The Magnificent Meatsticks (2000)

the magmeat guys after smashing a drum kit with sledgehammer, axe, and whatever else was on hand. carnage! The Magnificent Meatsticks after a particularly enthusiastic session

The bastard son of beer- and burrito-fueled guys who have no business "playing" the instruments they did.

  • Me: Guitar, Drums, Vocals, Keyboards, Noises, Studio Craft
  • Mike Thaxton: Drums mainly, some editing and digital composition, voice
  • Brandon Arnieri: Bass mainly, voice

The MagMeat, as I call it, was a deliberately terrible thing to happen to music in 2000. I was finishing up the last few things I wanted to do with Receiving, and was tired of paying attention to all sorts of details like timing, pitch, decent recording, and dare I say, premonition!

A couple of buddies around that time were assembling around Hog Heaven Studio for beers and burritos, and the fun of jamming. But Mike wasn't a drummer, Brandon wasn't a bass player, and I wasn't a guitarist! But that didn't stop us. There was no way in hell that Mike, who had barely ever toyed on drums before was ever going to hold things together, and I was too horrible a guitar player (certainly in a performance situation) at the time to do much more than wank off with noises. So we laid down some groundrules: we'd all be handicapped to the greatest degree possible, and would do all our stuff straight to stereo recordings. If anything else was to be done, it would be in one take, and would involve editing the stereo file to turn it into a new form of garbage. We recorded most weeks that summer and I probably have about 15 CDs from that year, each recorded more or less on a given weekend, but crammed full of whatever I decided to keep in a seemingly random act of editing. Some bits got turned into things like these, but these are the exceptions. Most of what we did used as much noise and chaos as we could muster, but sometimes something unexpected happened and we almost broke out into actual music. As a way to let my hair down, the MagMeat was just great fun, and the totally unpretentious shit we generated sometimes is far more appealing to me than the stuff I spent a year on!

The funny thing about the MagMeat was that it was just at that time when I was starting to mess with computers, the web, and graphic twiddling. This is just when mp3.com started out and got to be the coolest thing ever. So we would do this shit, and put the stuff up the next day and tell all our buddies about it, some of whom pretended to like it. But the clincher came when I sent the San Diego Reader a note telling them to have Richard Meltzer listen to this one tune that he might dig. A couple weeks later, he wrote us up in the Reader and he too pretended to like us, which, if you know about Meltzer, he gave up pretending to like anything under the rock music umbrella back in 1971 or so. You can see the reviews on this site on the Receiving gallery page.