Name: Karen Meat & the Players
Members: Arin Eaton (vocals, guitar, synth, organ, percussion), Phil Young (bass), Brad Turk (omnichord, vocals, percussion)
From: Des Moines, IA
Genre: Garage, Punk, Roots
RIYL: Colleen Green, Courtney Barnett





This ain’t Kraftwerk’s mainframe. Karen Meat & the Players are led by Arin Eaton, a Nashville transplant who used to work for Music City’s Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp and previously recorded wistful folk-pop under the alias Elizabeth Arynn. As Karen Meat, she’s blunter and more conversational, uncloaking a barstool drawl for no-nonsense observations that suggest a landlocked American cousin to ascendant Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett. Karen Meat & the Computer, the project’s first full-fledged release —titled that way because Eaton originally planned to make the record solo on her computer — is a set of strategically off-kilter pop that celebrates both negative-body-image-and-all imperfection and the Des Moines scene Eaton now calls home. First single “If I Were Yours” updates girl-group longing with swirling Omnichord tones from local mainstay Brad Turk, who takes the lead on darkly humorous sing-along “Your Blood” and spacey Midwestern lament “Brad’s Last Waltz.” Fellow DSM regulars Phil Young and Jory Brown also contribute, and the tone of collaborative nonchalance is set by the opening, reverb-drenched cover of Iowa indie-rock hero Patrick Tape Fleming’s self-deprecating ode “The Prettiest Song.” Noise-scrawled, bass-propelled anthem “Pizza & Beer” contains the tape’s most representative Eaton lyric: “You want me to be the girl of your dreams/ But I’d rather barf all the shit I snarfed down earlier.” Eaton has hung around music long enough to suspect the reality could be both.
– by Marc Hogan


With her twangy voice, witty and amusing lyrics akin to Courtney Barnett, and a catchy, melodic indie-pop-rock vibe, the EP is smile-inducing, fun, and completely unpretentious. It’s full of energy and just a blast…The addition of the omnichord – an instrument that we love – provides a welcoming texture. – The Revue

Introducing >>> Karen Meat & the Players: Karen Meat & the Players, a garage/roots-punk trio from Des Moines, Iowa, have just released their self-titled, five-track, debut EP, on cassette and digital formats from Red Nude Tapes. An EP of disarming frankness and vulnerability throughout, even when the subject at hand is pizza and beer, as on our favourite track on the collection. – Mad Mackerel

Karen Meat & The Players began as a solo creative outlet for Des Moines, Iowa’s Arin Eaton, but it’s grown into a band that is soon to release the five-song, debut EP Karen Meat & The Computer. “If I Were Yours” is its delightful first single whose D.I.Y., 60s girl-group swing is blanketed warmly with handmade flourishes and a love for creativity. ‘If I Were Yours’ is its delightful first single whose D.I.Y., 60s girl-group swing is blanketed warmly with handmade flourishes and a love for creativity.” – The Autumn Roses

Karen Meat & The Players have been a name around town for a while now—mostly playing on the bills of other headliners making their way through town like Pokey LaFarge, Caroline Smith, Diarrhea Planet, and more. It’s high time the trio gets their own moment on the main stage, and it’s more than deserved. Their debut EP—a 5-song compilation that perfectly pulls together vocalist Arin Eaton’s frolicking drawl and the trademark sound of Eaton’s “Players” (more on that below). The only way to describe the result is, well, catchy. Each listen will sound just a tad different from the previous, making it one of those albums you’ve got floating around in your head long after your music player is off, stowed away, and forgotten. – Band Bombshell

MUSIC BLOG: DIG THE NEW BREED – TUESDAY 17TH MARCH 2015: Karen Meat & The Players – Pizza & Beer. – Dig the New Breed

For an album that contains songs that are mostly about pizza, beer, and dysfunctional relationships, Karen Meat’s latest offering, ‘Karen Meat & The Computer,’ is utterly and unrelentingly adorable. In the span of just five tracks, from three different songwriters, they manage to articulate a unified theme and a fresh, challenging take on the world that is vexingly rooted in both the kitschy and the macabre. Somehow it is both cute and gritty, exhibiting pop sensibilities in equal measure to it’s hooligan nature. – DSM Shows

As my luck would have it, Arynn, Karen and Arin found a way to finally co-exist. And that wonderful co-existence is highlighted on Karen Meat and the Players new tape Karen Meat and the Computer. Karen Meat is still dominating, with her songs about junk food and overt blood metaphors, but you see the glimpses of pop sensibilities that made Drifter such a darling album for me…So let’s all raise our mason jars and flasks and cheap beers for a toast. Elizabeth Arynn is dead; long live Karen Meat. – David Murphy, Des Moines Is Not Boring

Karen is Sharing – Meet Karen Meat and the Players: Arin Eaton and her players, Brad Turk, Phil Young, Joryn Brown. With the help of Eaton’s computer and plenty of roast beef sandwiches, the band will be releasing Karen Meat & the Computer EP on March 3rd via Red Nude Tapes (it looks like it’ll be released as a cassette tape and digital). – We Heart Music

Karen Meat & the Computer plays a tape release show for its first EP at 9:30 p.m. at Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St. The EP features songs written by Arin Eaton (aka Karen Meat), Patrick Tape Fleming of Gloom Balloon and Brad Turk of Easy Fruit. – Juice Magazine


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