Thursday, May 28, 2009

There Must Be Smoke in My Eyes

Caught the Meat puppets in-store appearance at Waterloo record shop on Memorial Day afternoon 2009. An appearance in support of their new CD 'Sewn Together' and the kick-off of their latest tour. Maybe 40 or 50 fans in attendance- almost a personal show and what a treat! Those Kirkwood brothers bring a special nostalgia to my heart as I remember listening to their early releases back in junior high school circa 1985. Their brand of country punk psychedelia made an impression on my formative years. In retrospect it was strange that I liked them because they didn't exude the sort of firebrand angst that my youth so thirsted for. In truth they transcended the genre of punk. They were far ahead of most in that movement. However, this ain't no nostalgia act. In fact, this latest release surpasses my exalted fawning over their last. It is a more cohesive whole that hearkens back to the creativity of the early SST days. Of course, it is more polished with 20 years having dripped through our fingers since those times. the CD lights me up from the opening vocal notes. And, as expected they opened the Waterloo show with the CD opener. They played a generous sampling from the new offering, but tossed in a few gems as well. A more expansive and psychedelic Up on the Sun I have never heard...Curt is a fucking godhead on the six-string and has been for decades. And every time I see them the audience is perpetually pleased to see and hear his brother Cris back on bass. There is simply something magical about the the two together; the vocal harmonies are exquisite. A marvelous and triumphant return for the man. They pulled out the classic Plateau from Meat Puppets II for the encore. And who doesn't cherish that fucking song? Hell, I could gush ad nauseum- buy the fucking CD and crank it up while smoking in your car on a desert highway. Man, I hope they keep at it. The show whetted my appetite for more, and fortunately they play again on the 20th of June here in Capital City at Emo's.

"There's nothing at the top but a bucket and a mop and an illustrated book about birds. See a lot up there but don't be scared. Who needs action when you got words?" - Meat Puppets 'Plateau'

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ginn Hits The Coast

Gregg Ginn and the Texas Corrugators put on a show in Los Angeles at the Fais Do Do.

Good show.. the Corrugators had a new member -- guitar player looked to be about 22 yrs old. He was good, but his thing was that he constantly fiddled with the knobs on the guitar, played the strings on the headstock, plink-a-plinked them on the pickups, bent the neck a bit, etc. He also kept ducking over to his amp to fuck with knobs there too.. annoyed the shit out of me to where I couldn't just focus on his playing..

Ginn on bass was cooler than I expected.

The electric mandolin player was a hell of a player. Dude rocked it.

During the intermission between the Corrugators and Jambang, I bought a CD from the opening band and the latest Corrugators disc. $5 each -- and every dime went right into the bands' pockets. Perfect.

Jambang was a little disappointing.. Ginn picked up the guitar and I was expecting quite a treat -- never seen him playing guitar live. Unfortunately, the guitar was so washed out and he played so little lead that it was a bit anti-climactic... The trance-y effect of the jambang sound was cool, but I was a little let down by the wash-out.. his guitar was essentially lost in the mix with the keyboards (played by the new guy) and the sequenced bass emanating from the box of rack-mounted effects he was playing thru.

Still, it was nice to watch then man himself play right in front of me in what was effectively a private show. Literally about 25 people, total, were there by the time Jambang played -- and that included the opening band, Are You a Cop? (who put on a great show to open the evening!)

As they left the stage, I told Ginn, "Great show, man," to which he replied, "Thanks, I appreciate it!"

And I got the feeling that he actually did.