Red Red Meat
Post-coital Ghost Dreams From A Warm Mammal Pile
Cat. No. JB139
- Intro (Single Version)
- Lather (ACME Sessions)
- Make You Gone
- Idiot Son (4-track Demo)
- Carpet (4-track Demo)
- Oxtail (4-Track Demo)
- Listening Now
- Idiot Son (Cleversley Version)
- Steal Away
- Snow Shoe Waltz
- Milk For The Mechanics
- Tin Hands & Lazy Motors
- Welcome Christmas
- Intro/Nikkety (Live at the Metro, April 1994)
- Snowball (Live at the Metro, April 1994)
- Rusted Water/Molly's On The Rag (Live at the Metro, April 1994)
What we have here is a collection of outtakes and rarities previously only available on the deluxe vinyl reissues of Red Red Meat's 4 studio albums. We've also dug up a few choice live moments from the release show for Jimmywine Majestic at the Metro in Chicago, April 1994.
“…if you can picture a scrubby patch of weeds and in it a clump of gauze, possibly soiled, twitching in the breeze, and the disconnected image of decay stirs something in you, you're on your way to falling in love with Red Red Meat.” – Pitchfork
Red Red Meat formed in Chicago in the late 1980s, when Tim Rutili, Ben Masserella, Glenn Girard, John Rowan, and Glynis Johnson rechristened their rock & roll band, Friends of Betty. Releasing their first single in 1991, Red Red Meat would spend most of the next decade shedding and gaining members, eventually incorporating Matt Fields, Brian Deck, and Tim Hurley. In the band’s practice space in the back of BJ’s Truck Stop and in studios around Chicago, the band would craft a discography of avant blues rock (1992’s Red Red Meat, 1994’s Jimmywine Majestic), deconstructed indie rock (1995’s classic Bunny Gets Paid), and eventually land on an approach that fused dub, electronica, and raw folk with 1997’s There’s a Star Above the Manger Tonight, a record which sought to synthesize “a field recording with a Can aesthetic.”
The truck stop doubled as a job for Rutili and Masserella, and subconsciously the seedy atmosphere of the Southside sank into the band’s sound. “We were covered in blood at that job,” Rutili says. “There was always blood.”
“People [started] to equate the name Red Red Meat with Chicago and meat packing,” Masserella says.
“It was foul as hell,” Deck says. “It smelled like rotting flesh -- because there was rotting flesh everywhere.”
“The dirtiness of it definitely seeped into the music,” Rutili says.
The band recorded for Seattle label Sub Pop and toured with the Smashing Pumpkins (who’d eulogize Johnson with their ode “Glynis” after Johnson passed away in 1992) and though the band remained out of step with the grunge-leaning modern rock scene, their records earned rave reviews: Time Out Chicago proclaimed the band “poised for world domination…with a distinctively acid-stained, unhurried take on blues/roots music.”
The world domination never came, but Red Red Meat’s influence on indie rock spread: Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock was a noted fan, as were the Spinanes, and Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot shows traces of RRM’s deconstructionist influence. After Red Red Meat’s dissolution, Rutili, Masserella, Hurley, and Deck would go on to perform with each other in a variety of configurations, including Califone, Loftus, and Sin Ropas. Deck would go on to work as a producer and engineer on some of the most important indie rock records of the 2000s, including work by Iron and Wine, the Fruit Bats, Modest Mouse, The Secret Machines, and The Shins. In 2002, Deck and Rutili would team with Brock for an album under the name Ugly Casanova.
The sound of Red Red Meat is the sound of a band untethered to commercial expectations, prone to relentless experiments in decay and stripping sounds down to elemental forms. “We made four albums that were really different from each other,” Rutili says of the band’s run, one he’s proud of.
“There was a natural progression,” Deck says. “It was a steady evolution. If you say that the first noticeable tangible…to me it was a logical progression from the time that they were Friends of Betty, right up until now.”