by Robert Bell
As far as weird career trajectories go, it'd be tough to top The Meat Puppets: two brothers and their drummer friend started a hardcore band; signed to the legendary SST Records; decided hardcore had grown rigid and dogmatic and its fans annoying; proceeded to craft their own sui generis, sun-warped blend of punk, country, boogie rock and psychedelic burnout folk that would serve as a touchstone for subsequent generations of weirdoes; cut two stone-cold classic albums; cut several more really good albums; signed to a major label; joined forces with Nirvana for that band's massively successful MTV Unplugged album; released an album that broke the Billboard Top 40; put out another album that, uh, wasn't as good; spiraled into years of awful drug abuse, fraternal acrimony and incarceration; broke up; got back together years later to release solidly enjoyable albums.
Back in May, the Meat Puppets played the Animal Collective-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival in England, performing 1985's peerless "Up on the Sun" in its entirety as part of the set.
The odds are slim that the Puppets will get a wild hare up their collective ass and do that again, but you never know. Hearing "Two Rivers" live would be killer.
Opening acts include Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass and The Weeks.