The Meat Puppets' improbable gold album, 1994's Too High to Die, has a title both accurate and true. The band's main men are brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood, who began playing punk in the '70s, turned hardcore in the early '80s and landed a deal with SST Records, which was bankrolled by Black Flag. Hopped up on weed and classic rock, the longhairs slowed down and began playing creaky tunes that caught the ears of young musicians like Kurt Cobain. Nirvana covered the Puppets' "Lake of Fire" and "Plateau" on its MTV Unplugged in New York album, and new interest led to a major-label deal for Too High to Die. Drug problems have haunted the band, but it's soldiered on in one form or another. Lollipop, released earlier this year, is a loopy tour de force that ranges from acoustic country-kissed songs to keyboard-backed rockers.
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