Meat Puppets and mike watt + the jom & terry show
Saturday, May 13th
@ The Ballroom at The Outer Space
$20 / 8pm doors / 18+
Tickets On Sale NOW: http://ticketf.ly/2lM7eqS
Until last September, things were relatively quiet in Meat Puppets 2016 world. Then Riotfest popped up on their schedule. There are not too many “firsts” left for the Puppets to experience, but out of the blue, Curt was invited to meet with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders (!!) at Suder Montessori Magnet School in Chicago.
Suder teacher Rachel Jacobson was the match maker:
“I have put forth the idea that Curt Kirkwood is the coolest person that walks
the earth and my kids have bought in…showing up will confirm it all.”
When the kids dropped a video along with the invite, https://splice.gopro.com/v?id=YpQbL5q1L, that did it, and the band got to cut loose with the kids singing along.
Tears were had.
Following that outing, the band has started to revisit the folk and singer-song writer nuggets Curt put out in 2005 on his solo masterpiece, Snow, as well as similarly veined tracks from Rat Farm (“Sometimes Blue”).
In March 2017, the Puppets are headed back to the west coast for a two week tour.
“What can be romantic to Mike Watt?”
This question is from the song “One Reporter’s Opinion.” It first appeared on “Double Nickels on the Dime,” the Minutemen’s acclaimed 1984, 45-track, two record release; often named among the best and most influential albums of the 1980’s. At the time of the song’s recording, this query may have seemed rhetorical, as the band was an integral part of Los Angeles’s explosive early punk and hardcore scene. By 1984, The Minutemen – – Mike Watt on bass, guitarist D Boon and drummer George Hurley – – had already earned a reputation for fierce, rapid-fire performances. Their songs were abrupt gusts of genre-bending music, with concise, satirical lyrics that probed and skewered topics like Reagan era politics and commercial popular culture.
Yet nearly 30 years later, this question continues to haunt Watt, although it’s long been freed of any presumed irony. In the intervening years, it has become increasingly evident that much of this bass player, songwriter and “spieler’s” life is in fact very romantic to Mike Watt.
His passions are observable in everything. It’s heard in Watt’s musical signature – an extraordinarily lyrical bass playing style – a singular sound that leaps from any of his many recordings. It’s visible in his mystical veneration of the natural world, revealed by equally allusive photos of seagulls, sea lions and sunrises taken during his daily “crack of dawn” biking and kayaking excursions in San Pedro, California, his beloved hometown. (Some of these exquisite images were the subject of a 2010 solo exhibition, “Eye-Gifts From Pedro” at the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, CA., and are part of his book, “On and Off Bass,” Three Rooms Press, 2012). His romance extends to the ordinary, too, observable in the way he describes his state of mind, meals, gigs, friends and daily activities in his compulsively detailed tour diaries available on-line since 1997 (before the term “blog” was coined), on his self-built and meticulously maintained website: hootpage.com, which he launched in 1996.
Watt is a cultural omnivore. Especially over the last decade, his openness (and eagerness) to devour new musical experience has become increasingly audible (and visible) in the dozens of projects and live performances he’s participated in with artists as divergent as Yoko Ono, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Petra Haden and Kelly Clarkson.
With the songwriting and recording process freed from terra firma through digital technology and internet file sharing, Watt’s been able to contribute bass to recordings by friends and fans from all over the world, who have contacted him through email and social media. He’s also sought the partnership of musicians he’s encountered on his own: through his (since 2001) web-based radio series “The Watt from Pedro Show,” or met on tour, particularly since 2003 when he began playing bass with the perpetually globetrotting Iggy and the Stooges. These opportunities have yielded several ongoing collaborations, including multiple recordings with members of the Japanese band Migu and England’s The Go! Team. To accommodate this explosion of creativity, in 2011 Watt launched a new label, clenchedwrench (www.clenchedwrench.com), his first DIY imprint in almost three decades. Its first release was “Hyphenated Man,” the third of his “operas,” in March 2011. The label has since released “Dos y Dos,” the 4th (Mike Watt and Kira Roessler) Dos album (2011) and “Speilgusher” (2012) with poet, rock critic and Blue Oyster Cult lyricist Richard Meltzer. “La Busta Gialla” by Il Sogno del Mariano, a trio pairing Watt with Italian musicians Stefano Pilia on guitar, and Andrea Belfi on drums, and several more collaborative recordings are scheduled for release in 2012.
History is ultimately a revisionist art form. Biography, too, is less ambiguous and more subjective in the rearview mirror. Glancing backward, it might appear obvious now how Watt has grown as a musician and as a man. His legendary big heart, acute intelligence and irrepressible curiosity, combined with his strong work ethic and a much-admired artistic authenticity have secured his reputation. He is one of the most well respected musicians of the last three decades. He’s also one of the most dearly loved.