Wednesday, February 16, 2011

minutemen/Stooges MIKE WATT tours, plays Jacksonville

Art-punk legend (and Iggy & The Stooges bassist these past 8 years) mike
watt will be undertaking the "north american hyphenated-man tour 2011" in
the company of the missingmen this Spring. The tour starts in Santa
Barbara, CA March 10 and ends April 30 in Sacramento. Some 51 dates in
just about that many days! I'm hoping you'd consider advancing his show
with a feature, CD review or advance blurb.

"hyphenated-man" is the name of mike watt’s third opera, contemplating the
engine room (1997) being the first one and the secondman's middle stand
(2004) being the second. He expressly put together the missingmen (on
guitar: tom watson and on drums: raul morales) for this project a couple
of years ago and now (with the mastering by john golden), it has now been
realized, recorded at tony maimone’s Studio G in Brooklyn Spring of 2009.
It's the first release on watt’s clenchedwrench label.

“whereas ...engine room dealt w/my pop's life in the navy as a metaphor
for the story of the minutemen,” watt explains, “and ...middle stand was a
parallel to dante's "comedia" dealing w/an illness that almost killed me
in 2000, this third opera is quite different in that it has no standard
narrative (libretto!) meaning no regular beginning-middle-end and is as it
were "simultaneous" in the way a mirror from just inside my head - right
in this middle-age moment of mine - was then shattered into thirty pieces
and then each piece stuffed in the head to show a piece of my state of
mind (or out-of-mind) as of now. ‘thirty tunes?’ yes, they're little
ones... actually they're ‘thirty parts’ of one big tune. back in 2005, too
heavy to really hear minutemen stuff for many years, I had to face myself
and get the nerve up to hear it again when I agreed to let keith scheiron
and tim irwin make the we jam econo documentary (many thanks to them and
all who helped out on that). I even did a few gigs w/george hurley w/us as
a duet doing some of the old tunes and it was trippy for me, like I was
digging on how ‘econo’ those tiny tunes were - no filler, right to point
and distilled down to the bare nada.”

From his earliest years performing with d. boon and the minutemen while
helping to establish the American indie rock scene through the
then-fledgling SST scene, mike watt has had a deep sense of purpose
although, as he admits, "it's hard to describe the mission, what makes me
put almost everything else secondary. when i tour, i conk at people's
pads. i play every day. i'm not using it as a means to a lifestyle. i
don't really know what the mission is exactly except to do this as intense
as i can. it's like being a sailor or something. Sometimes, it does feel
as if I've been given orders, a bizarre spin on the minstrel or troubadour
scenario, the town crier, the guy that goes between the towns to let the
other towns know about each other."

An inveterate road dog, mike has spent an incalculable percentage of the
past quarter century touring in numerous ensembles and configurations.
Beginning with the minutemen in the early 1980s, watt helped define the
"econo-tour," a road warrior-style approach to touring that involved
performing the most gigs possible in the fewest days with the lowest
possible overhead. Sharing a van with SST labelmates Black Flag, the
minutemen unknowingly created the roadmap of national club routes that the
budding Punk Rock Nation would later adopt as its own. Finally, after four
years of watching the tour van odometer flip over to zeros, the minutemen
came to an end on December 23, 1985 when a tragic van accident took d.
boon's life.

watt retreated from music after the loss, though not for long. An avid
Ohio-based minutemen fan named Ed "fROMOHIO" Crawford found watt's number
in the phone book and announced that he was moving to San Pedro to start a
new band with watt and drummer george hurley. The trio launched fIREHOSE
in June 1986 going on to create five studio albums and a live EP,
indulging in seven-and-a-half years of non-stop econo-touring (without
ever taking label tour support).

In the spring of 1995, he released his first solo album, ball-hog or
tugboat? The album enlisted no less than 48 different participants
including members of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Beastie Boys, Soul Asylum,
the Lemonheads, and the Screaming Trees. In fact, the tour line-up for
Watt's first solo outing included Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder on vocals, the
Germ's Pat Smear on guitar, and Nirvana's David Grohl on drums, with
Grohl's then-new group, the Foo Fighters, delivering their very first live
performances in the support slot. After this tour, he did two more with
Nels Cline and two drummers as the “crew of the flying saucer.” He then
toured for a year as a sideman on bass for Perry Farrell's Porno for Pyros
and recorded two songs for their second album.

