“Why have we never put a band together to play Bowie songs?” a mystified Chris Connelly asked his friend and collaborator Matt Walker. “I don’t know… I’ve thought about it so many times”, came the equally mystified reply.
…And that is exactly what they did: a unique opportunity arose to organize a benefit show for the Pablove Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research and to the empowerment of the families of young cancer patients.
Messrs. Connelly & Walker are both 30+ year veterans of the music business. Amongst their many other projects, Chris was a member of both the Revolting Cocks and Ministry, while Matt was a member of Filter, Smashing Pumpkins and Morrissey’s band. After assembling an impressive band of musicians to join their cause, songs were selected with care and integrity from the amazingly eclectic and extensive canon of David Bowie. The band has worked them, making them their own, perhaps in the same way Bowie would have-embracing the icon’s lifelong thirst for experimentation, collaboration, and above all, change.
This performance is set to take place at Metro in Chicago on the 12th of January 2013, the week of Bowie’s 66th year on Earth. The band will be augmented by their close friend and peer, Garbage’s Shirley Manson, bringing her own breathtaking skills and aesthetic to some of the greatest songs ever written.
SONS OF THE SILENT AGE are:
CHRIS CONNELLY – vocals
MATT WALKER – drums
SHIRLEY MANSON – vocals
ROBERT BYRNE – guitar
RICH PARENTI – vocals, percussion, sax
CLAIRE MASSEY – vocals, percussion
CAROLYN ENGELMANN – keyboards, vocals
ALAN BERLIANT – bass
STEVE GERLACH – guitar
Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot–two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nationâ€”sit down with living legends from Chicago’s musical movements of the 1980s including Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Santiago Durango (Naked Raygun, Big Black) and “Godfather of House” DJ Frankie Knuckles to explore the music and politics of the decade.
This event was co-produced by Chicago Public Media (WBEZ-Chicago) and is presented in conjunction with the MCA exhibition This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s. Based in Chicago, Sound Opinions is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, who for over a decade were dedicated competitors at Chicago’s two daily newspapers–Jim at the Chicago Sun-Times and Greg at the Chicago Tribune. Today, Jim writes about music for WBEZ.org and teaches criticism at Columbia College. Every week, Sound Opinions fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from indie rock to classic rock, hip hop to R&B, and every genre under the sun.
Recorded Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at the MCA Theatre.
Pictures from the MCA event (by Jerry Schulman)
Audio from MCA
Chris was interviewed by Steve Edwards on WBEZ’s “Afternoon Shift” in Chicago.
Listen to the interview online
If you haven’t bought “Artificial Madness” yet, what are you waiting for? Your fellow CC fans are giving the album five stars. Buy it at Amazon.com or iTunes. In the meanwhile, download “Compatibility” from Epitonic for free!
And if you’re in Chicago on Tuesday, February 21, get tickets to see Chris perform tracks from “Artificial Madness” live — he’s opening for Zola Jesus at Lincoln Hall!
The next giveaway kicks off on Valentine’s Day, so be sure to follow Chris on Facebook or Twitter!
The music press and Connelly fans alike are loving Artificial Madness! Check out these album reviews — and if you’ve posted a review anywhere, let us know in the comments!
If you haven’t picked up Artificial Madness yet and want a chance to win a copy, join Chris on the social web — like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter! Once Chris gets to 3,000 Facebook likes and 1,000 Twitter followers, we’ll be randomly awarding fans and followers copies of the new album or Chris’s first work of fiction, Ed Royal. Tell your friends and let’s get those numbers up!
News via Glide Magazine:
This fall, Meshell Ndegeocello will return with her latest record Weather, out November 8th on NaÃ¯ve in the U.S…. The album also features all-star collaborations with the likes of Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Benji Hughes, and Joe Henry.
