The Mekons seem to have built themselves for a pandemic. They live scattered across the planet, and do not get together until they feel the need for recording music. And after the plague rolled in, they felt the need to make new music and did so from all the various remote locates, winding up with a final effort by a limited number of band members, working in an isolated studio in the middle of the southwestern desert.
The result is an album, that mixes the expected folk-punk, with spare, isolated noise work that sounds like Grateful Dead at the same time as the Meat Puppets. It channels the wide lonesome sound of the desert with the unnatural ability to construct great songs. And it was done with much of the work being done with ad hoc recording instruments around the world, sent to a central mixing wizard. And they did it like it was natural. OK< I love this band, but their ability to rise above roadblocks is fucking stellar.
Obviously, this blog will continue to be somewhat inoperative for some time. I have tickets that are ostensibly valid for next year some time, but we will see how THAT goes.
Before shutdown, we saw a They Might Be Giants show which was just as much fun as you would expect. And I also saw a Jon Langford/Sally Timms show that included a guest appearance by the amazing Bethany Thomas, which was amazing fun.
So, what happens for someone like me, who lives to see live music?
Well, the reciprocal thing is that most musicians also live to play live for us. In addition to the financial hit they have, they also seriously miss the emotional live connection.
And they are trying to reach back out.
Emma Swift/Robyn Hitchcock do a weekly subscription live show. Ramblin’ Deano has been working on different ways of playing that works with his life and schedule.
And bands continue to release new music. Bob Mould. Blue Oyster Cult. The Eels. Brian Fallon. Springsteen. Soul Asylum. The Mountain Goats. Something to Do. Tawny Newsome & Bethany Thomas. Drive By Truckers.
One of my older Imaginary Digital Friend who now seems to have ghosted (as opposed to zombied) use to always say about me that if he cut me, I would bleed music. But I think he has that basically backwards. We get music because the musicians can’t help but put music out.
Also, because this song just kills me every time.
so, anyone who still pays attention, just be patient. WILL BE BACK.