Yeah, whenever I hear that song I just think about Don Joyce and get sad. RIP Don.
It’s pretty sad that in a period of like 1.5 years, Ian Allen, Don Joyce, Richard Lyons all died. Over the past couple of years The Weatherman also had a couple of health scares but he seems to be doing well these days.
Negativland is still going strong, though. Two album releases in the past couple of years, and a tour in the works. (I was originally supposed to see them on tour in March of 2020, but … well you know how that turned out…)
Wow I didn’t realize Richard Lyons passed. I used to enjoy his character Dick Goodbody. Mark Hosler will probably go on forever, Wobbley too.
I pre-ordered a negatived album awhile back and it came with a baggie of ashes of Don Joyce… I was expecting a audio loop cart as one of the perks and I really wanted one of those for my collection of dead media.
Imagine my surprise when I ended up adding a bit of Mr Joyce to that collection.
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Finally after 18 months I got to see Negativland perform in Seattle. It was a small show at a venue with a < 100 person capacity. I’d guess about 80
people were there. Mask compliance was surprisingly high, and vaccine cards were checked at the door. I got there early to get a spot right at the stage.
The touring group is Mark Hosler, Wobbly (Jon Leidecker), and visual artist SUE-C. The Weatherman appeared from his nearby Seattle home over FaceTime during the encore to do his Weatherman thing.
Opener Blevin Blectum performed for about 30 minutes, then Negativland went for about 90 minutes. It was a tight, well put together, visually spectacular show all around. There was a dizzying array of kit that Mark, Jon, and SUE-C were working with through the show to create an experience.
Despite being a decades long fan and owning many of the releases I found myself being unfamiliar with most of the material beyond recognizing samples and motifs at times. After the show I briefly talked to Mark and asked if he had any sort of setlist for the show. He laughed at me! “Setlist? Ha!” He then explained that for this tour they basically know how they will start and end, will do Escape from Noise somewhere in the middle, and everything else is completely improvised including most of the visuals. I guess that’s what you get when you have a decades of combined experience putting on a show like this.
Here’s a few pictures I took:
ETA: The entire show is on YouTube (Negativland starts at 48:00 if you want to jump ahead):
ETA2: Here’s an article about the show from our local alternative newspaper. You can see the back of my head in one of the shots :
One day last month, while washing dishes, I queued up the ABCs of Anarchism on Spotify, but stopped playing after the first track, intending to pick it the next night. The afternoon of the next day, I had a friend stop by for a play date. As we were about to start, they asked if I could put on some music. I hit my Spotify playlist entitled “Lascivious” on random, it started playing a track from that, and we also started playing. The first Lascivious song ended, so of course my previously queued songs started playing. Being occupied with other things, I didn’t pay too much attention, but I do recall hearing a brief bit of Smelly Water and wondering when I’d put it on this particular playlist and why, but then I got distracted and didn’t think about it again.
Then that song ended, and C Is for Stupid – ABCs Remix started up. We didn’t stop what we were doing, but we did laugh about it later. Oh well, at least I hadn’t been listening to Ask Pastor Dick.
The ABCs of Anarchism is a great EP and it turned me on to Chumbawamba.
I knew little about Chumbawamba other than as the group with, “that annoying song that plays at all the sportsball events”. I figured if Negativland was collaborating with them, they were worth a deeper look.
I’m very glad I did as Chumbawamba is really great.