Well, I can cross seeing the Meat Puppets off my to do list, and add them to my to do again list! I have always wanted to see these guys, but circumstances and their breaking up a few times left me yearning to see this magical band. I was in the small crowd on Saturday night at Mexicalli Blues in Teaneck, NJ. There were three bands that night, I feel badly that I don’t know the names of the others but I was there for the Meat Puppets.
The first 2 bands were interesting, the first had many musicians on stage including a cello and violin and their music was good and different, the second band was spirited, and loud. These 2 bands were opening acts and you could tell, hey everyone needs to start somewhere. They were comprised of youngsters. When they were done, at about 10:30 pm the Meat Puppets took the stage, the Meat Puppets were a presence, you could tell these guys had done this playing out stuff for a long time. Both by their demeanor and confidence as well as the fluidity they had in their music and the skill and passion playing it, which was evident.
The Meat Puppets have been around since the early 1980s, their music is considered alternative rock, cow punk, and hardcore punk. When I listen to them I hear a very talented pair of brothers, Curt and Cris Kirkwood, who play guitar and bass, in that order. Curt sings most of the vocals while playing a wild mastery of chords and leads on his Fender Stratocaster. They were wonderful live but to really appreciate what is happening with the music you need to listen to the studio recordings, of which there are many to choose. Many of their lyrics are stories that paint wild imagery in your mind, very clever stuff. I listen to their music and it is in my head for days, it is cool music too, the kind that you like having in your head. If you get one album it will be different from another and so on. You really need to get several albums to hear what they are doing and evolving into. Actually, you should really get them all! I like them all, my lady friends say they are a “guys band,” and I guess they are, especially live, but they have some very soft beautiful ballads, too. They are known for their appearance on Nirvana’s MTV unplugged appearance and the CD that came out of that performance, where the Meat Puppets played Lake of Fire. The night I saw them they ended the show with a “kick ass” version of Lake of Fire.
If you like excellent, spirited guitar music you should check these cats out. I recommend them highly and will get even more specific about what to buy here. Buy it all! If you are going to buy 2 albums get Mirage and Too High to Die. You get a good cross section of the music and can hear the beautiful weaving of guitar and bass with some awesome drumming. I traveled 3 hours to see the Meat Puppets this time and would do it again in a heartbeat. If you want to give them a listen before you buy you can find them in the AppleStore and there are clips on YouTube. The new album is called sewn together, I’ll be buying that after this great show.
This band is awesome and should be listened to, tell your friends!
The headline is lyrics from “Quit It” from the Meat Puppets’ Mirage album.