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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Concert Review: Meat Puppets! 2nd of two nights @ Mercury Lounge 6.12.09

Back so soon? Of course you are. Who would miss the fifteenth edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series? Especially when we're back at the Mercury Lounge, to date the best place in the city I've been to for seeing a rock concert. The first opener is different from last night, as tonight we will be hearing a band called “Dynasty Electric” along with Retribution Gospel Choir and the almighty Meat Puppets. Last night I got there early and TK Webb and the Visions went on at 8:30, so for tonight I caught the 8:30 ferry into the city and figure for once in my life I'll be the guy who only shows up for the headliner, like the rest of those people- I mean come on now I've had to go to my actual job before and morning after both these shows-I'm a little tired. So I had planned to miss “Dynasty Electric”.

I roll up to this place at 9:15 and there's the same amount of people in this place as there were last night 2 hours prior. So I go outside and check the little chalk board to see the times. Dynasty Electric at 9:30, then RGC at 10:30 and the Meat Puppets at 11:30. Then as I'm walking back in Cris Kirkwood passes by and pats me on the back and is like “both nights, sweet” and I'm thinking wow this dude remembers me, how cool is that. Well anyway back to things, I get to see this band after all. I look on stage and I see three things-one stand that looks like a keyboard with an antenna on it. Weird. They also had another thing that looked like a keyboard but wasn't. It just made sounds I believe. And last but not least they have a guitar player. He's the only person on stage-equipped with his guitar that is hooked up to his Mac Book Pro. One guy on stage and a bunch of machines AND a computer. I turn to the dude next to me randomly(as I'm known to do) and said “wow a macbook pro? We're in for a long night”. It gained a slight chuckle. Then this totally drunk chick crawls on stage puts her bag behind some equipment and crawls over to a couple of people a few feet from me and says “Ted-the drummer in the Meat Puppets. He's my friend”. When she starts messing with the machines I'm like, looking to see if security is on their way in when I that she was dressed a little too sluttly (sexy) to just be in the crowd. She, being Jennifer DeVeau was the other half, and lead singer of Dynasty Electric( she actually started her career touring the UK as a teenager with her all-girl Beatle-cover band “Girl”). She steps up to that weird looking keyboard antenna thing. It's a freaking THEREMIN. You know what that is? Google it, it's cool-you move your hands near it and it creates like sound effects from the waves or some shit. And it's tricked out with effects pedals and all. The Mac is for the techno sounding beats that they use in there songs. When I said that an older guy said “Nah, it's really just like 80's new wave”. Great, that's like permission for me to enjoy them. It was a really interesting cool sound. Kind of electronica but when the guitar player all of a sudden pulled out a saxophone and started whaling on it the crowd if it wasn't already was won over. And DeVeau was definitely hot. She was all over the stage. She stood on the table that the amps where on if front of me and literally it was wild man. My face to face with a vagina in the tightest pants ever. I heard Ted is the one who got her in on this gig. A freaking Theremin, now there's something I haven't seen live before or even heard of before.  Could have sworn they played Shocking Blue's "Venus" before they went off. Good set.

I go out to smoke a cigarette and I'm standing on the sidewalk and Cris sees me again and walks over and I'm like “That band was pretty cool- no?” and Cris says something to the effect of “Yea they are. She's(referring to a friend of Ted's) is. See the thing is, Ted has no game with the girls-they're both from here so they end up on the bill”. I was almost pissing my pants, you never get the honest answer you know?. I was saying how much I love the venue and he says “man there's something about the city-I'm from the fucking desert man” and I said how I'd never experienced life like, living outside of the 5 boroughs and he's like “Yea like I can't even imagine it. So much goin on all the time. It's like the opposite for me." Someone had mentioned that they saw a picture of him hanging out with the dudes from Ween from this afternoon when the Pups played an afternoon show in Philly before tonights show. He's like "Wait a minute-from like this afternoon? they're on the internet already?  then says "that's crazy man the world went and got itself in a hurry”- and did the funny voice as he continued quoting Brooks from 'Shawshank Redemption'. Then of course some guy gets out of a cab, another fan and starts saying stuff like “man Cris I'm so glad to see that you're all better and stuff. And he also mentioned how he's a lawyer and he was looking into Cris's case when he went to jail and didn't take it or something. Not for nothing, we're out here having fun-does the first thing out of everyone's mouth have to try and remind the guy of a part of his life that's behind him. Funny story though, Cris says “When I was sitting in prison a friend of mine, this girl, had like a shitload of coffee mugs made up that said 'FREE CRIS' on them. She was trying to raise money-I mean, I know your hearts in the right place and everything but I don't exactly think the feds are saying wow look at these great cups, open the gates.” After that the merch clerk, same as last night, very nice guy(name's Dennis, does WAY more than sell tee shirts); comes over with someone and says “Cris this guy is a huge fan, and one of NY's Finest.” Then the laywer dude is like “wow man , you could have been of use a few years ago” and then Cris's eye's widen as he says “Yea you could say that again”. Then Cris's phone rings and he picks it up but doesn't leave the circle like so I say to the dude next to me who just got his CD autographed(and help with getting me another signed ticket stub with his sharpie), I'm like “Can you believe we're standing on the street having discussion with Cris fucking Kirkwood?”and I said it as if I didn't meet him in December which I did, because I didn't want this dude thinking that he wasn't exclusive-he was loving it. The crowd disbands leaving just me and Cris and I didn't want to keep him any longer so I said “ight man, I'm gonna catch you in there-rock on” and he's like “Yea I gotta head in anyway, I have to say hi to Ted's mom” then he surprises me. Cris says as he puts his hand out of a shake “yea man see you inside-it's Jay right?” and I was like “Yea it's Jay like the letter” and then we both headed inside. He knows my name. Great stuff.

