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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

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In Music

The Plastic People of the Universe play "The Night Before," a prelude to the Global Union World Music Festival.

Plastic People of the Universe play Milwaukee


In 1968 Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia and shortly thereafter the band Plastic People of the Universe was formed.

As rock and roll was considered immoral in the eyes of the Communist leaders, the band was forced underground playing at word of mouth gigs and illegally recording its music. Taking cues from the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa and other avant garde rockers PPU forged a career with next to no blueprint to follow.

During these years of repression, group members were persecuted, put on trial and did prison time. But, eventually, the Cold War thawed and the 1989 Czech Velvet Revolution saw PPU fan and supporter Vaclav Havel elected president. While the band broke up in 1984, several members formed the group Pulnoc in 1988 and recorded the album "City of Hysteria" for Arista in 1991.

Since 1997 PPU has reunited for shows and performs an all-ages show at MSOE's Todd Wehr Conference Center on Friday, Sept. 12. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

During this very rare American tour, PPU's performance here is being billed as, "The Night Before," a prelude to the free Global Union World Music Festival on Sept. 13 and 14 at Humboldt Park in Bay View.


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