Travis Meeks, the Heavy Pets 


At 9 p.m. Friday, May 25

Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.

$10 advance, $12 at the door

For one bright, shining moment, in the late 1990s, Days of the New was looking like the Next Big Thing, heavy, dark, doomy and gritty but intriguingly acoustic–based. Scott Litt – of R.E.M. fame – produced the Indiana band, and “Touch, Peel and Stand” and “The Down Town” became hipster hits (the records never sold especially well, but that wasn’t the point).

But was there ever really a Days of the New? From the beginning, the singer, songwriter, guitarist and all–around pointman was Travis Meeks – a brilliant writer and a skillfully emotive, guttural singer, but a troubled individual, too. After the initial success with the album Days of the New, and a major tour as the opening act for Metallica, the famously touchy Meeks fired everyone in the band (save one guy), then signed on new people for the second album. And it’s been a similar process– lather, rinse, repeat – pretty much ever since.

It has been a rocky road, too. His meth addiction, which almost cost him his life, was chronicled on the tawdry A&E reality show Intervention.

A collaboration with original Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr ended in early 2011 with Starr’s death from a drug overdose. “He was a soldier, man,” Meeks said of his fallen comrade a few weeks ago. “I know people are pretty judgmental about drugs. I mean, I’m not completely sober but I’m not real fucked up. That’s just the truth.

“That’s beside the point, man, I’m not perfect and I like to get high. That guy really liked to get high. He was a beautiful person, a beautiful soul.”


With Big Something

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 25

Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St.

There's a good reason why this fabulously funky post-apocalypso jam band from South Florida is playing in Savannah - where the crowds always follow them sheep-like - on a relatively un-cool Wednesday night. The guys are headed up to Lafayette, Ga. To co-headline this weekend's Amberland Festival, the annual tribe-gathering Memorial Day groovefest put on by none other than the formerly-from-Savannah Perpetual Groove.

Get all you need to know at pgroove.com.

Ah, but what of these heaviest of Heavy Pets?

The band is kind of like what Little Feat would sound like if Lowell George were alive, and healthy, and had started integrating more R&B, reggae and hip hop into his rock ‘n' roll gumbo. On the 2011 Swim Out Past the Sun, mandolin king David Grisman sat in for a sly and actually funky three-song bluegrass excursion.

It's that kind of band.






About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

More by Bill DeYoung


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