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Dark Meat plans a barnstormer of Southern psychedelia



Those still hungry for a megamember music collective after The Polyphonic Spree's performance at last month's Norman Music Festival can feast on sounds from the Southern-fried psychedelic rock group Dark Meat, which will stretch the stage space Sunday at The Conservatory.

"We'll have 17 (members) at least " probably more," bassist/vocalist Ben Clack said, before stepping into a recording studio in Portland, Ore. "We adapt. We've played on festival stages and small clubs. (In the clubs,) we try to be in the crowd. We'll stand on our amps if we have to."

Hailing from Athens, Ga., Dark Meat takes sounds from the most untouched aisles of a record store to arrange one sick blues celebration. "Freedom Ritual," a song from the group's 2006 CD "Universal Indians," opens with a quiet hymn before it tapers into a blues meltdown about searching for "the sound." The tune feels almost religious.

"None of us have any religious affiliation," Clack said. "The a capella influence is directly from (English folk singer) Anne Briggs. The British (psychedelic) folk music has a huge influence on us. We got into it by being really big record nerds."

The group's series of sweaty South by Southwest music festival shows in Austin, Texas, recently created critical Internet buzz " namely, a performance during which a Washington Post blogger was struck by a band-hurled plastic ball. Dark Meat's songs move fast and often turn spooky with the members' volume of voices.  "Danny Marroquin


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