Pr. Hans Huss for the translation.) There's few things I enjoy as much as a highly elaborate art prank.

Disco Romance is about to get a US release with three extra tracks, including the exquisite "He Keeps Me Alive," which sounds poppy and romantic and joyful until you start paying attention to the lyrics. What's fascinating about the song is the way it sugarcoats abject need—"Sally" is desperately in love with a boy but they're just friends; still, she's happy anyway because his mere existence keeps her alive.

"He Keeps Me Alive" could be the theme song to a remake of Back Street, Fannie Hurst's tearjerker about a woman who sacrifices her personal life because she's in love with a married man. According to imdb, the tag line to the 1932 movie version was: "Waiting—always waiting—in the shadows of the back streets…longing for the man she loves…asking nothing, receiving nothing—yet content to sacrifice all for him. WHY?"

And, of course, there's a Vocoder.

MP3 Sally Shapiro "He Keeps Me Alive" (from Disco Romance, 2007)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

England in particular

The historian in me is getting a workout these days: A new retro-minded piece is posted at eMusic. It was really fun revisiting the explosion of unabashed Englishness known as él Records—a label I followed so slavishly that I'd buy everything and anything they released. (Similar past label obsessions have included early 4AD, Disques du Crépuscule and, ahem, cassette-era K.)

Because I was trying not to go completely overboard with the references embedded in the él aesthetics, I did not mention one of my personal favorites: Stephen Tennant, a "professional beauty" who turned his life into an existential masterwork, and was so fascinating that he was the subject of a big fat biography in 1991 despite never having achieved anything resembling a traditional goal. As John Waters put it in a review of that book, "Cecil Beaton was one of the first to encourage Tennant's eccentric vocation of doing nothing in life—but doing it with great originality and flamboyance." The link with él? Eagle-eyed observers will have noticed that the cover of the 1987 compilation London Pavilion Vol. 2 was a direct tribute to Beaton's 1927 photograph of Tennant as Prince Charming.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


As we all know, David Sedaris' prose is opaque. What do we learn about liberal America's favorite humorist by reading him…other than pretty much everything? A book like Kevin Kopelson's new Sedaris feels rather redundant not only because it relies on frequent and long excerpts ("I'll use both extensive quotation and paraphrase—something, I confess, my own students aren't allowed") but because it does not provide much analysis; rather than looking at what Sedaris means in the context of contemporary America, it looks at what the humorist tells us about himself. As if we didn't get enough of that from an author who can crank out a 3,000-page New Yorker essay about changing a lightbulb.

Kopelson, who teaches English at the University of Iowa, acknowledges on the first page of his hagiography that his subject may not be all that innovative: "Not that Sedaris is the only satirist to deprecate himself. The British poets John Donne (1572–1631) and Alexander Pope (1688–1744), for example, acknowledge their own failings along with those of primary targets." Donne and Pope? I'd have picked Phyllis Diller and early Woody Allen, but never mind.

It gets worse on the second page, which indicates that Kopelson may well have misread his subject's entire oeuvre: He posits that Sedaris is not a "cynical" satirist but a "sanguine" one, and that "the sanguine satirist likes people." Actually, David Sedaris only likes himself, while pretending to mock his own shortcomings. He looks down on everybody, especially his own family. But Kopelson's underlying point, one never confessed, is that Sedaris grants others license to indulge in constant navel-gazing and self-congratulatory onanism.

Sedaris is what happens when egos collide. Kopelson comes across as a typical superfan whose devotion ultimately is a way to express self-obsession. The book is "autobiographical in that I'm now dealing with my mother in print," he admits in one of his many howlers. Elsewhere, he explains that for Sedaris he modestly toned down his usual approach "It's time, that is, to renounce a certain style—a certain selfish virtuosity."

As one of the Heathers put it: "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sing out, Louises!

I cannot sing (it's a birth defect I'd rather not talk about) but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying listening to others do karaoke. Go to the TONY blog for an account of our wild night at SpotLight Live.

Look back in wonder, part 1

Being on the anal-retentive side has its benefits. One of them is that since 1989 I've been keeping records of every performance I've attended. At first I wrote down only rock shows, then I added theater, dance and opera, along with films and videos for good measure. "You might as well use this stuff" said the Sheila, looking at my old notebooks. And so here it is: the first installment of an occasional series in which I will look back at something I saw on the same date x number of years ago. I hope this won't be mere nostalgia but a look back at a thin slice of time, often in a now-gone venue, with a now-gone band.

Ten years ago exactly, I saw Joan of Arc and Danielson at Brownies; on September 4, 1998, it was a triple bill of Magnetic Fields, My Favorite and Kiki & Herb at the Knitting Factory, while in 2001 it was Urinetown on Broadway. But it's September 4, 1996, that kicked the most ass.

Thread Waxing Space, a performance/art gallery space that used to be on Broadway and Broome, felt like a furnace that night. There was no air conditioning and a small fan only churned the fetid air around. I vividly remember stepping in the main room and feeling as if I'd just hit a wall of heat; many people just fled. I was there for the High Llamas (who may even have been making their eagerly awaited New York debut), but I don't remember much from their set because they had the misfortune to play after Prolapse, whose show that night was one of the best I've ever seen—we're talking all-time top ten here.

Prolapse was a band from Leicester whose existence almost neatly coincides with the 1990s. (Typically for a band with such a surreal sense of humor, someone—either a former member or a dedicated fan—has set up a Prolapse MySpace page that announces a reunion for 2073.) Musically it mixed the locomotive drive of krautrock mixed with quasi-psychotic unpredictability and a My Bloody Valentine–like wall of sound, but the group's most distinctive trait was the volatile, highly theatrical interaction between its two singers, Mick Derrick (he of the impenetrable Scottish accent) and Linda Steelyard; together, they turned Prolapse gigs into Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf performed by Mark E. Smith and Rita Tushingham. The best recorded evidence of their unique rapport remains "Tina This Is Matthew Stone," which explodes/devolves into a barrage of insults.

They were so incandescent that night that I returned to see them two days later, opening for the just-reformed Raincoats. The Raincoats were absolutely fine, but once again Prolapse walked away with the show. YouTube has a small but decent selection of Prolapse videos, with some choice live performances like this one from 1995; even though it's shot from afar, you can still tell the band produces thermonuclear energy.

Here's a small selection of songs covering the span of Prolapse's career:
"Tina This Is Matthew Stone" (from Pointless Walks to Dismal Places, 1994)
"Flex" ((from backsaturday, 1995)
"TCR" (from the US version of backsaturday, 1996)
"A Day at Death Seaside" (from The Italian Flag, 1997)
"" (from Ghosts from Dead Aeroplanes, 1999)