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WATER WARS AT TACHELES KUNSTHAUS BERLIN 2010

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Missing Foundation history: En Esch remembers

An early incarnation of Missing Foundation in Hamburg Germany included members that went on to achieve notoriety in the band KMFDM. Below we have another installment of MF recollections compiled by Vincent Dominion. This time En Esch remembers some of the early days...

Sascha (KMFDM), Marc Chung (Einstuerzende Neubaten), and Pete Missing - Hamburg c. 1984Sascha (KMFDM), Marc Chung (Einstuerzende Neubaten), and Pete Missing - Hamburg c. 1984

[Pete Missing- far right- in Hamburg circa 1984 with members of Neubauten and KMFDM]

I was a member of Missing Foundation in late 1984 in Hamburg, Germany. We did one gig and recording in a studio there. I am not sure what happened to the tapes. It was my first musical encounter with my ex-band mate Sascha K. He was playing bass and I was the drummer back then. I saw Peter on a few occasions back then; he used to live there for a while. The show was kind of wild, we rehearsed before but it was to a good extent freestyle. I had no crash or ride cymbals, just a pair of high hats. Pete demanded that........ That means I did a lot of tom-tom work.....tribal-esque... Florian from Hamburg was playing the saxophone and Uwe the guitar. Sascha was doing the bass and Pete was singing......."World in Chains!!!"....... The rest of the bunch I don't even remember. We had a few pillow cases we opened up and tons of goose feathers were flying around in the club.....it was a mess....pretty cool. The recordings were done in a proper 24-track studio and we recorded a full length album worth of material. At one point I did a metal percussion overdub and hit my thumb and lost my nail a few days later. VERY PAINFULL......!!!

So why did you split and how did KMFDM start?
Back then, Pete went back to the states and took the tapes with him....that was the end. It was a unique trip and everybody was fine with that I guess.... Sascha and I were hanging out anyway so we continued to hang and start to do stuff ourselves. In the early stage we just used a drum machine and I and Sascha's former girlfriend became our singer (Sabine Tamsadi, now living in Berlin, I am still in touch with her). You can hear her voice on the KMFDM 84-86 cassette I put together. I already had a background in electronics doing primitive programming with a Pro-One and a Roland TR-808 drum machine in Frankfurt working with the singer of "E=MC2" on a project before I moved to Hamburg. The drum machine was triggering the Pro-One and I had to push the keys while running to get the bass melody right. It was the pre-Midi times, hard to believe.......Later Sascha and I were hanging out with Raymond Watts, who had some electronic gear in Hamburg in a cool studio set up and we started to jam with him. Some of the material ended up on the first record "What Do You Know Deutschland".

I opened up for Missing Foundation in later years with a side project I had with Guenter Schulz in the late 80’s and early 90's called "Svetlana Ambrosius Quartet" which was a girls name we got out of a cheesy novel.

Missing Foundation history - Pete Missing interview

Below is the first in a series of interviews done with members of Missing Foundation done by Vincent Dominion, who put together a sort of oral history of MF through the words of people associated with the band. He kindly gave us permission to reprint some of these here on the blog. Missing Foundation has a storied history involving many characters, but why not start with the main character himself, Pete Missing! This interview must have been done around 2001 or 2002, right around the time Pete was in Berlin, and exhibiting his work at the Tacheles. Following this time, Pete came out of his self-imposed exile to return to the United States and ran a gallery out of a storefront in Madison, Wisconsin, if I remember correctly. It is here that we started communicating and planning for the 1933 reissue. Pete then returned to New York City for a time before splitting his time between Berlin and NYC again.

The interview is a bit short on details about Missing Foundation's history, but it's a good insight into communication with Pete. At bottom, he's a visual artist, and is most in his element with his paintings and his art, which are often strewn around him when he works. His writing is a bit like his painting; very busy, very extravagant and colorful, full of slogans and superimposed images. You can really tell how he'd be the mouthpiece of a band like Missing Foundation.

