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Friday, June 12, 2009

Meat Puppets!! @ Mercury Lounge- Concert Review 06/11/09

I'm telling you, it'll never get old I'd like to welcome all of you to the fourteenth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight brings us to the Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston st in NYC. The bands: Who else? THE MEAT PUPPETS!!!! The opening acts for tonight are “Retribution Gospel Choir” and “TK Webb and the Visions”. Doors are due to open at 7:30, just about the time I show up.

The Mercury Lounge-this one is new to me. I've never attended a show there so I was eager to see how many people this place holds. Remember the last show I was at I was with about 15,000 other people. So I pass by this bar, and notice someone that looks like Cris Kirkwood. Wow, it is Cris Kirkwood; and that's not a bar that's the venue. Cris was talking to like 3 fans and I already had his autograph and met him at the Williamsburg show so I' decided not to interfere and be 'that' guy. “Hey remember me!”-Definitely wasn't going to make a fool out of myself there. Anyway back to this cool venue. The place holds 250 people(I didn't count I got it from the website). I swear it looked like, for lack of a better term, the size of your living room like doubled. The ceiling is like not much over 10-12 feet high(don't quote me on these exact measurements please) and the stage was about 3 feet off the ground. The stage, has no exit or entrance to it. The way to get up there to climb up(step up) or there's like 3 steps on the far right side(left if you're on stage. It was like a bar with a stage with a rocking band coming on at 10:30. There was almost no one in there for the openers, and the place was still almost full. You could tell right there it was going to be a great night-the couple of people I spoke to felt the same. The merch table was right at the front door and me and someone else were scouting it out waiting to see what they'd have. The guy comes and he's got a few XXL's left with another box coming for tomorrow night's show (good news then I can get another one)and CD's. I get a shirt and the new album, which I had since it came out-I figured I'd give money to my artist as oppose to no body. So we get the CD's and the clerk tells us to open up the plastic because there's some cool artwork in there, which there was along with lyrics and linear notes all that cool album stuff that has gone away from the mainstream world. Then the guy says “You know I can get these signed for you” takes our names down and holds on to the albums (and our stuff as if it was coat check. He didn't have to do that-nice guy) til after the show. Awesome. Getting autographed CD's for supporting my artists. I wasn't going to buy the album in the store-I got it autographed for 12 bucks. Can you beat it? Maybe we should get to the show

At like 8:40 “TK Webb & The Visions” hit the stage. They had a keyboard next to the second guitarist-he was alternating at times. Excuse me while I roll my eyes. I would have given them more respect had I know they hail from Brooklyn, but they just didn't really do it for me. Kind of sound like they grew up worshiping Dinosaur Jr(I think the second guitarist/keyboard player was wearing a Dino “Green Mind” tee shirt). Not that it would be a bad thing but there was this sort of folk fused into almost psychedelic rock. Almost; I mean they weren't terrible-the lead singer/guitarist actually cracked a few jokes in between songs when it was absolute silence. He says something to the effect of “none of you know each other? Talk to each other or something” while they're tuning for the next song he says to the dude standing next to me who I was hanging with most of the night who turned around for a split second he goes “no man-please don't go”. Funny stuff. I'm almost certain that they have a Myspace page you can check out, they were bearable. They went off at 9:15 promptly.

So straddling the lines of 9:40, out to the stage comes Retribution Gospel Choir hailing from Duluth, Minnesota(that's what it says on their Myspace page). Get it? “I knew a lady who came drum Duluth-bit by a dog with a rabbit tooth”? That's kind of a cool coincidence. As for the music they were much louder then the TK, though they only had a tree man band. Great guitarist-in a technical sense. He held his own with the effects pedals. They were wearing black slacks, black button downs and black ties; the drummer had a white tie. Total opposite look then the band previous. Like I said they were louder and a little heavier but the music itself didn't differ much. These bands are all trying to do some sort of sub genre of psychedelic rock. Some of there riffs had me in head nod mode; they kind of rocked. We'll see more of there lead singer/guitarist during the next set.

The main event!! THE MEAT PUPPETS!!!!! They hit the stage a little after 10:30(Curt in pajama pants-hey, gotta be comfortable right? and the blast off begins. They opened with their title track from the new album “Sewn Together” which was a blessing to hear. Finally a band that I love came out with a brand new great album and I'm seeing them on the supporting tour. I had said before the set that I hoped they played “Touchdown King” and they got into that 2nd. I was loving life a this time. When you love songs coming out of speakers in your car, headphones etc. it's a whole different experience. Next was another song off the new record-one of my favorites-'Blanket of Weeds”. And do I even need to mention how almost every song is dragged out a few

extra minutes with amazing solo's that at times get so far away from the song that you think it's the next song and then Curt winds it back into the song. He sews it together I guess (cheesy, but couldn't avoid it). After they got into “The Monkey and the snake” and a great version
(take it, this is my third time seeing them) “Commin' Down” it was time for some stuff off their second record. “Oh me” followed by “Plateau” had myself and the whole crowd going nuts-including Curt, who was unusually in a good mood. He was having fun, they were jamming. Cris is over there in his own little world jumping around in total rock out fashion. He's hilarious. Suddenly a drumstick comes flying into the hands of the dude who has now become my buddy throughout this night. Ted must have mishandled it but he didn't miss a beat there were spares to his side. Lets go “Up on the sun”. Such a great song, this is the song where the dude from Retribution Gospel Choir comes out mid song to add and extra layer of guitar-totally cool. Like I said, that dude was really technically sound, and he was Up on the sun with us(only did the last half of that song and went away). I mention it every time I get back from a Meat Puppets show-its like a trip, an experience, a mind altering substance. Sometimes we blast off to outer space and tonight leaving the venue I was still up on the sun. “Rotten Shame”, another one off the new record and then one of my favorites “Station” in which before they started Curt says

“Cris you're singing on this one” and Cris proceeded to leas vocals on that-which was cool. I have some close up shots of Curt going nuts on his Strat that I'll post here soon. End the night rock star style with the best of the bunch I order “Look at the rain” (the place was pandemonium at this point) the everyone's favorite “Lake of Fire” for what felt like 20 minutes and closed down the first of two nights with “Backwater”. After the song Curt said goodnight and dropped his guitar down by the amp leaving a never ending trail of feedback through the place as the light came on and everyone exited.

So I got my autographed copy of Sewn Together for $12! And even more important, what an amazing show. And what's even better then that is that I'll be back at the same place tomorrow with the same band! Only difference is that the 8:30 band is not TK and etc. Alright glad I could try and bring this experience to you, and thanks for reading and of course you know if there is a good show in my area you want reviewed send me there-e-mail me @ . Late

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