Reunited and raking in critical acclaim, the Meat Puppets join their Kansas City pals and fellow Anodyne Records signees the Hearers for the second time since sharing a stage in Austin last March at SXSW. We've already written about the Pups' return and the making of their new album, Rise to Your Knees (see "Of Mice and Meat," July 19), but the band's live show is something else. Curt Kirkwood is a fucking monster on guitar — precise and melodic, yet aggressive and off-kilter, like a man chainsawing an ice sculpture into the shape of a swan. Or a naked lady. Or a big cock. Whatever floats your boat, man. The point is, Kirkwood's playing is a pleasure to behold for anyone whose induction to rock-and-roll fanhood had something to do with the sweet sound of a distorted guitar. Combine that with the Meat Puppets' grimy, incantatory songwriting, die-hard-rocker stage presence and an ice-cold beer, and you've got a reason to believe again.