Can you describe your time with MF?
Manic psychotic creative destructive constructive [prophecy of the coming events we have now]

Are you still in contact with w/ex members?
Adam I just saw on tour in New York he has a kid and is working on a new band. Chris Egan is a photojournalist in Boston.

What did you think of the Spitters?
Heavy load but unlistenable, not grounded and still boring rock music in the end but stage shows were more power. The cd's are not a good representation of the Spitters sound. A well missed band. Mark dead in New York of cancer in 2000.

I heard about a show you did at the Knitting Factory w/John Zorn and Marc Ribot. Can you tell me about that performance? What do you think of those guys and was it recorded?
Well, John and I lived on the same block and he is a friend/collaborator of improvisational music. I was happy to throw my Berlin recordings of electronic sampling live with vocal overdub. John Zorn of course is a small genius and Marc Ribot is also great noiseician and guitar player. This may be recorded but I do not have a copy.

What music/writers/filmmakers are you into now?
Only electronics but I couldn't really pinpoint. I think.....Tricky, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Chemical Brothers.......I give everything a listen and there is a lot of drum & bass live instruments with electronic etc.... still coming up.

After MF why did you take off to Berlin?
Basically after the F.B.I. was at my house on a false tip and not finding anything I decided to go back to live in Berlin but this time I went into the former east and found an incredible place far from the anals of America. I was able to record and build massive installations. Check out the photos on the web site www.petermissing.de, humanityrecords.de, www.myspace.com/missingsevenhazard, www.myspace.com/missingfoundation. Berlin is my dream city but maybe someone else would get lost there. It has a big underground of active people, artistically and politically. Their energy changed my life my music and my interests.

Why did the F.B.I. raid your house?
The reason the F.B.I. were at my house is because they tried to say that I started the riot in 1988 (at Tompkins Square in NY) but in the end they realized they were dealing with an entire angry neighborhood, which fought gentrification, homelessness and homesteading rights on city owned abandoned property falling into deterioration. And at that time a government that was and is not working for the people. The F.B.I. investigation fell back on the 9th precinct police department which found no real criminal actions against MF.
Basically, they would have to arrest the entire lower eastside and so I moved to Berlin to squat and make new music and leave America behind in search of a better atmosphere.

Can you explain the differences between America and Europe? The lifestyle, the food, the politics and the general awareness of everyday life?
I would say Berlin and Europe as a whole is the complete opposite way of life. America is abrasive and abusive. People haven't learned not to hit each other over the head. Europe has more history and more information. We are making the same mistakes they made 700 years ago. The only difference is our big party is burning up the resources. Germany banned nuclear, dropped out of the war on Iraq and the green party is in power for 4 more years. Gay marriages are legal, men and women can go nude in the park, drugs are decriminalized, prostitution is legal, free medical, free dental and free education for everyone. 20 million dollars to the culture in Berlin, it’s illegal to go hungry and 67 is 76. America is pop culture, beer culture and full of decadence and violence. For sure the nature will revolt and the world is in a globalization.....global warning.....pharmaceutical nightmare......genetically engineered chicken......end of the food chain......cannot replant the seed......waterwars........MF.........future shock........bombs...war.

How would you describe your current musical/artistic direction?
The new “Nature Revolt” cd was released on Masspop records in New York 2002. This is my latest drum & bass message project with artist/musician Surreal Hazard. You can order it through my website. Me and Cyril were on European and American tours and the concerts were high energy gigs. In Berlin we connected with one MF drummer, Florian Langmaack from Hamburg and combined our sound. Florian is a set designer for movies but is still recording. Me and Florian recorded "Rotation" and "Low Denominator" with Binar Tobi, electro beat computer wiz from Berlin. Another electronic cd recorded in Berlin is "Cracked Ocean".

