Of all the punk-rock bands to emerge out of late-'70s England, the Mekons are perhaps a little more eclectic than the rest. Though their roots remain punk, over the years the band (with a rotating lineup of musicians), have dabbled in noise rock, synth-pop, and even country-western. So it makes sense that the subjects would be varied in the artwork of band members Jon Langford and Rico Bell (a.k.a. Eric Bellis). Langford's paintings fuse Americana, Western/cowboy iconography, and New York rock with famous musicians like Joey Ramone, Elvis, and Hank Williams. His paintings appear to have done as much hard living as their subjects, with cracks, surface scratches, and a nicotine-like glaze, which gives them a bit of a rode-hard-and-put-away-wet appeal. Rico Bell's pastels are reminiscent of old-fashioned British folk art, complete with warm wheat fields and large bovine animals. Both artists will be in town this weekend as part of the Current's Fakebook Series, which will feature a Mekons performance and a discussion with rock critic Greil Marcus. Opening reception 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, March 28.
March 28-30, 2008