Then watt trimmed his caravan back to a three-man team and recorded his
1997 follow-up, the punk opera contemplating the engine room. The thematic
effort revolved around three seamen in the engine room of a naval vessel,
in sum creating a powerful metaphor for the minutemen and their road lives
in "the boat" (watt's name for the van he tours in). He brought this
around the towns for fourteen months with the black gang, a trio that had
the album's nels cline and stephen hodges at different times along with
bob lee and joe baiza.

the secondman's middle stand was watt's third solo album and first to be
recorded with a bass, organ (pete mazich), and drums (jerry trebotic)
line-up. This project was his response to a critical illness in 2000 with
a fever lasting 38 days, its climax an abscess bursting in his perineum.
watt used his recovery period to re-read, among a dizzyingly wide range of
other books, Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy," (he first read it as a
teenager) which is divided into three sections: "Inferno," "Purgatorio,"
and "Paradiso." Both "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso" are divided into 33
cantos ("Inferno" has 34) with each section divided into groups of 3 lines
called tercets -- a direct influence on the album.

In addition to his primary efforts, watt's yearnings for creative output
have resulted in numerous collaborations and side projects, both in the
studio and on the road: Unknown Instructors with george hurley, guitarist
Joe Baiza (Saccharine Trust) and a revolving cast of vocalist/poets; bass
guitar duo dos with ex-Black Flag bassist kira roessler; the Fog with J
Mascis; Banyan, an experimental alt-jazz project with Pyro/Jane's
Addiction member Stephen Perkins; hellride with Perkins and Peter
Distefano “whupping up stooges in a john coltrane way”; Li'l Pit;
Crimony; Bootstrappers; the original Punk Rock Karaoke with Eric Melvin of
NOFX and Greg Hetson of Bad Religion;.

watt also was part of the Wylde Rattz with the Stooges' Ron Asheton,
Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley who
covered the Stooges' classic "TV Eye" for the soundtrack to the Todd
Haynes film Velvet Goldmine. This led to Iggy Pop inviting mike to join
the reformed Stooges along with Ron and Scott Asheton, touring with them
as well as playing on their comeback album, The Sickness. watt continues
as a Stooge in the current line-up with James Williamson rejoining the
band after the death of Asheton in 2008.

Our man in Pedro also stays busy with a weekly web radio program, The Watt
From Pedro Show (, and his own site,, both of which
provide outlets for his many political interests, including the fight
against FFC regulations on low power FM stations and web radio channels.
He also loves pedaling his bike around his town four days a week while
paddling his kayak the other three - all at the crack of dawn.

But there is a thread that connects all of Watt's concerns. "Art and music
mirrors nature in a lot of ways," Watt says. "Nature's a lot about
resonances and cycles and rhythms. Nature has no ethics or morality.
Neither does music. It operates on a level where words aren't. There's
always going to be a hankering to get connections on a non-word level. Can
we have ideas that don't have words for them? You can't know anything, you
can only believe. The way you describe what you believe is a prison. Music
is a way to get around that.