MF was so noisy and primal. It seems that most people who start out doing that kind of music end up on the drum and bass electronic side. What took you in that direction?
After living in former East Berlin for 7 years it becomes a part of you. Berlin is the electronic central for Europe and runs a wide range. Atari Teenage Riot is great digital hardcore but there are many more. Binar was a project I worked with on ambient electro noise with digital vocal scratching that sounds like machines. The door to the future is music technology. Music is medicine.

How would you describe your life today?
Still hectic and on the road, can't stay in one place for more than 6 months........I have to keep changing the scenario.........always searching for new possibilities to change the present course of the planet.

Anything else you want to add?
Only that America's big party is coming to an end and the world has just cause to hate our guts but every big industrial nation makes war games and oil games. When we switch to hydrogen power, solar power and wind energy then we may be able to slow down the destruction of the planet. We are in a global warning and a war with Iraq will open the gates of hell. It is all crashing but 50 years of light might be silently good and stop trusting your government. Open your eyes and understand what's wrong with pop beer culture, pill popping slow death, and genetically fried brain food. America the land that shits on it's own people with pesticides, chemicals in every waterway and no medical, no dental and no education for everyone. We end the food chain for our acceptance of it and we radiate radiation kill kill kill aggressive abusive America. Fuck all your SUV's as the environment goes up in smoke!

Modern graffiti

Pete Missing stencil from his first band "DRUNK DRIVING' 1980 N.Y.C.

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This was the first graffiti before Pete Missing flipped it upside down for MISSING FOUNDATION

This logo is the only graffiti that you will see tatooed on people across the world.

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Missing Foundation. To my mind, this is probably one of the first modern international street art icons, the upside down martini glass, "THE PARTY'S OVER." They were a part of the Lower East Side the same way squats and crack were, at the same time. Didn't even realize they were gone til I saw this.

Bands such as Black Flag and Crass (and their followers) widely stenciled their names and logos, while many punk night clubs, squats and hangouts are famous for their graffiti. In the late 1980s the upside down Martini glass that was the tag for industrial band Missing Foundation was the most ubiquitous graffito in lower Manhattan, and copied by hard core fans throughout the U.S. and West Germany. source

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Peter Missing in NYC

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Peter Missing in NYC

 

Peter Missing of the former East Village group Missing Foundation is back in the USA for a few days .Peter whose "the Party is Over" up-side-down wine glass image can still be found on the walls and sidewalks of the East village, is now living in Hamburg.
I ran into Peter today in Tompkins Square Park where he was sitting in the low sun of the afternoon before spring begin. He was painting paintings and trying to sell them on avenue A. He left New York last winter or early spring with the help of friends and went back to Germany where he had been living since leaving NYC a few years earlier.
Today, unlike when I saw him last, Peter had some money and a place to live: he has work as a set designer in Hamburg and a place to live along the banks of the Elbe that he can actually afford.
Peter is a New Yorker by birth having been born in the Bronx and still has family there .Like so many others Peter was forced out of this town because there was no place for him that he could afford. He could not earn enough here to pay the typical confiscatory rent but in Germany as a foriegner he has found a place to live that does not require that he work three jobs to pay the rent. The job that he has as a set designer pays well enough that he has time and money to live his life. Peter is also respected as an artist with some stature in the world, something that he could not find in his home town. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here for Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Doctoroff and Ms. Burden.
www.petermissing.de for more on Peter Missing. source

Artist once at the center still remains in the light.

By Lincoln Anderson

Villager photos by Clayton Patterson
Peter Missing smoking, showing the tattoo of his trademark symbol - seen here upside down - on his forearm.


It's around 2 a.m. on Saturday night, as he slips up quietly and props his painting against the wall outside Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A.

The man is a slight figure, wearing a trucker cap, smoking.

The painting is in industrial black marker on a piece of clear glass. It's central image - an upside-down martini glass.

