Have you already started planning your New Years celebrations? No?  Well I hate to say it, but it’s right around the corner.  This morning Metro announced that The Jesus Lizard will play New Year’s Eve 2009! Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, November 7th, at noon via the Metro website and in person at the Metro box office. So if you’re looking for a great show to see this New Year’s Eve, this is it!  Click for the entire press release with full details.

Metro is pleased to announce that The Jesus Lizard will play New Year’s Eve 2009. Into the void and vortex of the year 1989 stepped the Jesus Lizard, a largely unknown and not easily categorized quantity who would, in time, do their best to represent, for better and for worse, the full breadth of the American experience in the early 90s. Deep in the pancreas of Texas, a guitarist named Duane Denison had begun breaking down a large chunk of the history of music into its most primal, indispensible components, and preparing it for some kind of unforgiving delivery to a live rock audience. Reaching out for collaboration, Denison took the unlikely step in 1988 of roping in Austin compatriot David Yow to play bass on his fledgling compositions. Yow was well known in underground circles as the lead singer of Scratch Acid, a highly regarded and corrosive alternative to the jangly folk rock then pervasive in Austin. But Yow was a man of modest instrumental gifts. He eventually suggested Denison enlist Yow’s Scratch Acid bandmate David Sims instead – a player of substantially greater musical ability, who also happened to own a drum machine.  The following year, the three moved to Chicago and recorded the EP Pure.  It was unanimously agreed that replacing Sims’ drum machine with a live drummer was a must. Yow suggested McNeilly of the Atlanta band 86 for the job, a decision which was a pivotal moment for the band, as some elusive and intangible four-ness was achieved with the addition of Mac McNeilly to the Jesus Lizard.

These four artists would release four full-length albums for Touch and Go Records over a four year period, roughly, give or take, each with a four letter title, that stand today as some of the most original, compelling, and visceral rock music ever recorded. First, there is Head, released in 1990, which also includes the debut EP Pure. On it, Denison unburdens himself of an astonishing flurry of pent up riffage. Yow sings as if tied down to a bench, gurgling and mewling through enhanced interrogation.  Goat, released in 1991, delivers on the Jesus Lizard promise in ways almost too numerous to mention. Denison, whose musical ideas continue to stun throughout, has found an almost impossibly sympathetic foil in McNeilly, and the intuitive connection is fully evident throughout.  At this point, the Jesus Lizard was composing more and more with an eye to the live situation. Bassist Sims is revealed as the band’s secret weapon, precise and substantial in the studio, wide-eyed and mouth agape, stock still in anchoring an increasingly frenzied, chaotic stage show. Yow’s complete disregard for his own health and safety in the service of fan entertainment is well-documented and the stuff of legend. 1992’s Liar was in many ways a distillation of the Jesus Lizard aesthetic to that point in time. Liar takes its gains in the new ways Sims, Denison, and McNeilly find to put each rhythm idea in an interlocking vice grip.  The final offering of the Jesus Lizard’s Touch and Go era was 1994’s Down. Remarkable in many ways, it features the Jesus Lizard’s first Christmas song, in which a woman tells the story of being poisoned by her husband with mistletoe. By album number four, the Jesus Lizard had co-opted and redefined convention. The band left Touch and Go and signed to Capitol Records in 1995, where they released Shot in 1996, and Blue in 1998, before breaking up in 1999.

This year, the original lineup of David Yow, Duane Denison, David Wm Sims and Mac McNeilly reunited for a series of shows with the original lineup, including the Pitchfork Music Festival and All Tomorrows Parties festivals in London and New York. All four Touch and Go era albums plus the Pure EP were remastered and reissued by the label on October 6, 2009, with re-released with expanded packaging and bonus tracks.  In addition, the band has been touring throughout the country, and will play two sold out shows at Metro on November 27 and 28.

Now, the band caps off a remarkable year with a New Year’s Eve show in the town where they first recorded their music, Chicago.  The Jesus Lizard is one of the most intense and visceral live bands to ever destroy a stage, and this reunion offers a rare chance to once again be blown away by the energy, sweat, and sheer power the band is capable of producing.

Opening band Disappears features members of Chicago bands The Pony’s 90 Day Men and Boas.  Started as a recording project between Brian Case (The Ponys/ 90 Day Men) and Graeme Gibson (Boas), Disappears quickly evolved into a functioning band with the addition of Jonathan Van Herik (Boas) and Damon Carruesco.  Drawing on a combined reverence for reverb, heavy tremolo, distortion, delay and repetition, Disappears play minimal rock music inspired by everything from Krautrock to the Staples Singers to punk to CCR.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday November 7 at noon via the Metro website and in person at the Metro box office.  Tickets are $51 in advance and $61 day of show. Disappears will open. The show is 18 & over.  Doors are at 9pm and the show starts at 10pm.

Thursday, December 31:
New Year’s Eve…
$51 advance, $61 day of show/ 18 & over / Doors: 9PM / Show: 10PM

Metro Box Office
Internet sales at www.metrochicago.com

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