Daevid Allen's University of Errors / University of Errors


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You've got to love Daevid Allen. He might be in his '60s, but he's never lost or diluted his hippie sensibilities -- instead he's just updated them musically as the years have passed.

Playing with University of Errors (including former Pere Ubu keyboard player Tony Maimone), he has a harder sound than in the past (especially on tracks like "Skulls Of Our Enemies," which lives up to its hard name). And, overall, Ugly Music for Monica is a deeper meditation than much of his previous work -- "Rich Men Eat My Voice" offers a caustic snub of the Rupert Murdoch's of this world, while "If You Die" is a speculation on what happens after. But there's still room for the old whimsical Allen. He brings out his old "Pot Head Pixies" theme song and dresses it up in new clothes for "PHP 2032," then dusts off Kevin Ayers' "Clarence In Wonderland" (a song that needs to be paraded around every few years). If you love the "Daevid Allen" of yore, this tougher edge might not sit easily. But if you appreciate someone who can remain curious and vital as he gets older, this is definitely for you.

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