Let’s begin with a quote from the man himself, relayed via his appropriately spare website dubbed the “Mike Watt’s hoot page”: “People, I wanna bring my third opera hyphenated-man around the u.s. again cuz there's some towns I missed last time. fuck, we're a big land and of course I'm gonna still miss some towns but that don't mean me, my bass and my missingmen (tom watson on guitar and raul morales on drums) ain't gonna try to do what we can.”
For the uninitiated, Watt has been doing what he can for more than three decades, beginning with his role as bassist in the Minutemen, the iconic Indie Rock trio known for its short, lacerating songs about everything from Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan to Jesus and tequila. When Minutemen co-founder D. Boon died in 1985, Watt immediately formed fiREHOSE, which released four albums driven more by the band’s slanted creative whims than any nod to commercial palatability. Watt has lent himself to numerous musical projects following fiREHOSE’s early-’90s demise, including three solo records heavily inspired by his father, a blue-collar guy who clearly informed his son’s ceaseless work ethic and dedication to the DIY way of life.
Now comes the aforementioned hyphenated-man, a loose concept album (or “Punk opera,” as Watt typically calls them) inspired by creatures from the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch. That’s 30 songs/creatures, all with hyphenated titles like “Mockery-Robed-Man,” none more than two minutes in length, the majority of which are likely to appear during Watt’s free show at MOTR.
Speaking of the show, let’s end with a word from man himself, again conveyed via his hoot page: “A big THANK YOU in advance — we promise to play our brains out!”
MIKE WATT performs Sunday, Oct. 21 at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Check out performance times and get venue details here.