Redemption Gospel choir were already on when I walked in, and they were a lot more hard rocking tonight. They didn't do anything differently it was just having heard the songs already I don't have to study them; I can enjoy. And I did. They had changed from the all black suit attire from the night to differing colored suits. Cris had said that they're drummer was going to come on stage and sing on a song with them during their set. I noticed he does sing some light harmony. They did the same sample of songs from last night and headed off stage at 11:15.

The Meat Puppets! Every time I see them about 10 minutes before they come on I start turning to everyone around me saying things like “Wow this is so fucking cool” or “I hope they play Attacked by Monsters”. They hit the stage at 12:01 AM; after midnight, now I feel like I'm at an actual rock concert. The Grateful Dead used to start show's at midnight and play til 8AM, damn do I wish that would be the case tonight. Bands don't do things like that anymore, but in reality they rocked harder then they did the night before. Last night almost seems like a test drive compared to tonight, being they played a similar set of songs with a few exceptions. The drift off solo's during songs were absolutely epic. The version of “Up on the Sun”(I clocked that version at 13 minutes at least) with Alan Sparhawk again coming out to play it with them and they also covered a song that, to be honest was so filled with heavy riffing feedback driven guitars that I have the slightest clue what it was. Eric Pollard, the drummer from RGC sang on Plateau with them, but only did the chorus parts-sort of like singing harmony. When the RGC boys headed off stage I tapped Eric's shoulder and said to him “man, welcome to the greatest day of your life!”. It had to be an experience for them, not only touring but sharing a stage with the brothers Meat. “Aura Borialis” was great, I love that damn song man. They played it last night as well, I'm not sure if I had it down Cris's vocals on “Station” (Curt makes him sing that one) were better sounding then last night, I think they added more monitors in his vocals because the harmonies were different sounding also. And I gotta tell you I can't get that song “Rotten Shame” out of my head, it sounds like a throwback Puppets song when it's on the latest record. Then the fastest, hardest version of Lake of Fire to date-Curt always fools the crowd like-he starts this really sweet melodic couple of chords and you're trying to figure what song its going to be then out of no where it's Lake of Fire. Meat Puppets show's are indescribable so pardon me if begin to lack adjectives after these two crazy nights. They ran off stage after that(with me getting the sole hand shake from Cris on the way off stage (I'm telling you we are total BFF now) and everyone was wondering if they were coming back out-everyone turning to me asking me if they came out for an encore last night and the answer was no they didn't-but last night they played Backwater and now they're off stage without playing it. Don't worry, here they come after about 10 minutes get up on stage and play “Backwater” like a millisecond slower version. The rhythm section was slower pace but Curt was going full force. Absolutely just played the shit out of that Strat to end they officially went off stage at 1:35AM. Unbelievable, the Meat Puppets once again fail to disappoint.

What a show-what a two night Meat-fest. That was really cool to do that, the same band back to back nights, but it worked out to be really cool and something I will definitely do again. Next up on the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series calender is.... well, I don't currently have tickets but I would love to know if anyone has any ideas. E-Mail me if anything, thanks everyone who read-it shouldn't be long before something else pops up. Late!


In the following weeks, a blog comment of mine on the Meat Puppets MySpace blOg was replied to, by the Pups, it reads:

"Ladies and Gentlemen,

Jay Pork was on it June 11-12. He skipped the Yanks-Mets series, trekked off of Staten Island, caught back to back killer sets at the Mercury Lounge.

Get this Jay, we're headed back to NYC, Nov 25th, this time, at the Bowery."

That blog titled "Summerfest Notes" can be viewed at



Dump The Air said...

You and Cris are totally best buddies for life now.

Major Jealously flowing this way Jay! I would have loved to gone to at least one of those gigs. I did however see a band on Saturday night called The Strange Boys, kind of a puppets sound alike, they put on a hell of a show, along with a few other bands. I'm pretty pumped for Dinosaur Jr. Next week, you heard the new album yet?

Jay Porks said...

I actually have not gotten my hands on 'Farm' yet, but it's next that gets a listen. There was buzz at the show about that actually. I can't believe I got to both those shows-totally worth it. Mercury Lounge totally the best spot ever to see a show. I have some vids on Youtube I gotta put the link in this blog. Damn if that Dino show wasn't sold out. And someones playing tuesday i wanted to see but I have court so thats out

Jay Porks said...

Dino Jr playing a FREE show, august 16th central park summer stage?? I've never seen a show there-but its on my day off I might have to check them out again now they they're mainstream lol

Dump The Air said...

I gotta report that Dinosaur Jr. was a totally killer show, certainly loud as fuck and the crowd was rowdy and everyone was into the crazy sound.

Funniest moment of the night, the bands went on a little later then usual and Dino had a late soundcheck, the guy next to me went "We're gonna walk in there and J Mascis is gonna be naked and yelling 'WELCOME TO THE CARNIVAL OF THE FLESH' into the mircophone, just watch"