Red Red Meat, Pillars & Tongues | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Red Red Meat, Pillars & Tongues Recommended Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Tue., March 17, 9:30 p.m. 2009

If Red Red Meat were pilots, they’d be the guys who never got airline jobs because they couldn’t resist flying their two-seaters through hangars upside down. Singer-guitarist Tim Rutili and crew started out with a sensible flight plan: they signed to Sub Pop, put out the no-nonsense rock album Jimmywine Majestic, and toured madly, at one point opening for the Smashing Pumpkins. But sensible must not have turned their crank, and on their second Sub Pop record, 1995’s Bunny Gets Paid, they went barnstorming. “Chain Chain Chain” and “Rosewood, Wax, Voltz + Glitter” have the chugging grooves and indelible hooks of classic-rock hits, but the woozy “Variations on Nadia’s Theme” and the creaky “Sad Cadillac” sound like they were pulled apart in the studio and purposefully re­assembled wrong. Red Red Meat was mothballed in 1999 but never formally broke up—its members continue to work together, and nearly all Rutili’s old bandmates have helped him out in Califone. They pulled off a partial reunion on a whim in 2005, opening for Iron and Wine, and last year the band played a couple proper gigs, catalyzed by an invitation to Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary. This month the label is releasing a two-CD version of Bunny, and though the bonus disc—demos, alternate takes, covers—is a nice treat, it’s the original album I can’t quit playing. The lineup from the record is convening for these concerts and a trip to SXSW. Pillars & Tongues open. —Bill Meyer

Price: $15

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