And we're back again for the 20th installment of the Jay Porks Never ending concert series. Tonight takes us to the Bowery Ballroom in New York City to see the Meat Puppets! I love this band so much, and I hope you people do too because they're awesome and totally worth going to see. When I strolled into the place, I pulled out my iPod Touch and started taking notes.
Got to the Bowery around 7:30- I saw a poster that said the Meat Puppets don't come on until 1030. I am really early it's not even eight and I already had a beer and smoked a cigarette after I came in and got stamped and wristbanded and all. I don't even think the doors officially open until 8 o clock. This is going to be a pretty long and great night withstanding this being first time the effects of a show the night before might be getting to me. When I see people moving in I'll head to the merch table and claim my poster. I don't think this place is sold out, although there are a few people here who are early just as I am. I wonder how awesome this night is going to be. The Meat Puppets, My 6th time. The show doesn't start for 2 and a half hours! The suspense is killing me And I know how they get down already- come on close to 11 and get off around 1. I just heard someone say they're opening the doors. Let's do this.
When I walked in I passed the merch table and saw a dude wearing a Devo tee shirt working the table I said “cool shirt dude, is Moped around?”, Moped being the person who Dennis (a friend of mine who usually does the merch and works everything Meat Puppets related) told me has my poster. He said he was also waiting for him to come over and if there was anything he could have helped me with, I said I'd be back and headed to the main floor which had like 4 people there. So I just walked away from this dude wearing a cool Devo tee shirt who could have definitely halped me with something, I would find out later during drum check, that this cool dude is actually the new drummer in the Meat Puppets: Shandon Sahm... who we will get a little more into later on.. Anyway, walked back in, leaned myself on the stage and turned to see Cris Kirkwood walking in my direction, so I was like “there he is!” in the obnoxious way I talk before getting serious and asking him “How's” the tour going?” Cris said “It's really cool man been great”-as he looks around- “we got three great bands tonight. I hope more people show up for Dynasty (Electric)”. I said told him how I thought they were cool last time they opened for the them and then he went on to talk about Elmo Kirkwood, Curt Kirkwood's son and member of the band Kirkwood-Dellinger, who were up after Dynasty Electric. Cris: “My nephew's band is really rounding out and he's a beast on guitar man. He's playing is getting so much better-like, me and brother have been playing together for years and this kid just sits around playing and we look at him like dude how'd you do that?” He seemed excited, didn't wanna keep him from any pre-show rituals.
First up is Brooklyn's own Dynasty Electric. With Jennifer DeVeau (lead vocals, synth, theremin) and Seth Misterka (vocals, guitar, saxophone, laptop) doing about a 40 minute set that was pretty cool(this being the second chance I've seen them) I can say I like a few of their songs now, and a band like this is usually a little too electronica for me. I was the only one who knew who they were because they opened for the Meat Puppets in June at the Mercury Lounge. I was explaining how cool the theromin is to the unfamiliar spectators of this band. When they came up on stage I said to the guitar player “You guys got the theromin right?” and he said yea and kind of looked happy that at least one person thought they were kind of cool. One example of them being cool is they covered Shocking Blue's “Venus”, which was awesome as they played to about 9 of us who were there. I have a picture that looks like that both band mates tried to get into the show for which was cool. Maybe late arrival for the rest I guess, but they're missing cool stuff .
After they went off I ran out to smoke a cigarette on the way back I saw another dude working the merch table and I said “Moped?” and he goes “Yea” and I was like, “I'm Jay Porks from Staten Island, Dennis told me to come see you” and he was like yea I got something for ya, you're on the list as he hands me an autographed Sewn Together Meat Puppets poster. Shout outs to Dennis, Moped and the Meat Puppets for being so cool!
Kirkwood-Dellinger was so much cooler than I thought they would. They were almost groovy at times- Elmo Kirkwood is a frigging beast with it. The stuff he was doing was pretty interesting and noisy. He didn't have as many pedals as his father, but was an absolute monster. There whole band was well rounded, as they switched instruments after every couple of songs. Played from like 930 to about 1030 probably a little after. Then, a warm moment, as I turn to take a look at the crowd about halfway through their set, there leaning on a pole about 15 feet away, is Curt Kirkwood looking on as a proud father watching his son become a rock star. After they went off we all sat in suspense awaiting that proud father to hit the stage with his great band, The Meat Puppets!!!
