Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rise Like Lions! Shake Your Chains!

What did we do this weekend? We had our heads and hearts blasted with pure human music. We saw the Mekons.

They have just about finished or maybe are already done with a very scant 30th Anniversary Tour. We caught them at the Barrymore in Madison, Wisconsin. The Barrymore is one of our old stomping grounds, a revived old movie theater with sparkling lights in the ceiling and stray bits and pieces of its old beauty still raggedly shining through. Not unlike the Mekons. They've gotten older, grayer, filthier (or at least their stage banter has, to great effect) but have still managed to retain their essential Mekon-ness. They are tough, honest, literate, unafraid to look at reality even when they skewer its oh so precious givens, like capitalism and what passes for democracy these days. And their ragged voices have never been needed more nor sounded better.

The Mekons have a new album out now, Natural, that you must own. (Shit!) And you must own all of their previous albums too. Few things you can purchase in this world will actually improve the condition and quality of your life. With the exception of a Mekons album. They are many and we are too! (That's a joke, a misquote, a funny bit, but you gotta know the song to get it).

I'd share some live Mekons with you, but off the top of my scraggly head, I think every show I have is already available over at the Live Music Archive, so just pop on over there and sample some wares. The Mekons don't mind. In fact, they encourage it.

PS Only regret: Sally didn't sing "Secrets" and no "Robin Hood." But they did do a dark and scary "Ghosts of American Astronauts," a stunning "Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem" and the ultimate Mekons sing-a-long, "Wild and Blue." But it would've been quite a treat to hear this:

"Listen to the voices drifting through the windows
of the grand old villas of Bonn
all the town's dark secrets
float through the Rhine lands river mists

the wives of bankers reminisce in whispers
debiliated by horrors, half heard, half remembered
all the town's dark secrets
unstable and dangerous, fearful and feared

the lights went out all over Europe
and in the darkness of space
the stars are blinking with our hope
as a rocket roars out of the Cape"


Anonymous said...

To say thanks, blast from the past -LP "Fast Product - Mutant Pop 78-79", collected first singles by Mekons, Gang of Four, Scars, Human League, 2,3, Flowers .. just ask Dave Sez! Ta muchly

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I have seen the Mekons at least 50 times since the early 80's. They are still doing it and doing it beautifully. They are brilliant beautiful creatures and long may they create!!