Chris has just finished recording his next album, provisionally titled Artificial Madness. Here’s what Chris had to say about the mood of this upcoming release:
[This] record is the best since “Shipwreck”–a LOT harder, even acknowledging Ministry in certain ways, many tracks very fast & very loud, a few slow, darker moments… the band is a four-piece, traditional guitar-bass-drums lineup of some of the best musicians I have ever worked with:
Noah Leger on drums (from Tight Phantomz, Head of Skulls)
Dallas Thomas on guitar (Swan King, High Confessions)
Will Lindsay on bass (Nachmystium)
It’s produced by Sanford Parker (High Confessions, Minsk, Nachmystium).
While you’re waiting to hear what this endeavor sounds like, here are the song titles:
- Artificial madness
- A career in falsehood
- Classically wounded
- Cold blood in present company
- British drug lords
- Imperfect star
- Modern swine
- The paraffin hearts
- The subjects
- The goner
- Wait for amateur
Chris recently participated in the WaxTrax! Auction and Show Fundraiser. Rather than playing a few tunes, he treated the audience to a few readings from his autobiography, Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried: My Life As a Revolting Cock (because what would be more appropriate?).
Listen to Chris read selections from “Concrete”
Haven’t read “Concrete” yet? Buy it! (Seriously, you’ll love it.)
Chris will be reuniting with Luc Van Acker and Paul Barker to perform as the Revolting Cocks at this special two-night event! Tickets go on sale Saturday, February 19 at noon via the Metro Box Office or online at www.metrochicago.com.
WAX TRAX! RECORDS RETROSPECTACLE COMES TO METRO APRIL 15 & 16, 2011
In honor of the 33 1/3 year anniversary of Wax Trax! Records and the legacy of its creators Jim Nash & Dannie Flesher, The Nash family is producing a 2 night multimedia concert event that will celebrate the legendary Chicago record label and store on April 15th & 16th. The event will feature friends & artists of the Wax Trax! label and store including Front 242, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Luc Van Acker, Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, En Esch, Guenter Schultz, Raymond Watts, Rights of The Accused and more. In addition to the live performances, there will be special guests as well as an all star cast of Chicago DJ and VJâ€™s to commemorate the label and store. More information.
The Bicycle Music Company issued the following press release on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. The news was picked up and published by Billboard.biz as well.
Los Angeles, CA â€“ October 20, 2010â€“ The Bicycle Music Company and its affiliate the AF Circle C Fund are proud to announce that they have acquired a significant interest in the catalog of singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, and industrial music pioneer Chris Connelly. As part of the comprehensive agreement, Bicycle will also publish Connellyâ€™s future works.
Chris Connelly started his musical career in his native Scotland in 1980 with his first band The Fini Tribe. In 1988 he moved to the U.S. to become a full-time member of The Revolting Cocks and Ministry, fronting the former and contributing songwriting to both ground-breaking industrial bands. He quickly started collaborating with other artists such as Killing Joke, Jah Wobble, KMFDM, Cabaret Voltaire, and Shirley Manson, among many others. He has also been front-man for numerous industrial super-groups including Pigface, Murder Inc. and The Damage Manual. At the same time, Connelly has enjoyed a long solo career with his work often compared to David Bowie and the latter works of Scott Walker. Since his 1991 solo debut release â€œWhiplash Boychild,â€ Connelly has released 12 solo albums and continues to be a prolific songwriter. Recently, Connelly authored two books: Concrete Bulletproof Invisible and Fried: My Life as a Revolting Cock, the tell-all memoir of his days in Ministry and The Revolting Cocks, and this year he published his first novel, Ed Royal.
â€œIt is a pleasure for us to be working with Chris Connelly and his diverse catalog of songs. From his early work with Ministry, The Revolting Cocks, and others at the vanguard of industrial musicâ€™s crossover to the mainstream, to his most recent acoustic and experimental solo record â€˜How This Ends,â€™ Chrisâ€™ music is storied, impactful, and always on the cutting edgeâ€ said Bicycle President and Chief Investment Officer Roger Miller. â€œI look forward to the new opportunities we will create together through our partnership.â€
On his new relationship with Bicycle Connelly says, â€œI am more than thrilled to be associated with Bicycle and its roster of great writers and song catalogs. It is a real pleasure working with such knowledgeable people who believe in what I do and have such vision for the future of my works.â€
Check out the full press release (PDF).