A Meat Puppets primer before their Beauty Bar show

In recent years the Meat Puppets have played with Soul Asylum, The Dean Ween Group and The Moistboyz.
Photo: Jaime Butler
Ian Caramanzana

Who: Brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood (guitar/vocals and bass, respectively), drummer Shandon Sahm and touring guitarist Elmo Kirkwood. The band formed in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1980, and its eclectic brew of psychedelia and country-tinged punk caught the attention of label heads at legendary punk imprint SST. Thirteen years and seven albums later, the brothers Kirkwood joined Nirvana onstage for the latter’s legendary MTV Unplugged session, which exposed a whole new audience to the Puppets. Despite having broken up twice over the years, they continue to record and tour.

Key releases: Start with 1984’s Meat Puppets II. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain loved the album so much, he included three of its songs—”Pleateau,” “Lake of Fire” and “Oh, Me”—on the Unplugged album. A departure from the band’s noisy roots, II it delves into country-rock and even acoustic ballads. What else? You’ve probably heard “Backwater,” the grungy, slow-burner from 1994’s Too High to Die, the Meat Puppets’ lone gold-selling LP. The band’s catalog now stands at 14 albums, with most recent album Rat Farm (2013) finding the band exploring folk and prog-rock territory.

The latest: Tour, tour, tour. In recent years, Curt and Cris have shared the stage with acts the likes of Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players, Soul Asylum, The Dean Ween Group and The Moistboyz. Now, they’re on the road with aggressive Minnesota rockers The Modern Era.

Meat Puppets with The Modern Era, Stonefield. March 24, 8 p.m., $15-$18. Beauty Bar, 702-598-3757.

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