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Last week, the Mekons‘ publicist sent me an e-mail announcing that the band will be releasing its first album of new material in five years. The publicist hyped the album, Natural, with this prose:
“The Mekons picked up their instruments and lost themselves far beyond the beaten path, out in the wilds of the English countryside. They drank whiskey all night, listened to the rocks and the Stones and tuned into strange old frequencies. They recited lines from Darwin and Thoreau and renewed their vows in a remote stone circle high up on the blasted heath where birds and branches sing beneath the roar of jet fighters as they swoop over the sharp crags and dark water, rehearsing for Armageddon.”
Basically, the album, which comes out today, sounds a lot like the Mekons. Salty and sweet. Worn and brand-new all at once. Still punk if punk were a M.O. rather than a sound. Thirty years going, the Mekons—like the Fall and the Ex—are still doing interesting things. How many old-time punks can you say that about?
Anyway, this news of a new album caused some excitement in the offices of Black Plastic Bag. More excitement than most of the crap we get in the mail. After all, we do heart the Mekons. Our excitement only increased when we realized that the band is playing here on Oct. 1.
And then…we noticed that here isn’t here. The band isn’t playing the 9:30 Club or the Black Cat or the Black Cat backstage. The Mekons are playing at Jammin’ Java in fucking Vienna.
And that just makes us feel old. Here’s a clip of when we all were a lot younger: