40 Watt Club
285 W Washington
Athens, GA 30601
10:00 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013
Supporting Acts: The Tomatoes, Hayride Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets have released a stream for "Down," the first single from their 14th studio album, Rat Farm, out April 16 on Megaforce Records. Click here to listen. The album features the brothers' almost-there harmonies, latticed guitar work and the sort of mind-bending psychedelic sound that cements their contribution to the cosmic country genre, stretching back to the Louvin Brothers and beyond. The legendary desert punks just performed at SxSW, including the opening slot for Dave Grohl and the Sound City Players at Grohl's invitation. The live band consists of the Kirkwood brothers, singer/guitarist Curt Kirkwood and bassist Cris Kirkwood with drummer Shandon Sahm and new addition on second guitar, Elmo Kirkwood (Curt's son). The 12 original tracks on Rat Farm are confident and colorful with the playfully droll, surreal lyrics that have become a Puppets trademark. It's a strong statement from a band entering its fourth decade of a career that's been legendary since they exploded on the '80s underground punk scene. They came from a scene that was DIY from cradle to grave and has shaped American musical culture ever since. To this day, they've remained true to that ethic, continuing to call the shots on their career. Rat Farmfinds producer, songwriter and arranger Curt Kirkwood constructing -- in his words -- "real blown-up folk music." "I tried to write stuff that would stand on its own, just the chords and the melodies, and play it kind of straight," he says of the songs on Rat Farm. "I think that was the guiding boundary that I gave myself. It was one of those things where a lot of times, in the past especially, Cris would go, 'Well, that's all there is? Let's put a prog rock part in the middle.' But I tried to hold off as much as I could." Following SxSW, the Meat Puppets will tour Southern and Eastern US markets from March 28 through April 13. They'll perform in Panama on March 23 and then travel to Primavera Festival in Barcelona on May 25 for the ATP-curated stage where they will join up with Band of Horses, Nick Cave, My Bloody Valentine, and Dead Can Dance. This date is repeated in Lisbon May 31 and then the Puppets join Mudhoney for a week-long UK tour ending in June 8. Part of the original West Coast punk/hardcore explosion, the Meat Puppets were the wayward desert punks of the bunch, injecting their cosmic country leanings to create their own sound. It may not have endeared them to the hardcore generation, but the Puppets were too musical not to evolve. Along the way, they earned the admiration of a global pantheon of critics and rock music peers. The certified classics reach back to Meat Puppets I, II, and Up On The Sun, and have been book-ended by recent releases Sewn Together and Lollipop. With brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood reunited in 2009 and the 2012 release of the band's graphic tell-all biography, Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets, the Puppets' iconic status is cemented. The instinctive confidence that comes with decades of honing their craft keeps the Meat Puppets pure and relevant. With Rat Farm, the Meat Puppets shine like the crazy diamonds they are and will always be. They've never tried to second-guess their fans or worry about relevance, and in the end, what could be more punk rock than that? Click to stream "Down" from Rat Farm: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=kdH8R9PUAfs&feature=youtu.be.