mike watt + the missingmen
"north american hyphenated-man tour 2011"
thursday, march 10 at velvet jones
423 state st,m santa barbara, ca
(805) 965-8676
friday, march 11 at the echo
1822 w. sunset bl., los angeles, ca
(213) 413-8200
saturday, march 12 at the casbah
2501 kettner bl., san diego, ca
(619) 232-4355
sunday, march 13 at plush
340 e. 6th st., tucson, az
(520) 798-1298
monday, march 14 at the launchpad
618 central av. sw, albuquerque, nm
(505) 435-9912
tuesday, march 15 at the conservatory
8911 n. western av., oklahoma city, ok
(405) 607-4805
wednesday, march 16 at the loft
1135 s. lamar st., dallas, tx
(214) 421-2021
thursday, march 17 at the ginger man
301 lavaca st., austin, tx
(512) 473-8801
friday, march 18 at fitzgerald's
2706 white oak dr., houston, tx
(713) 862-3838
saturday, march 19 at the spanish moon
1109 highland rd., baton rouge, la
(225) 383-6666
sunday, march 20 at one eyed jacks
615 toulouse st., new orleans, la
(504) 569-8361
monday, march 21 at the handlebar
319 n. tarragona st., pensacola, fl
(850) 434-9060
tuesday, march 22 at common grounds
210 sw 2nd av., gainesville, fl
(352) 372-7320
wednesday, march 23 at the social
54 n. orange av., orlando, fl
(407) 246-1419
thursday, march 24 at jack rabbits
1528 hendricks av., jacksonville, fl
(904) 398-7496
friday, march 25 at the earl
488 flat shoals av. se, atlanta, ga
(404) 522-3950
saturday, march 26 at 40 watt club
285 w. washington st., athens, ga
(706) 549-7871
sunday, march 27 at the pour house
1977 maybank hwy., charleston, sc
(843) 571-4343
monday, march 28 at local 506
506 w. franklin st., chapel hill, nc
(919) 942-5506
tuesday, march 29 at the canal club
1545 e. cary st., richmond, va
(804) 643-2582
wednesday, march 30 at 123 pleasant street
123 pleasant st., morgantown, wv
(304) 292-0800
thursday, march 31 at black cat
1811 14th st. nw, washington dc
(202) 667-7960
friday, april 1 at ottobar
2549 n. howard st., baltimore, md
(410) 662-0069
saturday, april 2 at north star bar
2639 poplar st., philadelphia, pa
(215) 787-0488
sunday, april 3 at maxwell's
1039 washington st., hoboken, nj
(201) 653-1703
monday, april 4 at the mercury lounge
217 e. houston st., new york, ny
(212) 260-4700
tuesday, april 5 at daniel street club
21 daniel st., milford, ct
(203) 877-4446
wednesday, april 6 at t.t. the bear's place
10 brookline st., cambridge, ma
(617) 492-0082
thursday, april 7 at la sala rossa
4848 st-laurent, montreal, qc, CANADA
(514) 844-4227
friday, april 8 at mavericks
221 rideau st., ottawa, on, CANADA
(613) 562-3941
saturday, april 9 at horseshoe tavern
368 queen st. w, toronto, on, CANADA
(416) 598-4753
sunday, april 10 at brillobox
4104 penn av., pittsburgh, pa
(412) 621-4900
monday, april 11 at grog shop
2785 euclid heights bl., cleveland heights, oh
(216) 321-5588
tuesday, april 12 at magic bag
22920 woodward av., ferndale, mi
(248) 544-3030
wednesday, april 13 at radio radio
1119 prospect st., indianapolis, in
(317) 955-0995
thursday, april 14 at blueberry hill
6504 delmar bl., saint louis, mo
(314) 727-4444
friday, april 15 at schubas tavern
3159 n. southport av., chicago, il
(773) 525-2508
saturday, april 16 at shank hall
1434 n. farwell av., milwaukee, wi
(414) 276-7288
sunday, april 17 at high noon saloon
701 e. washington av., madison, wi
(608) 268-1122
monday, april 18 at turf club
1601 university av. w, saint paul, mn
(651) 647-0486
tuesday, april 19 at slowdown
729 n. 14th st., omaha, ne
(402) 345-7569
wednesday, april 20 at the bottleneck
737 new hampshire st., lawrence, ks
(785) 841-5483
friday, april 22 at larimer lounge
721 larimer st., denver, co
(303) 291-1007
saturday, april 23 at the complex
537 w. 100 s, salt lake city, ut
(801) 660-2295
sunday, april 24 at neurolux
113 n. 11th st., boise, id
(208) 343-0886
monday, april 25 at doug fir
830 e. burnside st., portland, or
(503) 231-9663
tuesday, april 26 at the media club
695 cambie st., vancouver, bc, CANADA
(604) 608-2871
wednesday, april 27 at the triple door
216 union st., seattle, wa
(206) 838-4333
thursday, april 28 at sam bonds garage
407 blair bl., eugene, or
(541) 343-2635
friday, april 29 at bottom of the hill
1233 17th st., san francisco, ca
(415) 621-4455
saturday, april 30 at blue lamp
1400 alhambra bl., sacramento, ca
(916) 455-3400

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