The dangerous, nervy sounds inflaming the brain of Kevin McMahon will pop when the man behind Prick and Lucky Pierre performs the music of the former at the Odeon on Friday, then Pierre tunes at the Symposium two days later.
One of the key figures in modern Cleveland music, the bristly, brilliant McMahon hasn't played out since 1996, when he toured behind Prick's self-titled debut, opening for Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie. Nevertheless, McMahon's Lucky Pierre shows of the '80s still generate a buzz. "It's been hard to make music [from] recordings sound good live without major label budgeting," McMahon says from his Lakewood apartment. "[That] plus my own temperament made it hard for me to get it together to be able to endure going out on a few dates."
Joining McMahon at the Odeon will be bassist Tom Lash, formerly of Lucky Pierre and Hot Tin Roof; drummer Andy Kubiszewski, late of Stabbing Westward and the Exotic Birds; and guitarist Greg Zydyk, a Pierre associate. The latter show, featuring old and new Pierre material, will be acoustic, and McMahon will "have different guys come up to play different songs. We'll see who shows up."
The imminent Kevin McMahon Memorial Weekend is a prelude to what McMahon calls "regional tours," including, he hopes, dates in Chicago, Toronto, New York, and Boston. Burned by the music business as a virtual appendage of Trent Reznor's Nothing label, McMahon is gingerly working his way back into the industry. Last spring, he released the second Prick CD, the challenging, savage The Wreckard. It's available only online, at www.prickmusic.com. "I hope it doesn't turn into the business I was involved in before," McMahon says of his guarded reintroduction to releasing records. "I hope I can still maintain some kind of control over what I'm doing. I'm going to have to. Otherwise, I won't be able to do it."
For now, though, we're Lucky to have McMahon back in action.