The man pushes up his sleeve to show the same symbol tattooed in blue on his forearm, tapping its different parts while giving a rapid-fire description. "It's very powerful to turn a symbol upside down," he says; there are three 7's below the glass - "that's better than three 6's;" the zigzag squatters' bolt is on the bottom...

In the painting, the D.J. is one eyed - "because they only see half the story." A U.F.O. is landing above a wind machine - "a good energy source," he notes.

"I hung out with Basquiat, Warhol," he says in his sales pitch. "Then they got into drugs and all that. I don't even drink - I got an ulcer...

"I used to live next to Madonna on Fourth St.," he adds. "She didn't like my music. She said, 'What's that big loud noise?"

Thanks, the artist says, pocketing the $20. This should let him sit safely in a restaurant the rest of the night.

"Once the movie comes out, everyone will understand what I'm doing," he says, before disappearing into the night.

In the 1980s, Peter Missing was an influential figure in the East Village scene. His symbol, the upside-down glass, was graffitied everywhere around the neighborhood, by himself and his followers, and came to signify "anti-gentrification, anti-yuppie, anti-police." His bands Drunk Driving and Missing Foundation - known for their "metal jams" and Dionysian frenzy - embodied the militant spirit of the times. He, his upside-down glass and his band became icons of East Village anarchy. He was one of the organizers of the protest against the Tompkins Square Park curfew that led to the 1988 riot.

From 1993-2000, he was in Berlin doing industrial and electronic music, then spent a year and a half in Wisconsin, where his wife lives and where he had a gallery. Now 51, he's been back in Alphabet City for a year and a half and is set to release a new experimental album as part of Surreal Hazard, a two-man group, and a documentary on Missing Foundation. After that he plans to return to Germany. His plane ticket is on standby.

Missing says he doesn't give interviews. But he recently agreed to one with The Villager at Clayton Patterson's Outlaw Art Gallery on Essex St.

"People only know me for the logo - they don't know the music," he said, as he sat, legs crossed, speaking softly in the gallery. The symbol was written in white on the top of one of his black corduroy loafers. On top of the other was the generic truck mud-flap chick.

"I wanted to replace the peace symbol," he said.

There's lots of meaning in his symbol, he said, but the main one is "the party's over," as in, over for Western civilization.

In a nutshell, "It's finished," he said.

Wasting food, bigger cars, S.U.V.'s, Hummers. We&re using up all our resources, Missing says.

"Maybe it's a good idea if we get rid of it faster," he said. "We will have a big party till 2025," which is the last year in the Mayan calendar, he noted. There may be hope after then to enter the "Light Field," he said, but, "That's if we survive the nuclear holocaust…. Only the very few can survive; we go into 'Mad Max' or whatever."

In the meantime, he's supporting himself by selling his paintings on the street; he claims to have sold 3,000 on Avenue A alone. His canvases are scavenged from the garbage: a piece of wood, a window, a tile, an old LP record. "Everything is recycled," he notes.

"I've had major confrontations with the Police Department," he said. "They've thrown my artwork into the containers... The police say it's soliciting. I'm sorry - it's culture."

Although art vending is protected by the First Amendment, the police say he must use a regulation-size table and have a tax ID number. He doesn't agree with paying taxes, though, since he opposes the Iraq war.

"I don't buy cigarettes for that reason," he said.

Yappies can't hear

Missing said it's becoming harder to communicate with people.

"That's the new name, 'yappie,'" he said, "a yuppie that's on the cell phone all day. You can't ask them a question because then you're rude. There's no communication. iPod is also taking over.

"The Lower East Side in the 1980s, we had like 100 art galleries," he recalled. "Now we have like 100 bars and restaurants, which I think is extremely boring. When you had the galleries, there was wine and cheese flowing in the neighborhood. There was a lot more communication and there was community."

Another change is the gentrification that Missing and others felt they kept at bay a while through their rhetoric, protests and art.
"A lot of people are going out to Brooklyn, but I like it here," he said. "The only thing that's bad here is the rents. We hope that all the rents go back to the way it was. It was $170. Now it's $1,700. It was $200. Now it's $2,000. They put an 'O' on it. We need to take the zero off."

