Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Meat Puppets and Built to Spill at the EchoPlex, 2/23/08

The Meat Puppets:

Ugly Kirkwood bros.
Make scathing, scintillating,
Raw, joyful, true rock.

Built to Spill

A rare smile from Doug
As honest and lovely as
"Carry The Zero".

I know that this is a haiku site and you did not come here for my long diatribes on the Los Angeles concert scene. I could not let this show go without a few more than 17 syllables, however. The Meat Puppets and Built to Spill reminded me why I love music last night. Damn right, it was sweaty and old and hairy and experimental. It was not post-punk Italian boots and asymmetrical hairstyles. It was not a display of one's American Apparel wardrobe. It was without pretension, without glamor, without insecurity.
The Kirkwood brothers produced tempo-changes, bass-thumping and effortless, that will haunt my dreams. With every finger moving, they produced notes and layers of melodies that I could barely keep up with from the front row. Their faces shone with maturity, with a sage understanding of the beauty they were creating.
Doug Martsch was not be outdone, so after carefully soaking in the Meat Puppet's performance from the side of the stage, he unassumingly emerged and began his opus. He does not give too much of himself via stage banter... no, he saves his expression for the breathless music that seeps from his guitar, all the guitars. Every now and then, while sharing a harmony with his bandmates, a subtle smile would creep across his face and one could not help but appreciate how much he loves what he is doing. The show was not about us, the self-centered crowd always heckling for more. It really wasn't about him either. The show was about the anthemic moment at then end of "Carry The Zero" when everyone shouted along at the top of their lungs, knowing every damn word and hearing nothing but Doug, guards down, eyes closed, souls free,
"fractions of the sum."

That's the shit for which one bleeds... for which I bleed. I remember that now.

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