Thursday, August 25, 2005

meat puppets 101

So Domino Rally has been going for 5 months now. And I'm the lucky person that gets to do the first Meat Puppets post! I don't think it'll be the last - Oxbow was even talking about a Meat Puppets week... To put it mildly they have been a massive influence on most of Johnny Domino.

One of my favourite bands of all time is the Velvet Underground - each of their albums is totally different from the previous one. And the Meat Puppets first three albums are possibly even more varied. They go from the "rabid-glove-puppets-ripping-apart-a-small-stuffed-animal" stylings of "In A Car" EP and the "Meat Puppets" LP (both recorded in 1981)...

Meat Puppets – Dolphin Field

... to the druggy not-quite-country of "Meat Puppets II" (recorded 1983). This is the album that includes the three tracks used in the Nirvana Unplugged set, but those versions stripped all the rough edges off and made them (psychological voyeurism aside) much less interesting recordings. "Split Myself In Two" is the opening track and it starts off like something from the first album before shifting into a hardcore hoedown. The chorus starts off like a traditional country tune - "Oh, Mary-Lou won't you tell me what to do..." - before it heads off somewhere altogether more interesting - "I've got a dollar on the corner and a laser in my shoe / If I don't get an answer gonna split myself in two...". This song has one of my favourite guitar solos EVER - it's punk meets country via the Grateful Dead.

Meat Puppets - Split Myself In Two

From here they progressed to the psychedelic masterpiece of "Up On The Sun" (recorded 1985). The title track is a beautiful song, Curt Kirkwood playing some new form of psychedelic funk guitar and the rhythm section of Cris Kirkwood and Derrick Bostrom one of the best ever recorded, after being raggedy-ass on their previous outings. The vocals might be sound a bit rough around the edges but they're truly soulful - the chorus gets me every time.

Meat Puppets - Up On The Sun

All three albums are wildly different from each other but still recognisably the same band. It's a real musical and artistic progression and, to be honest, I've never got much further into their career other than their stunning first three albums. But I'm sure Jim (our still-silent partner in Blogging) will show me the error of my ways at some point in the near future.

Visit Meat Puppets
Visit Meat Puppets live repository
Visit Curt Kirkwood
Buy Meat Puppets
Buy Meat Puppets II
Buy Up On The Sun - DO IT NOW!

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