One of the greatest heaviest records of the 1990s was the Melvins' sludge-filled riff-o-rama Houdini. Half of it was (halfway) produced by Kurt Cobain, the rest of it was not, and the whole of it shattered many glass bongs when listened to at full volume. The album, funded by Atlantic Records in the heady post-Nirvana sign-a-thon that found Daniel Johnston and the Melvins labelmates, found Warner Bros. signing the Boredoms and Mudhoney, and saw all us indie-punkers baffled at the wonder of it all.
It was in this climate that the band delivered a monster of an album that harnessed hardcore and metal to create ROCK, that scared the bejeesus out of programmers, and that sold about twelve copies when it was released. But among the freaks, it grew into a classic.
So in 2005 the band played Houdini at All Tomorrow's Parties, and they did it in Japan at some point, as well. But they've never done it in their hometown, Los Angeles. And in a what-the-fuh moment of jumbo proportions, the band has announced that it will perform the record that brought us such classics as “Night Goat,” “Lizzy,” “Copache,” and the epic “Spread Eagle Beagle” in four American cities — but not LA.
Now, it's hard to complain about getting passed over on tours, because for the most part we Angelenos don't realize how lucky we are. We get everything and then some. But this one is particularly galling, because the band is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and we've just recently started to call them a Los Angeles band after the band complained in print that everybody still considered them a San Francisco outift even though Melvins kingpins King Buzzo and Dale Crover have lived in LA for nearly 20 years. So anyway, Melvins: show some love to LA and do Houdini here.
May 15 2009 Webster Hall NYC, New York
May 16 2009 Paradise Boston, Massachusetts
May 18 2009 Double Door Chicago, Illinois
May 20 2009 Emo's Austin, Texas