Well I did try to post a spiel about the Mike Watt show last week (honest!) but that didn’t quite work out.* So here’s one I hastily cobbled together this afternoon.
The show, in a word, was phenomenal. This is the third time I’ve seen Watt play live, but the first to see him do his own thing — and it was something I won’t forget for a while.
Watt introduced the gig as one long ‘trippy’ song, before he and his Secondmen — Raul Morales on drums and Paul Roessler (brother of Black Flag’s Kira, and a former SST-er himself) on Hammond organ — blasted into the maelstrom of his latest ‘opera’, The Secondman’s Middle Stand, playing the whole album straight through with nary a pause.
I wasn’t too familiar with the songs beforehand (the record was only recently released over here) but I think that was a bonus; the songs twisted and turned, trailing Watt’s turbulent times, and I never knew what was coming next.
The band, I must say, were flawless and clam-free. I was near stage right with an unobscured view of Watt and Raul, who were literally a blur of flailing arms and wrangled strings (you can see for yourself from the photos I took; I snapped about 50 altogether but these few are the best).
There was one slight hiccup, when the cable came out of Watt’s row of effects pedals, but a quick ‘hold on!’ and a fumble with the plugs later and they were back as if they’d never missed a beat. This band is tight.
If there was anything about the show I could fault, it was my own doing. I had been in college since 8am that morning, and was lumbering around a heavy bag, so I was pretty worn out by the time Watt and his crew hit the stage at 10:30pm. If anyone there caught me yawning, just for the record, I was tired, not bored.
Throughout the show, Watt was as humble as ever, genuinely appreciative of the packed house sweating in the back of Whelan’s (the show was barely advertised; it’s amazing what word of mouth can do).
This is a man who helped to change the face of alternative music, who was one-third of one of the greatest bands of all time (the Minutemen, if you need to be told), who’s toured the world over 40 times in the last quarter of a century — but who thrives on the love and appreciation of his audience, and never fails to reciprocate. With Watt, there really is no barrier between the music and the listener. It’s hard to fathom until you see him in person, but it’s true: he’s just a man playing his songs.
After the show the band began to pack up their things (no roadies for the Secondmen; they set up and take down their own gear) as John Coltrane’s free-form sax wailed from the PA. Watt happily greeted his fans from the edge of the stage — signing autographs, sharing jokes, even accepting a couple of gifts. I let the crowd dissipate before offering up my hand to thank him for a great performance. Watt leant over and gripped it firmly, three times, for a proper greeting. He noticed I was wearing plaid. “That’s a cool shirt!” he said, with a cheerful grin.
That’s Watt through-and-through, right there.
Now you’d think that would be the end of it. But wait! There’s more! Tonight I’m going to see this:
If you know me at all, you should know that I’m itching with excitement about seeing this movie (trailer). But what’s even more exciting is that I should be interviewing the producer, and hopefully the director, of this very film within the next couple of weeks. How sweet is that? I get to indulge my passions and be a proper journalist type person at the same time! Keep your eyes peeled for further developments next month.
About 90 seconds into this clip, there's a perfect example of the huge politico-cultural gulf between the US and us lil' islanders over here. #link
"Scientology uses strictly scientific methodologies to undo the damage done 75 million years ago by the Galactic Confederation's evil warlord Xenu--we offer our preclear followers procedures to erase overts in the reactive mind. Conversely, Fictionology is essentially just a bunch of make-believe nonsense." Oh The Onion, what would we do without you? #link
I might write a proper post soon about these bloody things. #link
Damn, if only I had a Battletech set to use these with! #link
I'll need to learn how to play this. I only know one version of patience and it's different enough from this to matter. #link
In Dublin tonight? Nothing better to do? Well, you could do worse than head along to Whelan’s of Wexford St to see Mike Watt and his band crank out some of their finest econo jams:
It’s the first time I’ll be seeing Watt solo (the last two times were with J Mascis) so I’m quite looking forward to it. If I’m not too busy tomorrow I’ll try to post a spiel about the show here (and maybe some photos too).
Whoa, don't hold back there, mister. #link
I completely agree with the critics. While I can see what DC is trying to do, the new logo just comes across as so much weaker than the original; a tweaking of the original (a narrower ring around the letters, maybe) might have been a better way to go. #link
I saved this one to my 'blogfodder' folder a day or so before Kottke and everyone else beat me to it, so I'm posting it anyway. #link
If it doesn't have a) the flight simulator and b) the assault course with the thingy you grab onto to whizz down the cable at the end, then it'll be shite. #link
I haven't got a fucking clue. #link
This story is quite misleading, but it does point to a scary future where original writing may be replaced by prepared templates; where fulfilling the necesssary technical criteria is more important than the art of communication itself. #link
Do I even need to say anything? #link
You need more than a two-day conference if you want to do it properly. I'm speaking from experience here. #link
I've considered asking to join Barbelith, but I don't have the time for it. Reading it will have to do. #link
It's all talk so far; I'll believe it when I really see it #link
I wish people would give us MAJers stories like that. #link
Don't the really dry ones look hopelessly out of place? #link
Sometimes fiction does tell the greater truth; the problem lies where this fiction is presented as truth itself. #link
I've had this saved as a tab in Safari for weeks, and only got around to reading it this evening. #link
There's one big problem with this: if you don't respect a geek for being a geek, it's not gonna work out. #link
I've been keeping track of my own contributions to other sites for several weeks now. I don't know when I'll get around to posting them on this site, though. #link
Isn't this article a bit pointless? I don't see what the big deal is. When I worked for UCI it wasn't any secret that the features started 15 minutes after the billed time (that was standard; we had it on our schedules so we'd be ready for cleaning the theatres). All that 'busy moviegoers' stuff is crap, anyway: if you're so bloody busy, why are you going to the fucking movies?? And besides, hasn't anyone thought that giving an earlier time means stragglers won't interrupt the start of the movie so much? Didn't think so. #link
'Practical issues with real solutions for working editors.' Okay then. #link
"The idea was simple. For 48 hours, I would tour Manhattan using the 'blogosphere' as my guide." #link
What an insight, and from the editor himself. He's even got an e-mail address right there on the page. I spent ages recently searching for an e-mail address for the editor of the Daily Telegraph and do you think I could find one? Not on your nelly. #link
Toilet Bowl Restaurant [c/o Boing Boing]
When I get around to setting up a home office, I'll need this. #link
Benitha's been telling me about this quack for months. What are the odds she reaches for the antibiotics at the first sign of a cold? #link
It's what the internet was made for. #link
Hard to believe that he and Henry Rollins grew up as buddies, considering their current relative positions in popular culture. #link
If you don't know who he is, well, he sorta looks and kinda sounds like that Mike Wilmott guy who hangs out with Rich Hall. But he isn't. #link
As far as I'm concerned, they haven't had a great album since The Hot Rock. I don't think the new one will change things, either. #link
Not the first time that's happened there; they burned down a train station a few years ago, too. And having first-hand experience of Pretoria's public transport system, I can understand their frustration. I'm surprised it hasn't happened here yet. #link