David Thomas and the Two Pale Boys

With the Kidney Bros. Saturday, February 15, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Finless Brown, with Candiamore and Camo Grog Shop, 1765 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights 10 p.m. Saturday, February 15, $6 ($8 under 21), 216-321-5588.
David Thomas
David Thomas
It kind of stands to reason that someone like Lou Reed is still shadowed by his Velvet Underground stint, owing to the massive influence of that legendary band. At least Lou can console himself for the often unfair dismissal of his three decades of solo work with the residuals from the umpteen V.U. repackages.

David Thomas, on the other hand, ain't never getting paid. While the genius of the original mid-'70s Pere Ubu lineup is now nearly as influential as the Velvet Underground, it's weirder music, still too depressive, political, and noisy to be embraced by suburban indie rockers willing to shell out for pricey major label reissues.

And now, as Thomas pulls into town to dish out the dark 'n' stormy nightmare clank of his latest project, the show is drowned out by the buzz of a possible Rocket From the Tombs reunion. Rocket was yet another increasingly influential Cleveland band Thomas squealed in prior to his Ubu days, and the recent release of a collection of Rocket demos and such is a current college-radio fave. The reunion anticipation is squelched a bit by the fact that the band's true heart -- Peter Laughner -- died more than 25 years ago; still, it'd be neat if it happens.

But the chance to see a steadfastly anti-commercial artist like David Thomas, who has never stopped reinventing the industrial racket of his Cleveland upbringing into artsy (and often funny) postmodern folk music, is the real reason to make it to the show.

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