For twenty years, the Golden Palominos have been musical chameleons, continually changing line-ups and styles just as listeners start to think they have the band figured out: from downtown improv-noise ensemble, to alternative rock band, to dub and techno-flavored dance music generators. The only constant has been drummer Anton Fier, whose vision and interests have steered the group through two decades of music making.

The Golden Palominos were formed in the early 1980s, as a joint project, by drummer Anton Fier and noise-guitarist Arto Lindsay. Fier came from Cleveland where he had played with new wave cult band Pere Ubu. In 1978, he left Ohio for New York City. Once there he moved through various bands including a band he formed himself, the Feelies and the Pedestrians. At the end of the 1970s, with Lindsay and John Lurie, he co-founded the Lounge Lizards, a band that played an indescribable combination of noise, kitsch, and jazz. “Actually, when I first started playing with the Lounge Lizards, Arto and I wanted to call the band the Golden Palominos,” Fier told Down Beat’s Bill Milkowski. “We liked the name but Lurie didn’t.” Lindsay, Fier said, was the reason he joined the Lounge Lizards. So when Arto left the band, Fier did too and decided the next step was for the two of them to form a new band together, which they were able to name the Golden Palominos.

The group’s first incarnation was as a super group of the late-1970s New York downtown improv scene. Its participants included luminaries such as saxophonist John Zorn, guitarists Fred Frith and Nicky Skopelitis, and bassists Bill Laswell and Jamaaladeen Tacuma. The music the band made was a marvelous combination of incongruous styles. On the one hand, the music was improvised, free, uncontrolled even. Lindsay, the Palominos de facto frontman, played chunks of noise on his 12-string guitar which he deliberately refused to tune and squawked out truncated, nonsensical lyrics, while Zorn was as likely to accompany the band with bird calls as with his horn. On the other, when the band played it locked into a throbbing, unrelenting funk groove driven by Tacuma and Laswell’s basses and Fier’s unerring backbeat.

The group gave a series of critically well-received concerts in the New York City area in 1982, and in 1983 released a record, simply titled Golden Palominos, on Bill Laswell’s Celluloid label. The New York Times lavished praise on the album. Down Beat called it “a masterpiece…an enormously important and satisfying album” and gave it five stars, the magazine’s highest rating. However, Anton Fier was far less satisfied. Three years later he told Down Beat that he considered the record a failed experiment. “I don’t consider it a success either musically or conceptually,” he told Milkowski. “It was supposed to be more song-oriented, but the other people never really picked up on it. I wanted them to get more outside of themselves and their traditional roles of what they’d been doing, but it didn’t work out that way.”

Editado por henrjik em Abr 14 2009, 16h54

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