Mekons | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Music » Critic's Choice





When the Mekons started recording for the local Quarterstick label in 1992, some 13 years after putting out their first album, they also finally abandoned the notion of living off the band. Bad experiences with unsympathetic major labels in the late 80s and early 90s had soured the already cynical members, and now the Mekons increasingly make records and tour like some friends hook up for joint vacations. Singer and guitarist Jon Langford, singer Sally Timms, and sometime drummer Steve Goulding all live in Chicago, where they're all involved in various other projects, while the rest of the band lives in England; when they all get together--as they did last fall to make the recently released Me, the first proper Mekons album in four years--the meeting inevitably turns into a party. Their shows at the MCA with Kathy Acker back in September as well as their unannounced performance at the Rainbo in Wicker Park were joyfully raw in more ways than one. While the new album doesn't contain the Mekons' best material, it's a hoot in the same way those gigs were: always a bawdy bunch, on Me the Mekons deliver rambling, uncensored, and often hilarious views about sex. In "Tourettes" Timms reads straight-faced from a dildo catalog and Tom Greenhalgh demands "Come on my tits"; on the slightly more sober "Come and Have a Go if You Think You're Hard Enough," they use computer double entendres for STDs, a la "There's a germ that needs downloading." The opening act on this bill is the Handsome Family, whose third album, Through the Trees (Carrot Top), has held up for six months now as one of the best albums of the year. Saturday, 10 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Brad Miller.

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →