Widely regarded as one of the first indie rock bands when they combined psychedelic rock and country with punk, the Meat Puppets have hit the road again with two thirds of their original lineup. 30 years after first hitting the Arizona punk scene they are celebrating the release of their twelfth record titled Sewn Together released earlier this year. June 11 and 12 they can be found at the Mercury Lounge in New York City with Retribution Gospel Choir as main support.
Formed in 1980 in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ, drummer Derrick Bostrom, bassist Cris Kirkwood and his brother guitarist Curt Kirkwood began learning songs from Bostrom’s collection of punk 45s. After settling on the name Meat Puppets after a song Curt wrote of the same name they began playing shows and eventually attracted the attention of punk label SST who they signed with.
The band gained brief mainstream success in 1993 when they performed an acoustic version of the song “Lake of Fire” with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana on MTV Unplugged. The exposure and the strength of “Backwater” their only charting single to date lead to their only gold-selling record Too High to Die. The subsequent tour with Stone Temple Pilots and the easy availability of drugs caused Cris to fall into the clutches of addiction and eventually the band’s official breakup in 2003 when he was convicted of felony assault charges.
The Kirkwood brothers reunited in 2006 with Ted Marcus and released Rise to Your Knees in 2007. In early 2008 the band signed with Megaforce and began work on Sewn Together. Megaforce’s hands-off approach to handling their artists allowed the band to work without pressure harkening back to their early days with SST. The result is a classic Meat Puppets release featuring warm and offbeat psychedelic pop.
The Mercury Lounge is located at 217 East Houston Street in New York City. Doors will open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $16 in advance and $18 the day of this 21 and over show. For more information go to myspace.com/themeatpuppets.