Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mike Watt (MN:18)

Mike Watt- Ballhog or Tugboat?

The breakup of fIREHOSE saddened me a great deal, even though I thought their last record sucked. Another instance of me damn near revering an act but never making the effort to see them play- I musta missed the ‘HOSE like six or seven times, thinking in each instance that I’d catch ‘em on the next time through. Same thing with Nirvana, Hoover. Hell, even Watt himself, this guy who I hold in such a high regard, a guy who played on the album which is, in my estimation, the best ever. How many times have I missed he and his band playing TT’s? Damn, I really have to get my shit together, you know?

(To be fair, I did plan on going to see him play the last time he came through town, but that evening happened to be October 27th, a night that found me shitfaced on the Longfellow Bridge, bellowing onto Bill Lee’s answering machine. The Sox winning the series = free pass.)

At any rate, Watt’s first solo album post-fIREHOSE gathers a staggering roster of musicians for a tough, varied bunch of songs. The title alludes to Watt playing on each track, either as the guy who pulls the songs along or as the main man. There’s a bunch of ‘hits’ to be found- Eddie Vedder singing on ‘Against The Seventies’, Dando on ‘Piss-Bottle Man’, and Watt himself on ‘Big Train’. Some meditations on Minutemen songs, a few covers, guitar wank from J. Mascics, the whole ball of wax. A nice pastiche of styles and moods that manages to sound cohesive. Easily found in used bins all over the country, no less.

Mike Watt- The Secondman’s Middle Stand

Not only a concept record but also a rock opera about how Watt had this abcess that almost killed him a few years back- echoes of Dante’s Inferno run through the record, binding it thematically. Watt’s distinctive bass tone complements his chunky, marbles-in-mouth bordering-on-Beefheart vocal style. The album is driven as much by the B3 organ as it by the man himself, and, as I’ve recently discovered, Petra Haden adding vocals can never, ever hurt an album. I’m totally impressed by this record- Watt’s fingerprints, obviously, are all over the place, but the music that he and his players make continues to expand his musical palette.


Blogger Galando said...

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6:03 PM  
Blogger Bud Wiser said...

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2:01 AM  
Blogger RichieTylerPollard said...

Am I going to buy this in the near future? Well, I may have to now....

6:41 AM  

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