Roland Barker/Paul Barker/The Blackouts

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Peter Werner

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Aug 7, 1993, 5:35:49 AM8/7/93
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Earlier this week, I went to see a free afternoon concert here in
Seattle featuring Roland Barker. Apparently, he's related to Paul
Barker (his brother?) and they were in an early Seattle (i.e. pre-
"Seattle Sound") band called the Blackouts. When the Blackouts broke
up they both went into Ministry, though only Paul Barker stayed on.
(Does anybody know how long Roland Barker was with Ministry/RevCo and
whether he appeared on any of their releases? I don't actually have
anything by Ministry, so I can't check the linear notes.)

Anyway, when I got there, I notice a *KLite* presents banner; Roland
Barker is apparently now doing lite rock! I stuck around for a while
to see if there were any interesting aspects to his music. He actually
was using some industrial sounds as part of his background ambience,
but they were turned way down and buried under the pseudo-ethnic beat
and new age/lite jazz leads that are characteristic of contemporary
"lite" music. Definitely worth avoiding.

I am curious about about the Blackouts, however. Does anybody know
what they sounded like and what releases they came out with? (I heard
they had one release and that it was produced by Al Jourgensen and that
one Lead Into Gold song was originally a Blackouts song.)

Tracy Kimbrel

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Aug 7, 1993, 12:24:54 PM8/7/93
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In article <23vt1l$d...@news.u.washington.edu> boe...@carson.u.washington.edu (Peter Werner) writes:

>I am curious about about the Blackouts, however. Does anybody know
>what they sounded like and what releases they came out with? (I heard
>they had one release and that it was produced by Al Jourgensen and that
>one Lead Into Gold song was originally a Blackouts song.)

I have two Blackouts records (four songs each) that were released on local
labels before they left Seattle for bigger and better things. I have heard
that they released some stuff on Wax Trax after that. The sound was kind
of minimalist post-punk pop. Drums, bass, one guitar, a cheap synth, and
vocals. Really great stuff. Other local bands of the time (early eighties)
were X15/Life In General (don't know why they changed their name) and 3
Swimmers; if you've heard anything by them, you have an idea what the
Blackouts were like.

Nathaniel D. Daw

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Aug 7, 1993, 7:23:51 PM8/7/93
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In article <23vt1l$d...@news.u.washington.edu> boe...@carson.u.washington.edu (Peter Werner) writes:
>
>
>Earlier this week, I went to see a free afternoon concert here in
>Seattle featuring Roland Barker. Apparently, he's related to Paul
>Barker (his brother?) and they were in an early Seattle (i.e. pre-
>"Seattle Sound") band called the Blackouts. When the Blackouts broke
>up they both went into Ministry, though only Paul Barker stayed on.
>(Does anybody know how long Roland Barker was with Ministry/RevCo and
>whether he appeared on any of their releases? I don't actually have
>anything by Ministry, so I can't check the linear notes.)

I once asked Paul about this. Roland is indeed his brother, and he appeared on
the first Lead Into Gold 12" (The Idiot [a Blackouts cover]/Blackened Heart/
Hatred, all three tracks later picked up on "Chicks and Speed: Futurism" CDS),
along with Jourgenson and all the usual Ministry suspects -- thus proving
that Lead Into Gold wasn't originally conceived as Paul Barker's pet band.

Barker didn't mention his brother appearing on any other Ministry family
recordings, but I have read that Roland and Paul toured with Ministry to
support the album _Twitch_. Only Paul stayed on to record _Land of Rape and
Honey_.

>I am curious about about the Blackouts, however [...] (I heard

>they had one release and that it was produced by Al Jourgensen and that
>one Lead Into Gold song was originally a Blackouts song.)

Jourgenson produced the "Lost Soul's Club" single on WaxTrax, including the
track "The Idiot," which he co-wrote and later helped cover with Lead Into
Gold.

But I understand they had other releases ...
nd

Rob Spray

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Aug 8, 1993, 8:27:20 PM8/8/93
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boe...@carson.u.washington.edu (Peter Werner) writes:

>Earlier this week, I went to see a free afternoon concert here in
>Seattle featuring Roland Barker. Apparently, he's related to Paul
>Barker (his brother?)

Correct.

>(Does anybody know how long Roland Barker was with Ministry/RevCo and
>whether he appeared on any of their releases?

Roland played keys for Ministry on the LotsaPopLosers II tour.

Don't have nay info on The Blackouts other than it was Paul
Barker's band prior to Ministry.

-DJ Sterotype, KNON, Dallas aka r...@metronet.com

Greg Clow

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Aug 9, 1993, 11:15:37 AM8/9/93
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Cc:

In article <23vt1l$d...@news.u.washington.edu> boe...@carson.u.washington.edu (Peter Werner) writes:
>

>I am curious about about the Blackouts, however. Does anybody know
>what they sounded like and what releases they came out with? (I heard
>they had one release and that it was produced by Al Jourgensen and that
>one Lead Into Gold song was originally a Blackouts song.)

The only release of thier's that I know of is a four track EP released on Wax
Trax! around 1986 or so. Yeah, it was produced by Al, as well. And it's not
bad... a bit of a Killing Joke influence to the music, not bad vocals
(although I don't think it's Paul singing). And although there is a song
called "Idiot" on the EP, I don't think it's the same track as the one done by
Lead Into Gold... but it's been a while since I listened to it, so I could be
wrong.

Tracy Kimbrel

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Aug 9, 1993, 3:21:40 PM8/9/93
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Here's what I've got by the Blackouts:

7 in. "Music - 528 Seconds" on Modern Productions, 1979
Two tracks - Make No Mistake, The Underpass

12 in. "Men in Motion" on Engram Records, 1980
Four Tracks - Dead Man's Curve, Probabilities, Being Be, Five is 5

Personnel on both:

Bill Rieflin - drums
Erich Werner - vocals, guitar
Mike Davidson - bass
Roland Barker - vocals, sax, synth

Michael Boer

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Aug 31, 1993, 5:15:27 PM8/31/93
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In article <1993Aug9.1...@beaver.cs.washington.edu>,

This outfit was wonderful at the one performance I observed. I believe
they were working as the "warm-up" act for the B-52s at the HUB Ballroom
(University of Washington). This was in 1980 or perhaps early 1981.

To my ears their *sound* was quite pop but with a reedy dissonance
supplied by Mr. Barker's sax and synth. At the time, I associated this
musical territory with bands like 3 Swimmers (as mentioned already in this
thread) and NNB (from Minneapolis). They fit in nicely with the B-52s of
the time, which perhaps says something about the influence of Yoko Ono on
us all. Their *look*, on the other hand, was not from the same world as
the B-52s -- They looked more jazz than rock; that is, they wore no
costumes other than street clothes, and what little theatrics were
exhibited flowed directly from the making of music.

I haven't listened to "Men in Motion" for several years, but I would
regard it is an important local artifact of that era.

[X] Michael Boer <bo...@u.washington.edu>

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