The Meat Puppets fail to disappoint once again. They hit the stage at about 11PM. Meat Puppets have a new drummer, the aforementioned Shandon Sahm(The son of legendary fiddler-singer-songwriter Doug Sahm of The Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados Small world isn't it?) The place is still not packed out at this point-but there are a lot more people than before, the crowd had a nice roar going when came out. I'm right in the middle leaned on the stage because they took the two amps in front of me away so I had plenty of room to put my note pad and camera down. Good times front row. They kicked off the set with “Plateau”, it was right at these first chords that for the first time of the night I'm past feeling tired and way too deep into feeling: “Wow this is freaking awesome” to even think about it. After that another favorite of mine in “Commin' Down” and that's when things started getting cerebral in a sense that everyone in the place had, for lack of better term given themselves to the music at this point. “Touchdown King” is a song off the 'Monsters' album (they're most interesting album-in a good way) that's been a staple in their live set for years now-so they drift off into oblivion in the middle of it. It's a blissful switch from song to outer space to song throughout every Meat Puppets set. They got into “Station” next-on the video you hear me say 'Station' before the song starts on the video because I saw Curt point to Cris(which is also on the video), signifying that this is the one he sings lead vocals. “Go to your head” was the first song of the night they played off the new album 'Sewn Together', which is an awesome record. The dude next to me asked me if I heard it and what I thought and I explained to him the intricacies of the greatness of the album. Then I saw Shandon tell Cris “Oh Me”, and off we went. The crowd is building as the night go on-I can't see it but I can feel it; the room getting smaller and everything being louder. “Up on the sun” was awesome, I should have taped that one but my arm would've got tired I think it ran about 8 minutes. That's when stuff started getting lost in the little light show we had going on-I'm not sure if they bring a light show or they just use whats there when they show up but you notice some of the pictures just look like cartoonish almost. Then a change up-I've seen it on YouTube but never personally, they jumped into “Sam” and for lack of a poetic description here: That sh!t was crazy! Who can keep up with those lyrics? (It's faster than R.E.M.'s "It's the end of the world as we know it", a song I have karaoked successfully without lyrics.. ) I tried and failed and for a dude with no voice I was getting it in. I must have screamed out “Attacked By Monsters” 5 times-I really wish they'd play that once when I see them-I've said before I bet they can't play it live. After 'Sam' they went into “Monkey and the snake” before doing “Light”, another one I don't recall ever seeing live personally-so I got that one too. “Aurora Borealis” was the yin to the yang of “Light”, a twangy, instrumental tune that makes you close your eyes and differentiate each instruments sound, switch back and forth from bass to guitar. Amazing. And if it couldn't get better-”Backwater” smacks everyone in the face. There's a light mosh behind me as I get bumped into every now and then. They got into “Lake of fire” fairly quickly after that, where when Curt was slowly strumming I said “Lake of fire already?” and they rocked it with that one-the extended version. Clocked at 6 minutes with the noise fest jam type ending of the song they always do. Shandon Sahm is the real deal too-I noticed it during lake of fire that he was fitting in just fine. With his cool Devo tee shirt on. After that they said goodnight and went off stage.
Not so fast my friend. They came back out, with, as introduced by Cris Kirkwwod “ladies and gentlemen New York's own Ted Marcus”, who had been fired from the band a few months ago as told to me by Shandon. Before the set after he was doing a little drum check when I screamed "Where's Ted?".. He came over a few minutes later and asked "You screamed where's Ted right?" and introduced himself.. he also said that Ted was in the building, to which I replied “yea, because he knows the chick from Dynasty Electric right?” and Shandon's like “yea.." bewildered look on his face.. "how'd you know” and I said “That's what Cris told me back in June when I caught both nights at the Mercury Lounge. He told me thats how they got on the bill that night”.. He seem surprised of me being in the know, but shook my hand and asked me my name and stuff. So they came back out with Ted to play “Rotten Shame”and another song I didn't write down. I know they played “Lost” tonight, and they also played a song mid set called "Be Real" which is written by Doug Sahm-it's all a trip man when you go to these Meat Puppets shows.. you never know what's next... for example: the final song of the night, which I got on tape, ATTACKED BY MONSTERS! Yes! I updated my Facebook with that as soon as I got out-it got crazy in there when they broke into it-the guitar parts in the song have so much stuff going on the mosh behind had gotten rough and empty beer cups were tossed on stage by this one drunk douchebag. As they neared the end of the tearing down the house with this song, the Sahm starts kicking his drum set around, and I thought that was so fucking awesome I started screaming “yea!!” and he stacked up his drum set in the middle of the stage and walked off as Curt Kirkwood was at the amp.. slowing turning it down....and down...and down...until the noise was gone and the only sound left was roars from the crowd and a “Thanks a lot, goodnight”.