In honor of the 50th anniversary of their legendary debut Kick Out the Jams, MC5 founder and guitarist Wayne Kramer has recruited a supergroup of backing players to perform the record in full on the road, an event he’s dubbed MC50, which hits Nashville’s own Exit/In tonight, Sept. 9. The closest thing to MC5 you’ll ever see (most of the members of the classic lineup have passed), the legendary wild rockers and counterculture icons feel as relevant and essential as ever with the current state of the world. Tickets to this one of a kind show, which also features locals Taco Mouth and Memphis’ Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre, are still available, and if you’re a fan of MC5, ’60s counterculture, or the processor to punk and metal, this is, without a doubt, a must-see event. Read on for more below.
A legendary act in American rock, a seminal voice and instrumental part of the counterculture movement, and an influence to much of the punk, metal, stoner rock, and more to emerge in subsequent years, Michigan’s MC5 first came together in 1964, releasing just three classic albums before disbanding in 1972, the best known and most beloved of which is their debut, Kick Out the Jams. Though a brief reunion in the early ’90s and a more prominent one in the ’00s have taken place, most of the members of the group’s classic lineup have since passed on, leaving founding guitarist and vocalist Wayne Kramer as the most prominent part of MC5 left. In honor of Kick Out the Jams‘ 50th anniversary, Kramer has opted to put together a tour with a supergroup he’s calling MC50; not a tribute group by any stretch, as Wayne still helms it, but distinct in that it’s not exactly MC5, just the closest thing you’ll get in this day in age. Joined by guitarist Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), drummer Brendan Canty (Fugazi), bassist Dug Pinnick (King’s X), and singer Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla), the band will play Kick Out the Jams from top to bottom, which Kramer calls “as exciting a project as I could have ever imagined.” Given the state the world right now, a beacon of ’60s counterculture feels not only fitting, but relevant once more, and a great as legendary as MC5, returning in a new form to play their best and most important record ever, is sight you don’t want to miss!
Formed by ex-Dead Deads members Erica Sellers and Angela Lese, new local project Taco Mouth, something of a version 2.0 of the gals’ former Louisville group CatFight, fuses a love of old school hard rock and punk with more contemporary party rock. Definitely indebted to the protopunk bite and counterculture spirit of acts like MC5 (they even describe themselves as “Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets MC5” on social media), the band have become an increasingly active fixture in the local scene since first emerging last year, and their debut EP, W.G.A.F., arrived back in February. With a wild and exciting live show and a full-length on the way, if you haven’t explored this up and coming group yet, there’s never been a better time to jump on the bandwagon.
JOECEPHUS AND THE GEORGE JONESTOWN MASSACRE
Hailing from nearby Memphis, Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre find the sweet spot between hard rock, punk, country, and metal. Helmed by lifelong musician Joey Killingsworth, the band got their start after single “Quittin Time” attracted attention from the release of an EP under Joey’s own name, prompting him to recruit a rotating slate of backing players in 2004, soon finding themselves sharing the stage with the likes of Shooter Jennings, David Allan Coe, Agent Orange, and Reverend Horton Heat. Over more than a decade since, Joecephus have released several well-received full-lengths, and continue to remain a well-regarded live fixture, able to match with a variety of acts thanks to their genre-bending sound. Show up early, and expect a rowdy good time.
MC50, Taco Mouth, and Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre will perform Sunday, Sept. 9 at Exit/In. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $50.