As the last night of the MELVINS residency at Spaceland approaches, I'm already thinking about another one. The residency format allows bands to showcase themselves as artists. You have the freedom to work on a new set every week, rearrange the songs you play a lot, remember the songs you don't, fuck with covers, and maybe most importantly, sleep in your own bed. But while this city has a lot of residencies, they usual feature the next unoriginal indie band nobody will remember in a few years. Maybe few groups can live up to the standard the MELVINS have set over these last few weeks. 27 years of steady output is hard to beat. Their willingness to experiment has always set them apart, and that's no doubt why they signed up for this string of gigs. And sure enough, halfway through the first set last Friday it became obvious that this was the MELVINS show I always wanted to see. What other band would close the night with an a cappella version of Okie From Muskogee in a style reminiscent of a desert evening I once had after consuming a xanax bar and a half bottle of bourbon? WEEN and the SUPERSUCKERS are both acceptable answers. And those bands, like the MELVINS, will stand the test of time.
Does a good residency require a band with that kind of history? I like to think not. Of course, a month of MOTORHEAD would be ridiculous. But assuming that's not within reach, there are lesser known acts in this town that could thrive in that format, deserve the opportunity to make their mark, and have the taste to curate the rest of the bill. It's just a matter of finding a venue willing to take a chance, and you guys showing up to reward them for doing so.