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Three Nights Ago: Meat Puppets in My Living Room

Meat Puppets, Meat Puppets II
Hall Residence
October 6, 2007

Better Than: Don’t tease me.

Download: Rare Meat, a fan assembled compilation of rarities, b-sides, and promotional recordings. Or, like me, you could just listen to Meat Puppets II until the acid-washed southwestern cowpunk soundscapes are seared permanently into your cerebral cortex.

I don’t get out that much. Two kids under five and a job that holds me overnight half the time preclude much of a social life. I have to be pretty discriminating, and the Meat Puppets certainly warrant a rare emergence from my domestic torpor. Everything was arranged. I was on the guest list (thank you, Chris); the babysitter had arrived (thank you, mom); the kids were both asleep (thank you, God). I’d been listening to the Pups back catalogue all week just to psych myself up. I was ready to get my ass kicked by the Kirkwood Bros.

We rolled down Richmond with plenty of time to spare to catch the start of the set, actually found a parking spot within walking distance of the Proletariat, ensured plenty of cash-in-pocket for $2 Lone Stars, and made our way in the door. And right back out. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had allowed her I.D. to expire. This, the doorman informed me, was completely unacceptable. Now, I know the guy was just doing his job, and I recognize the technical validity of his argument, but still. It’s not as if she was some teenager with a shitty fake. No admittance to a bar without a valid I.D., he repeated.

Never mind the fact that she regularly purchases alcohol with that same I.D., or that she was admitted (and booze-banded) by two different clubs within the past month. The guy actually cited the – apparently likely – possibility that the TABC could raid the club that very night, demanding valid identification from every patron, and that my wife’s expired (but legit) card could land the club a whopping fine. Nothing could be done. At first I thought he was joking when he waved me through but pointed to my wife and said, “but she can’t come in.” Nope. No joke. No Meat Puppets. No Fucking Way.

I drove home, deflated. I sent the babysitter packing, popped Meat Puppets II in the hi-fi, and wallowed. My wife cracked a couple of beers (both for me) and apologized for the snafu. I assured her that I was OK (a complete lie), and that I’d have another chance to see them (probably also a complete lie). I allowed the fractured throbbing of “Plateau” to take me away. I tried to console myself through the lyrics: “who needs action when you got words?” Who needs the real deal when you can listen to a recording on the floor of your living room, knowing others are having their skulls imploded across town?

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Who am I kidding? Fuck you, bureaucracy!

Personal Bias: The Meat Puppets were one of the first bands I got into when I started actually paying attention to music. You never get over your first loves.

Random Detail: I had been given the option to review either Octopus Project (whom I actually saw Thursday) or the Meat Puppets (whom I clearly didn’t see on Saturday). Naturally, I chose the Pups.

By the Way: If anyone happened to record the show (legitimately, of course), I’d be very interested in getting my hands on a copy. -- Nicholas L. Hall

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