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December 1998

The Tape-beatles at the Ossuary, Kutna Hora

The Tape-beatles at a bone church (ossuary) in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

We’re back. Public Works has returned from Prague, having convened there to work together on their newest audio project, Good Times. John Heck, a Prague resident, and his partner Lucie Coufalova, hosted Public Works members Lloyd Dunn (Iowa City), and Ralph Johnson (San Francisco). Ralph left after a couple of weeks to attend to other lifely duties, while Lloyd, ever the hanger-on, stayed for nearly seven weeks in a small apartment one floor down from John and Lucie, in a panelak structure in the Prosek area northeast of the city.

In addition to completing some of the final mixes of works, the lads have also returned with many musical sketches that they hope to resolve into either finished pieces in their own right, or transitional works to link the others together. This is how Public Works work, a unified piecemeal approach, delicately ham-fisted.

Prague performance. While there, Public Works spent many happy hours wandering the misty streets of this medieval (technically, very late medieval verging on renaissance) city. Ah, the coffee headaches, oh, the Bohemia-Sekt hangovers. Lloyd, on his November 10 birthday, attempted the Czech ‘tradition’ of shooting a champagne cork over the right shoulder of the statue of Jan Hus situated in Old Town Square, marking the spot where the purported heretic was burned alive. The ritual is performed ostensibly for ‘good luck.’ Being the natural athlete that he is, Lloyd managed only to strike the bronze reformist squarely in his expressively draped nether regions. All manner of bad luck was promised for this misdeed, fortunately not as yet to materialize (we are still waiting).

Public Works also found the time to present their work at Terminal Bar near the glorious historic center of Prague, where they showed a video tape of The Grand Delusion and Matter. Response to the works was sufficient to merit a second, unscheduled, screening later in the evening. A few nights later, the brothers-of-tape took in a night of contemporary ‘serious’ music at the Divadlo Archa.

November 1998 and Earlier

New Publication — Psrf no. 49 consists of 2 ambitious works by F.C. and L.D. The former provides the text IC, which has been rendered entirely in a Reformed Spelling for the English Language, devised by L.D. This could be seen as a starting point for a discussion toward a practical reform of English spelling for the next millennium. The text is lavishly illustrated with 27 full color plate illustrations by L.D., which is advertised as ‘a visual puzzle.’ As promised in the text, a ‘simultaneous transliteration’ has been posted to this site, as well as a discussion of some of the issues around reforming English spelling, and the techniques used in this case.

1999 Releases (Anticipated). Most visible will be the CD release of ‘Good Times,’ which will be available in a few months’ time. After that will come a 10-inch vinyl record of new or newly reworked material on the Elevator Bath label. Beyond that, who can say?

1998 Releases, of which there are three so far. The first two listed, Music with Sound Picture Disk and Plunderphonic All Stars are on VINYL LP and are unfortunately limited editions. We still have a few copies left of the picture disk, but they are going fast. (‘The Plunderphonic All Stars’ disc is sold-out, although Staalplaat may have a few left.) The third item is a remastered and resequenced re-release of the first major work by The Tape-beatles, for the first time ever on CD. Visit the links below to find out more.

Music with Sound on 12-inch Vinyl Picture Disk (LP on Staalplaat)

Plunderphonic All Stars live at the Volksbühne in Berlin (LP on Kleptones) Sorry, sold out.

A subtle buoyancy of pulse by The Tape-beatles; their 1988 work for the first time ever on CD, remastered by Public Works (CD on Staalplaat)

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