During the cruel isolation of both the pandemic and Chicago winter, I’ve been reflecting on some of most memorable live music shows I’ve attended because goddamn I miss live events and thought for a brief moment I’d be able to return to them. I can safely say there aren’t many more memorable than PUERTO MUERTO’s final show.
PUERTO MUERTO was a Chicago-based husband and wife goth/americana band that released five albums before imploding around 2010. I discovered them via their last album, DRUMMING FOR PISTOLS, then heard about them performing a final live show at the legendary dive venue Empty Bottle, and I was all too happy to attend.
While I had suspected that there was some sort of strife between the two — rarely does a band explicitly declare a final show — their performance was extraordinarily combative. They closed with the titular track of their last album and I exited the club feeling like I’d witnessed the razing of a relationship. I’ve seen a lot of intense shows over the years, but Christa Meyer was so amazingly, brazenly, cathartically angry that her performance still resonates a decade later.
(HBO MAX/VOD) THE CHRIS GETHARD SHOW was a comedy/variety show from UCB comedian and podcaster Chris Gethard (best known for BEAUTIFUL STORIES FROM ANONYMOUS PEOPLE) that started on Manhattan public television, then leapt to Fusion TV, then truTV picked it up and, after a year, they unceremoniously canceled the show.
Gethard spearheaded this anarchic, supremely kindhearted show whose closest comparison is probably PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE because of its endearing cast of wacky characters and overall earnestness.
I came to the show late and never saw any of the public TV eps, but it quickly became appointment television. The best introduction is probably -One Man’s Trash- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwi_kE0gy94 ) which features Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas guessing the content of the show’s dumpster. The reveal is amazing, and by far one of the best moments of TV in the past decade.
I’d be remiss to not mention that Shannon O’Neill is Gethard’s sidekick, and I believe she is legally required to play every non-leading film or TV production role in every TV show, as she’s basically played the same character on DIFFICULT PEOPLE, HIGH MAINTENANCE, UNCLE PECKERHEAD, -and- BLACK BEAR.
You can view the three Fusion/truTV seasons via HBO MAX because apparently there’s no rhyme or reason as to what streams anywhere now, but a bunch of the eps are available via Gethard’s YouTube account as well.