Friday, June 24, 2011

There were few finer bands back in the 1980s than the Meat Puppets. There have been few greater bands in the history of rock & roll as we know it. If you care to debate it, there's a comments box right there, buddy. My friend Joe Stumble alerted me to this clip. Apparently MTV would spin it on the ultra-rare occasion they felt like playing some actual rock music back in the '80s. I only just saw it for the first time yesterday. The track, "Get On Down", is from 1987's Mirage, possibly my least-fave album of theirs from the classic SST era, though still an LP I dig a whole lot (after all, one of 'em had to be a least-fave: it's a scientific fact). It's reminded me, for the 1,473rd time, just what a fuckin' beast of a band the 'Pups were: a three-headed, multi-dimensional monster which could tackle and perfect any sound placed in front of them. Carducci once wrote - I believe it's in his Enter Naomi book - that he saw 'em play live dozens of times in the early '80s, and each time they'd sound like a totally different group. One week is was Steppenwolf, the next week it could be Black Flag, Beefheart or the Byrds. It wasn't a lack of focus, but simply too many ideas flying around to be contained within a generic rock & roll show. Back then, they should've recorded an album every fortnight. The band's evolution throughout their particularly crucial first three LPs is something for which science has no explanation. From the ferocious hardcore jazz 'n' spazz of the debut to the desert-fried roots-rock of II to the intricate acid-funk of Up On The Sun, few bands have taken such a radical musical journey in so short a time. I've written about 'em all before; my mind is just racing from the bargain-basement greatness of this clip.

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