Biology of the Blogger


Negativland Live – “Helter Stupid Tour” 1989

At the time this excellent board tape was made, multi-media collage/ performance art/ prankster legends Negativland had been around since the early ’80s, releasing several albums that served as warm-ups for their glory years of the late ’80s/early ’90s, when they ruled college radio, signed to the indie label everyone wanted to be on (SST Records), and generally moved from being mere (if brilliant) performers/recording artists to becoming a genuine cultural force, merry pranksters manipulating the gullible mass media, and daring to pull down the pants (so to speak) of some of the biggest figures in the music industry.  They paid for their hijinks big-time, but ultimately came out the other end bloodied but unbowed. Lo these many years later, as seen in today’s post-internet media-overload environment of mashups, youtube, etc., they seem positively visionary. And this performance finds them at the top of their game. Even if you’re very familiar with Negativland’s “Escape From Noise”/”Helter Stupid”/”U2” era (as I would imagine many, if not most, Maniacs are) this is still a fresh experience, as they take elements from their album tracks and rework them into lovely new mutations.

Side 1:

1 – Christianity Is Stupid
2 – Helter Stupid
3 – Escape From Noise
4 – Time
5 – Another Perfect Cut
6 – Free TV Or Pay TV
7 – The Playboy Channel

Side 2:

1 – Playboy Channel 2
2 – Why Don’t They Blow Us Up?
3 – I’d Like A Piece Of Meat / Michael Jackson
4 – U2
5 – Car Bomb

From Music for Maniacs.
For more from Mr. Fab tune into this week’s Biology of the Blog!