Critic's Choice

If Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda had ditched Easy Rider and taken over 2001: A Space Odyssey from Stanley Kubrick, Dead Meadow would have made the perfect soundtrack. This Washington, D.C.-based trio is riding high on the acclaim from its third record, 2003's downright wizardly The Shivering King and Others. Floating in a free fall between stoner rock and psychedelia, the disc was less a musical statement than a mystical tome that alchemically wed the earth-crumpling gravity of Black Sabbath's Vol. 4 to the drone-fried atmospherics of Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets. Singer/guitarist Jason Simon brandishes riffs as if they were broadswords; when vocalizing, he sounds like that backward-talking midget from Twin Peaks puking up tree sap in slow motion. Besides Shivering King, last year saw the unleashing of Got Live If You Want It, an in-concert album produced and released by Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre -- quite a contrast to Dead Meadow's other famous patron, Joe Lally of Fugazi, who put out the group's first two discs on his own Tolotta imprint. Watch Dead Meadow unveil its tapestry of pandemonium at the Larimer Lounge on Sunday, March 7, with Nightingale; it'll make you want to strap a rocket to your chopper and aim it straight at the monolith of oblivion.


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