Missing is paying $160 a month for a place in Kreuzberg, Germany, he shares with a group of electronic musicians. But in the East Village, it’s too expensive for him to rent.

Places he hangs out at night are 7A and Odessa, though the only one that will let him paint inside is a restaurant at Ninth St. and Avenue C

He said he's also teaching art in the projects at Eighth St. and Avenue D.

"A lot of famous artists took from that area - Keith Haring, Basquiat. But they never gave back to the kids," he said. "I'll go back to those projects and into a courtyard and give a 14-year-old girl a painting for nothing - to keep them from breaking elevators or writing [graffiti] bubble letters or [doing] drugs."

Police have charged him with trespassing several times on the projects' grounds.

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Symbolic

And he's still doing his symbol, which he claims is the longest-running graffiti tag in the city.

Before Pete Missing came to the Lower East Side in 1980, he lived in the Bronx, where he grew up as a middle child of five siblings. He's Italian. His father was a postal worker who delivered to the Empire State Building.

Missing went to Stockton State College in New Jersey - "because it was cheap," he said - getting his degree in art and psychology. As for why he took psych., he said, "I hear voices - but more because I wanted to learn more about myself."

In the 1980s Missing was known more for his music. Missing Foundation, along with the Butthole Surfers and Germany's Einsturzende Neubauten, were the first industrial music bands, according to Missing. who destructured the music.

He got his last name and his band's name when he was in Hamburg in 1984; The Missing Foundation was the East German police unit that tried to track down those who fled to West Germany.

Performances would see Missing stalk the Tompkins Square bandshell stage, shouting through a megaphone, while 20 Puerto Rican kids with black Missing Foundation T-shirts stood like bodyguards and 20 others pounded on metal objects. Other times, they'd show up for a guerilla concert, playing by the Astor Pl. cube, while chopping up a trunk on fire with axes. Right before the police arrived, they'd vanish, leaving behind a pile of smoldering debris. Or they'd play in a small indoor space, turn out the lights and start pushing people. Their goal was to create panic.

Made Ginsberg howl

Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was a fan.

"He used to come to all my shows," Missing said. "He used to always give me his phone number - at least five times — and I'd throw it away. Once he gave me his phone number after we played at Tompkins Square Park and I threw it over my shoulder and he didn't talk to me for 10 years."

They were really an outdoor band - and tended not to play more than once indoors anyplace. What happened in 1987 at CBGB was an example why. They threw oil drums that were on fire into the crowd. The show was shut down and police cleared the club. CBGB owner Hilly Kristal has never forgiven Missing for it.

Sometimes Missing set himself on fire.

"I just pour it on and light it," he said, describing how he'd flame on. As for how he put himself out, he said, "That's not easy. You'll see it in the movie. They threw a coat over me."

In his more recent electronic music,the 2000 song “Don't Step on the Baby Tree," he rails against Giuliani, bars and cell phones, among other things.

Unlike his Missing Foundation days, though, today Missing says he's learned being violent isn't the solution. And he's more into painting now.

"I was more energetic in my 20s. It just kind of fits my age and speed," he said. "You couldn't really do painting on the Lower East Side in the '80s - it was too hectic."

In 1989, one of MoMA's collectors bought seven of his paintings - No Parking signs he'd spray-painted over - at a Westbeth group show for $100 each. Missing has no idea what happened to them. His work wasn't included in the recent "East Village USA" show either.

But enough of the '80s, Basquiat and banging on burning metal. Back to more pressing matters at hand.

"I haven't made a piece of art all day," Missing announced. "I gotta make a piece of art, sell it and then eat."

Prophet in real time.

