Two Chances to See Soul Asylum and the Meat PuppetsJune 19th, 2015
More than three decades ago, Dave Pirner (vocals and guitar) formed Soul Asylum in Minneapolis. The band found modest success with their first five albums before blowing up big time and becoming alt-rock darlings with the release of 1992’s triple-platinum Grave Dancers Union (stream it below)—and its huge sing-along hits, “Runaway Train,” “Somebody to Shove” and “Black Gold.” Since then, although the lineup, still anchored by Pirner, has changed, Soul Asylum (above, performing “Black Gold” for Minnesota Public Radio 89.3 FM) have remained active, touring and recording. Their 10th full-length album, the well-received Delayed Reaction (stream it below), came out in 2012. Per the A.V. Club, “With Delayed Reaction, whatever lingering bewilderment and bitterness Pirner felt about success seems to have vanished. In its place is a classic Soul Asylum record: scrappy, aching and only a little worse for the wear.”
That the Meat Puppets are still around is something of a miracle. Brothers Curt (vocals and guitar) and Cris Kirkwood (bass) and Co. have been making their own brand of psychedelic- and roots-influenced punk for more than 35 years—with the occasional hiatus, breakup or prison stint getting in the way—inspiring and influencing the likes of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pavement. Like their current tour mates, Soul Asylum, the Meat Puppets (below, doing “Plateau” live in the Bing Lounge) have also remained relevant by continuing to release new music, including their 14th LP, Rat Farm, out in 2013. “It’s dizzying psychedelic country in finest Meat Puppets tradition,” according to the Independent, “full of slightly off-centre harmonies in Grateful Dead manner, and plenty of Kirkwood’s swirling, trippy guitar.” Catch both bands tomorrow night at Brooklyn Bowl and on Monday at The Bowery Ballroom.