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The Mekons

IT’S A COMPLIMENT to say that virtually everything in the Mekons United catalogue reads like a practical joke. Of course, there really must be a Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, where THE MEKONS—that rowdy, collectivistic, erstwhile punk band founded in Leeds in 1977—hung their group-made paintings and other visual and verbal effluvia this spring. But despite the catalogue’s posh design and the genuine Mekons CD slipped in the back sleeve, Mekons United gleefully begs to be interrogated for its authenticity, if not its authorship.

This is, no doubt, just as the band, or more exactly its longest-standing members, Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh, intended. The former’s winkingly devious handprint is particularly evident here, despite the Mekons’ frequent effort to erase questions of who does what. Still, one wonders what clever mind exactly is responsible for “Colin and Carol Stewart.”

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