The best band at my high school was a stoner blues-rock band by the name of The Lopez 5 (the band’s original name was The Jawa Quintet, but the fellas decided to change it amid hilariously irrational fears that George Lucas would sue them), and one of my most vivid memories is when the band’s lead singer lent a jacket to me for gym class on a damp, cool day and I ended up smelling like patchouli for weeks. Like the jacket, psychedelic blues-rock of the kind Dead Meadow continues to trot out just feels warm to clothe yourself with every once in a while. The D.C. power trio has made a career out of drug-influenced jams and a steady diet of classic-rock riffs, like a Black Sabbath record buried underneath layers of reverb and THC. The band’s last record, “Old Growth,” was more of the same dense instrumentation and strangely sleepy concentration that have defined the band’s career, and despite outward lethargy, there’s a deep, murky, serious element to Jason Simon’s melodies. Dead Meadow proves that jam rock doesn’t have to be a self-righteous drudgery; if they’re perfected and beloved, hard rock riffs and wah-wah grooves—like that awful smell of patchouli that’s forever entwined with stoner rock—can be oh-so-homey. (Andy Seifert)
September 5 at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, (773)276-3600, at 10pm. $8-$12.