Muppet Rawk at Ouch My Eye gallery

There are three reasons I love the recently opened Occhio coffee shop in SoDo. First, they serve Stumptown Coffee, which is, simply, nectar of the gods. Second--actually, maybe this is first--they are located really close to our office, so where we were previously limited to office coffee or Krispy Kreme's $.05/cup joe (not sure which is the lesser of the two evils there) we suddenly find ourselves blessed with easy access to Stumptown. Thirdly, Occhio is attached to and affiliated with Ouch My Eye gallery, which is always up for some fun, lowbrow art weirdness.

During my coffee trek yesterday I took a quick tour through Muppet Rawk, Ouch My Eye's current exhibit (up through May 31), which is pretty great. Apparently this is the second (third?) year for Muppet Rawk (here's a slideshow from 2008), in which local artists re-create famous album covers using...famous muppets. You'll see Nirvana's "Nevermind" cover with a naked Kermit instead of a naked baby, and Miss Piggy both as Janet Jackson (Miss Piggy If You're Nasty) and as Madonna on her "Like a Virgin" cover. Another stroke of comedy gold: the M.W.A. cover (Muppets With Attitude) based on N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton," which reads, "Straight Outta Henson."

Some of the heavy metal send-ups are both funny and weirdly disturbing--Bert sporting the Silence of the Lambs style facemask and straight jacket from Quiet Riot's "Mental Health" album (renamed "Metal Felt"), for example, is just...wrong. And yet so good. Also look for Beaker taking a turn as Jim Morrison, and Gonzo on the Clash's "London Calling" cover.

When I asked co-owner Bob where the idea of combining muppets and rock came from, he shrugged and said, "Muppets and album covers: two childhood favorites." Nuff said.

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