The Golden Palominos' Anton Fier, circa 2006

The 1985-’87 Syd Straw-fronted lineup of Anton Fier’s experimental and ever-shifting Golden Palominos will perform live in New York next month for the first time in more than 20 years in what the drummer calls “an experiment” that may be a precursor to a full-time reunion of the band beginning this fall.

The Palominos — Fier and Straw, plus Jody Harris and Jim Campilongo on guitar, Tony Maimone on bass and special guest Robert Kidney on vocals and guitar — will perform with The Walking Hellos and The Wingdale Community Singers at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on May 7 as part of the unveiling of Electric Literature’s fourth fiction anthology.

In a note posted on the venue’s website, Fier writes that there were five different Golden Palominos lineups, but the Straw-era edition of the band — which recorded 1985’s Visions of Excess and 1986’s Blast of Silence — was the only one “that attempted to be a live, touring rock band.” He adds:

“I am generally not the nostalgic type or one to look back… and in the past 23 years since the last Golden Palominos live gig, I have never before considered reviving a past version. But recently I heard Syd sing and I was struck by the beauty of it… and wanted to work with her again… so we’re giving this a try here and if it’s fun and exciting for us we might consider doing it again on a more full-time basis in the fall… so this is an experiment… to see if it is possible to go back in order to go forward.”

Fier formed the Golden Palominos in 1983 with Arto Lindsay, John Zorn and Bill Laswell, and recorded through the ’80s and ’90s with a revolving cast of musicians (including Michael Stipe, Richard Thompson, Bob Mould and John Lydon) and developed a sound that touched on No Wave, free jazz, Americana and even featured some electronic flourishes. The band, which sputtered out in the late ’90s, probably is best remembered for its 1991 single “Alive and Living Now,” featuring Stipe on lead vocals.


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