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Band: Beirut Slump

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Beirut Slump

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Band: Beirut Slump

Postby SecondEdition on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:01 am

This was a short-lived Lydia Lunch no wave side project while she was in Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. And man, for my money it beats Teenage Jesus any day. (I admit that for me, this has something, but not everything to do with the fact that Lunch isn't singing.) Lunch instead concentrates on her awesomely vicious, piercing and atonal guitar playing, and leaves the vocals to a guy named Bobby Swope, who sings in a deliberately inexpressive, blank, terrifying, moaning monotone roar that really does sound like a crazy guy looming out of an alley to scream about his messianic delusions. The rhythm section consisted of Lydia's fellow bandmate Jim Sclavunos on drums and Bobby's sister Liz on bass, and was rounded out by Vivienne Dick playing some of the creepiest organ you will ever hear in your life. I wish these guys had recorded an album with the huge, reverbed production on some of their material, because this is genuinely frightening music at times - it sounds like it almost anticipates Swans at times, but crossed with old decayed horror movie soundtracks... with a (really and truly) insane guy ranting over it.

What say you, those who have even heard of Beirut Slump? Crap? Not Crap?
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Clyde on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:26 pm

I still prefer TJ&TJ but Beirut Slump is some of the best stuff Lydia Lunch ever did.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Alex Ward on Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:37 pm

Absolutely not crap based on the stuff on the "Hysterie" comp alone - but for those of you with a dimeadozen account, this takes them several miles even further away from the remotest connection with crapness.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby enframed on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:56 pm

SecondEdition wrote:This was a short-lived Lydia Lunch no wave side project while she was in Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. And man, for my money it beats Teenage Jesus any day.


You're right.

Goddamn this brings back memories. I loved this stuff. Not crap.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Mark Hansen on Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:19 pm

Great project, although I think even more highly of 8-Eyed Spy, who I saw play once in a university hall in downtown Chicago.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Robert G on Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:47 pm

Alex Ward wrote:Absolutely not crap based on the stuff on the "Hysterie" comp alone - but for those of you with a dimeadozen account, this takes them several miles even further away from the remotest connection with crapness.


Can't see what it is without being logged in. What is it and is it something you can post in the Sendspace thread?
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Alex Ward on Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:55 am

Robert G wrote:
Alex Ward wrote:Absolutely not crap based on the stuff on the "Hysterie" comp alone - but for those of you with a dimeadozen account, this takes them several miles even further away from the remotest connection with crapness.


Can't see what it is without being logged in. What is it and is it something you can post in the Sendspace thread?


It's a recording of their first gig (when they were still called Belfast Ghetto). Versions of "See Pretty", "Try Me", "Sidewalk" and "Staircase" plus two great otherwise unreleased tracks. The uploader makes a big point of not having any of his stuff disseminated in lossy/mp3 formats, so I can't really do the Sendspace thing, I'm afraid. If you are able to log in to Dimeadozen, the same guy has posted a ton of great late 70s NYC stuff, including a 1979 8-Eyed Spy set, about a dozen Teenage Jesus shows, etc.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:24 pm

I was totally smitten by the "Try Me" single when I stumbled upon a cheap, used copy in the early '90s. I'm not sure that I like Beirut Slump more than Teenage Jesus, but it's certainly a lot moodier and more plodding. Sounds sorta sick and campy and wrong, in the best way possible.

You can hear an EP's worth of studio material plus assorted live stuff on Lydia Lunch's Hysterie compilation album, as well as on a CD called Shut Up and Bleed, which contains most of both Teenage Jesus and Beirut Slump's catalog. Unfortunately, a lot of it has been remixed by JG Thirlwell w/all these really dated-sounding '80s delays, reverbs, and noise gates that sap some of the impact. Although Shut Up and Bleed might strip away some of that tomfoolery, I can't remember. At any rate, I'd love to hear the raw recordings produced by Charles Ball w/loud, clear, '70s fidelity and no "tricks."

Alex Ward wrote:It's a recording of their first gig (when they were still called Belfast Ghetto). Versions of "See Pretty", "Try Me", "Sidewalk" and "Staircase" plus two great otherwise unreleased tracks. The uploader makes a big point of not having any of his stuff disseminated in lossy/mp3 formats, so I can't really do the Sendspace thing, I'm afraid. If you are able to log in to Dimeadozen, the same guy has posted a ton of great late 70s NYC stuff, including a 1979 8-Eyed Spy set, about a dozen Teenage Jesus shows, etc.


Jesus, I'm not able to log onto Dimeadozen but I bet I would enjoy this immensely.

SecondEdition wrote:a guy named Bobby Swope, who sings in a deliberately inexpressive, blank, terrifying, moaning monotone roar that really does sound like a crazy guy looming out of an alley to scream about his messianic delusions... with a (really and truly) insane guy ranting over it.


Personally, I think he sounds like an addled interior decorator who wants to stab you to death w/a comb.

Great, weird little band that you probably won't be seeing on the All Tomorrow's Parties reunion circuit anytime soon. Not crap.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby SecondEdition on Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:53 pm

OrthodoxEaster wrote:I was totally smitten by the "Try Me" single when I stumbled upon a cheap, used copy in the early '90s. I'm not sure that I like Beirut Slump more than Teenage Jesus, but it's certainly a lot moodier and more plodding. Sounds sorta sick and campy and wrong, in the best way possible.


I didn't mention the camp element before, but it's definitely there, and it only makes the music even more bizarre when added to the rest of what they've got going on. I wouldn't say it's more plodding - it would be really hard to plod more than Teenage Jesus did - but certainly, a lot moodier; which plays to my personal biases, of course.