"I don't think he's changed much," said Frank Morales, a leader of the squatter movement, who gave Missing his room in the Sixth St. squat in 1990. "He's still a prophet. I think his message and his vision, as dark as it is, I think it needs to be listened to - that it's all coming to naught. He was talking about water wars way back when.

"I think the basic answer is Pete's pretty much the same. But the neighborhood has changed so radically he sort of stands out," Morales said. "It's not like the old days, when there'd be crash pads and community kitchens in some of the squats. He's sort of isolated. I wish there was a place for him. He's come back to a hyper-gentrified neighborhood, and it's hard to fit in."

Morales compared Missing to another artist, Jorge Brandon, who was known as "El Coco Que Habla," a poet who was such a packrat his apartments invariably became inhabitable.

"But could he sling the lingo. The man was a genius," Morales recalled. "They were different, but similar in that you didn't have to be normal. The community supported its artists."

Like Morales, photographer and gallery owner Clayton Patterson feels artists like Missing are finding themselves increasingly out of place, whether it be because of soaring rents or the "yappie invasion."

"There's no place in New York where these people can exist anymore," Patterson said. "I mean really creative outsider types. There’s no place for them to fit in."

Missing Foundation by http://loomofruin.blogspot.com/2008/01/men-screaming.html

Anyone living in the bottom quarter of Manhattan in the late 1980's or early 1990's is probably familiar with an eerie bit of graffiti that, for a few years, seemed to earmark every building on the lower east side. This Pynchonesque insignia - an inverted martini over a three pronged tally - often accompanied equally cryptic slogans: "Your House Is Mine", "1988 = 1933", "The Party's Over". In both design and placement, the logo seemed less like the cartoony tags of graffiti gangs than the cryptic markings utilities crews leave each other. These markings meant something.

Having moved to New York in mid 1987, it took me an embarrassing six months to learn that the symbol actually was an upside down cocktail glass, its author the industrial band Missing Foundation. MF claimed the logo as a tool of uglification ("property devaluation"), in a campaign to halt the high downtown rents creeping out towards both rivers. It's unknown if the tagging ever hindered a single real estate deal; would a true or even prospective New Yorker balk at a spot of spray paint? But as guerilla marketing, it was magic, the kind emulated by thousands of corporate "street teams" in the years since. For two or three years, Missing Foundation was the most important band in the city. Their early shows occurred in vacant lots, powered by generators and abandoned, Viet Cong style, at the first whiff of police. In January 1988 the band trashed CBGB, setting fire to its stage and destroying some or most of its sound system. Actual damage, in dollar amounts, has been lost to rumor. As dealers of confusion, Missing Foundation were hard to beat.

As musicians, however, MF have been handicapped by all that has come since. The songs could be called "Neubautenish", if one (like me) doesn't know much about German band Einstürzende Neubauten. Two decades ago, the use of oil drums and found percussion seemed somehow bold. In 2006, their music comes filtered through Burning Man and Venice Beach drum circles and the trash can showtunes of "Stomp". Although some of their shtick was born of necessity - frontman Pete Missing used a megaphone because no club would trust him with a mic - it takes some mental footwork to remember that this genre once felt subversive.

Also, their songs need context. New York in 1988 was still the city of Mayor Ed Koch. This was the grimy Manhattan of "Death Wish" and "The Warriors", its subway cars vandalized, its streets full of perverts and vigilantes and burning station wagons. Missing Foundation sounded like this city. When the band played Tompkins Square Park on August 6, 1988, they preceded a riot. It would be incorrect to say "caused a riot", although the NYPD ruthlessly pursued them as scapegoats. After the local CBS affiliate accused the band of Satanic cultism in a bizarre three-part(!) series, Pete Missing found himself tailed by the FBI.

