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Mekons to Blend Wit and Anarchy at the Troubadour

September 05, 2002|DEAN KUIPERS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Mekons' lusty, artsy take on agit-punk has kept them swashbuckling for 25 years, bobbing atop currents of political dogma and stylistic purity that pulled under many of their contemporaries.

From their 1977 single "Never Been in a Riot," a direct response to the Clash's smash-it-up anthem "White Riot," to the new album, "OOOH! (Out Of Our Heads)," these U.K. ex-pats (leaders Jon Langford and Sally Timms live in the U.S.) have dredged art-punk, drunken barroom howl, roaring guitar rock ("The Mekons Rock and Roll"), alt-country (Langford fronted the Waco Brothers) and even sing-along pop ("Millionaire").

"OOOH!" finds their anarchic humor and consciousness intact, with a great new Richard Thompson-like single, "Thee Olde Trip to Jerusalem." The anniversary tour brings the "Rock and Roll" lineup, including guitarists Tom Greenhalgh and Rico Bell, drummer Steve Goulding, bassist Sarah Corina, violinist Suzie Honeyman and sax player Lu Edmonds.

A new book of Mekons lyrics, art and photographs, "Hello Cruel World" (Verse Chorus Press), celebrating the art show "Out of Our Heads," which gave rise to this album, also goes on sale this week.

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Mekons, Waycross, Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 8 p.m., $15. (310) 276-6168.

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