You can hear an EP's worth of studio material plus assorted live stuff on Lydia Lunch's Hysterie compilation album, as well as on a CD called Shut Up and Bleed, which contains most of both Teenage Jesus and Beirut Slump's catalog. Unfortunately, a lot of it has been remixed by JG Thirlwell w/all these really dated-sounding '80s delays, reverbs, and noise gates that sap some of the impact. Although Shut Up and Bleed might strip away some of that tomfoolery, I can't remember. At any rate, I'd love to hear the raw recordings produced by Charles Ball w/loud, clear, '70s fidelity and no "tricks."


I have the Shut Up and Bleed material, though I didn't know there was more material than that. Some of it does have the reverb on it, which I personally don't mind all that much because I have a weakness for reverb and it makes them sound more bass-heavy to my ears (always a good thing) - my only problem with those remixes is that Thirlwell mixed Lunch's guitar too low. It's sometimes relegated to the background when it should be competing with Vivienne Dick's organ.

SecondEdition wrote:a guy named Bobby Swope, who sings in a deliberately inexpressive, blank, terrifying, moaning monotone roar that really does sound like a crazy guy looming out of an alley to scream about his messianic delusions... with a (really and truly) insane guy ranting over it.


Personally, I think he sounds like an addled interior decorator who wants to stab you to death w/a comb.


Fair enough.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:15 pm

SecondEdition wrote:I have the Shut Up and Bleed material, though I didn't know there was more material than that. Some of it does have the reverb on it...


Nope, you've got it all. Shut Up and Bleed contains the same Beirut Slump tracks as Hysterie. Some of the mixes might differ a bit, though.

I personally really like the dry sound of the original 7" vinyl, prior to all the "treatments" being added. I can't remember if Shut Up and Bleed replicates that mix or not...
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Bobby Swope on Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:38 pm

Glad to hear no crap vote. I also prefer the songs the way they were recorded live in the studio with no post production added. Charles Ball took credit for producing our single but Lydia always said it was really produced by Robert Quine. Contrary to what I have read on the web the song lyrics were NOT taken from bums but were written by me. Only on TRY ME did I lift a few phrases from a crazy person I overheard on the subway. It is little known that Beirut Slump rehearsed five nights a week for almost one year before we ever played live. There were only three live performances: a film benefit in the East Village, Max's, and The Mudd Club. My dream was to play CBGB's but alas it never happened. Beirut Slump did audition in front of Eno for the NO NEW YORK album but he HATED my singing.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby Bobby Swope on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:40 pm

Just posted the Beirut Slump song SEE PRETTY on Youtube. The video is an edited version of the 1970's super-8 movie made by me and my sister Liz (bassist for the Slump) which was called TOO LAZY TO LIVE.
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:46 pm

Bobby Swope wrote:Glad to hear no crap vote.


Good heavens, we've been visited by a living god! Or, at least, by someone whose obscure record I thought was cooler than cool when I was a teenager. Welcome, Bobby!

Bobby Swope wrote:Charles Ball took credit for producing our single but Lydia always said it was really produced by Robert Quine.


I love the way the original Slump, Mars, and Teenage Jesus stuff sounds. It's just very live, loud, and clear '70s-style production. No idea why Lydia wanted it remixed for re-release in the '80s. Thankfully, some of the original mixes have since been restored on more recent reissues of these records.

Bobby Swope wrote:Beirut Slump did audition in front of Eno for the NO NEW YORK album but he HATED my singing.


His problem, his loss, I'd say.

Bobby Swope wrote:Just posted the Beirut Slump song SEE PRETTY on Youtube. The video is an edited version of the 1970's super-8 movie made by me and my sister Liz (bassist for the Slump) which was called TOO LAZY TO LIVE.


Very cool. I've only heard about but have never actually seen this film. I recall watching some of Vivienne Dick's stuff at a no wave film retrospective at the old Printed Matter bookstore in SoHo circa early 1994. But not Too Lazy to Live. Will check this immediately.

By the way, are there any "lost" Slump recordings besides the handful of live and studio cuts on the single and on the various Lydia-helmed reissues? Inquiring minds want to know!
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby enframed on Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:26 pm

Just got Shut up and Bleed. Man, I really love the Beirut Slump stuff. The thing that works for me with BS so much more than TJ&J is the psychedelic quality, the swirling absurd insanity.

SecondEdition wrote:it sounds like it almost anticipates Swans at times


I'd say it anticipates Butthole Surfers more than Swans.

I missed Bobby Swope's post a year ago. Nice to hear from you. Thanks for posting.

OrthodoxEaster wrote:are there any "lost" Slump recordings besides the handful of live and studio cuts on the single and on the various Lydia-helmed reissues? Inquiring minds want to know!


Well?

Bobby Swope wrote:It is little known that Beirut Slump rehearsed five nights a week for almost one year before we ever played live. There were only three live performances: a film benefit in the East Village, Max's, and The Mudd Club. My dream was to play CBGB's but alas it never happened. Beirut Slump did audition in front of Eno for the NO NEW YORK album but he HATED my singing.


Funny about Eno, especially taking into account his vocals on his early solo releases.

Were any of those three performances recorded and if so are they/will they be made available?
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Re: Band: Beirut Slump

Postby milkmeat on Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:05 am

Bobby Swope wrote: Beirut Slump did audition in front of Eno for the NO NEW YORK album but he HATED my singing.


Eh, even Eno gets it wrong sometimes.
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