So a couple of weeks ago I’m checking into the best radio show on Long Island Finn’s Revolution Tuesday Nights on WUSB. His guest was the legend Mike Watt from Minutemen and firehouse fame who released a new album, Hyphenated Man on his own record label, Clenched Fist. Do your ears and soul a favor - order a copy. The progressive, complex and erratic album is in your face – bold! Each song flows like a rock stuck deep in the grooves of a tire - smacking the pavement on a lone Nevada highway. The songs follow you. You know it’s there and it sounds like it belongs, that’s Watt – he belongs in our ears. On the radio, Watt was the wise master who spilled wisdom to the listeners, only possible by Finn’s knowledge of punk history. During the interview, there was a contest to give out copies of the new album and then another for tickets to see Watt and The Missingmen at Mercury Lounge. I won a copy of the CD and received the copy and the tix for the show the night before seeing them at the hollowed Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. Eric and I rode in and passed under the tunnel and popped out in Jersey, took the first exit and took in the sites of the small city as we searched for parking. That took longer than driving through NY City! Anyway, we made it inside and saw the opening band. Ah, who was that? They were tight.
Inside the black walls, Mike Watt made his way to the stage - slowly with a limp through the crowd, wearing a yellow windbreaker. Once he hit the stage the cheers rose. The room smiled with Mike and the band played hyphenated man for the entirety – 30 songs and some Minutemen covers on the encore. Watt, standing stage right - in the back – shadows - had a black brace on his knee, but he bobbed and weaved – stood strong like an anchor - through the whole set and even bent over – played - behind the wicked basher drummer, Raul Morales. The amazing/screech guitarist, Tom Watson rocked into a sweaty frenzy.
So after you buy the album, you need to go see Mike Watt and The Missing Men. Here are five of my favorites off hyphenated-man.
Classic song: Hallowed-Man
Classic song: Cherry-Head-Lover-Man “The Lesson never lessens”
Classic song Mouse-Headed-Man
Classic song: Hill Man (get ready to kick up yar elbows you nitwits)
Classic song: Wheel-Bound Man