June 2011

A Good Kind of Crazy

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Jason Isbell.jpg

Jason Isbell at the Troubadour earlier tonight. Formerly of the Drive-By Truckers, Jason's new band is the 400 Unit, which is named in honor of a psychiatric ward in a Florence, Alabama hospital. Perhaps that's why they closed the show with a cover of Talking Heads' "Psychokiller."

The Blasters at the ABQ Zoo - June 17, 2011

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Notice the hands over the ears - it's good to know that rock and roll can still offend. The cliche "If it's too loud, you're too old" is too obvious here. What comes to my mind is "Why did you sit so close?" or "Why not give your seats to the rockabilly hot rod guys at the beer stand that want it to be louder?"


Phil Alvin displays his famous grimace as he is eaten by a giant electric cactus.


The duck pond is very effective at discouraging stage dives.


Before the show, the cactus lies in wait, ready to strike.

Nick 13

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Nick 13.jpg

Nick 13 at the second of two sold-out shows at the Troubadour this weekend in celebration of his solo country album. He's on tour now, but you can see Tiger Army at the Orange County Fair on Saturday, July 30th.

Meat Puppets in the ABQ

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Every music geek that ever learned to type has long ago soaked their t-shirts in drool about the albums "Meat Puppets II," "Up On The Sun," and others from the Meat Puppets SST golden era, so I won't bother. I admit to not paying much attention to their major-label output in the 90's and felt rock-snobbishly honor-bound to ignore them when they became legitimately popular. Regrets, I've had a few.

I've been on a Meat Puppets kick lately. Living in the desert has that effect.
It's gotten to the point where I've been rescuing their late 20th century releases from local budget bins. One of my purchases was met with a refreshing blast of record store clerk snideness.
"The Meat Puppets? Are they still alive? Didn't one of them get shot by the cops or something?"
He got better. I also mentioned that the band was playing Albuquerque soon.

Yeah, I went to the show and I believe I saw the clerk there too. A large portion of the crowd was comprised of aging music geeks. You know the type - a little gray or thin on the top and a little thick around the middle. The hair on the chin is either the last remaining concession to hipness or an attempt to not look like their dad. It was like looking in a funhouse mirror and seeing multiple reflections of myself.

The Meat Puppets played for almost two hours. They played songs from "Meat Puppets II," they played songs from "Up On The Sun," they played this song and that song and I couldn't write a standard paint-by-numbers review at gunpoint. The surprise cover songs were "Sloop John B" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." There were too many psychedelic "Jazz Odyssey" type extended jam endings for my taste, but my taste has always been in question. Would you like to hear my rant about why Bachman-Turner Overdrive should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

I bought the new Meat Puppets CD at the merch table. I like it.

He got better.

I'll fix this one in Photoshop.