If you have yet to see Urgh! A Music War, you're in for a treat, as Texas Theatre has obtained a rare 35mm copy, and will be screening it on Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26, with live performances from Peopleodian, George Quartz and Marriage Material.
If you have seen it, you'll likely agree there's not another concert film like it. Filmed in 1981 in London and Los Angeles and released in 1982, it collects some of the era's best punk and New Wave bands into one seamless reel, including highlights like Echo & the Bunnymen, Klaus Nomi, Dead Kennedys, Gary Numan, Au Pairs, X and a performance of Pere Ubu's "Birdies" that forecasts the sound of modern "indie" acts like Dirty Projectors with eerie precision. Also, the crowd shots in the film are priceless.
Just check out The Cramps' incendiary performance below, then go ahead and wonder why we don't get showmanship like that anymore. Lux Interior was an unmanned fire hose of id. In fact, many of the performances are so over-the-top (Gary Numan) or gloriously on point (Gang of Four) that you will be sad at the state of live music after watching it.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.