That I only learned of the riot from the Wall Street Journal, from the safety of a flight to the west coast, made this band ten times scarier to me. I'd never seen Missing Foundation live; when I returned to New York later that month I avoided their concerts with the same diligence I'd shown as a tenth grader evading punk shows. The following summer arrived heavy with anticipation for the Lower East Side. "The next riot" seemed a strangely forgone conclusion. I spent most of that year working at a health food store whose glass front faced First Avenue. Although equidistant from ninth precinct headquarters on Avenue C, and thus on the exact opposite side of the park, my store was treated to an almost weekly display of police cruisers and urban assault vehicles taking the bend down St. Marks Place, racing towards some minor disturbance in Tompkins Square, as if they'd gone the long route as a sheer display of military power.

The Riot of '89 never came to pass, but the tone of conflict seeped into the neighboring music scenes. The early '90s punk circuit ran concurrent to the squatter world, an underground of grubby adults that smelled of heroism and bullshit in equal parts. The squatters seemed interchangeable to me, but something important to mankind was always transpiring in one of their buildings three blocks over. And they were organized, and talented. Where my crowd had fanzines, theirs had local newspaper The Shadow, and World War Three, the arts magazine run by Peter Kuper, (later of MAD Magazine) and Eric Drooker (later of The New Yorker).

Four years after the riot, Born Against toured Europe. Our unpleasant promoter terminated contact one week in, and the band arrived at venues without any idea who we'd be sharing the bill with. In Karlsruhe, in southwest Germany, we arrived to find Missing Foundation. I remember being surprised at their politeness, and lack of menace. The only intimidating member of their entourage was roadie Sid, the former lead singer of Italian hardcore band CCM, known for slicing himself onstage with broken glass. After some polite negotiations, it was agreed that Missing Foundation should headline.

Bands performed at one end of an arched, torch-illuminated vault in a squat basement. While loading equipment down dimly lit, ancient stairwells, two members of their party conferred in stage whispers about the night's explosives. I'm still not sure if this was done for our benefit, or as a prank at our expense. When it came time for MF's set, they sealed themselves into the space with a sheet of plywood. After a long wait, Sid removed this with great drama - the stone from Lazarus's tomb - to reveal the band members frozen in place for five impressively awkward minutes. In the hands of almost any other band, the moment would have been bad art. Their set was loud, enjoyable, and not memorable for violence or explosions. The only sour note came later, when Sid threatened our young squatter hosts with decapitation if MF weren’t paid another twenty Deutschmarks. In the morning, both bands parted cordially. I never saw them again.

1988, as we now know, did not equal 1933. Koch eventually begat Guiliani, but Guiliani also begat Bloomberg. And although the city has undergone some improbable changes - The Crackdown, The Boom, The Attack - it still doesn't much resemble Nazi Berlin. In 1990 the band mystified their fans by signing a deal with Restless Records, owned by Capitol/EMI. I only heard one defense offered by Pete Missing, and it came to me second hand, and thus unverifiable; "People say we sold out. But what did we sell out to?" I'll never know if that quote was real, but its elegant evasion has lifted me from many a funk over these long years, and at the very least I need to thank them for that.

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SOUNDS AROUND TOWN

Rock Album of the Week: Missing Foundation, "1933 Your House Is Mine" (Purge/Sound League, 69 West Ninth Street, Apartment 10D, New York, N.Y. 10011): In the wake of the Tompkins Square Park riot, the Missing Foundation graffiti that blankets the Lower East Side - "1988 - 1933" and an overturned martini glass declaring "the party's over" -took on even more symbolic impact. The band is known for slogans like "devalue property" and noisy, anarchic shows; one at CBGB in January culminated in smashed sound equipment and the drummer setting his kit on fire. On record, Missing Foundation is only a little tamer, as it plays squalling, brute-force rock like an updated MC5. There are lurching, pounding, fuzz-toned riffs for drums and guitars; nagging, tape-looped sounds; blasts and squeals of feedback, and ranting vocals, shouting, among other things, "Do you want to live on your own terms?" and '"Skid along the edge!" Angry, ominous, irritating and defiant, it's mood music for urban chaos. source

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