Posted in music | pictures on May 8, 2009

words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Lori Baily

Mike Watt

Mike Watt and the Missingmen (drummer Raul Morales and guitarist Tom Watson) played the first of two NYC-area shows Thursday, May 7th at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ. Tonight (Friday, May 8th) the group visits the Mercury Lounge.

At Maxwell's, Watt kicked things off with a terse "1-2-Surf's up" before launching into an opening group instrumental. Watson on guitar faced-off against Watt on bass, with Morales pounding out the measures between. But the drum kit was anything but neutral territory: on more than one occasion Watt egged on Morales by crashing the cymbals with his hands, and spent most of the 4-or-so Watson-sung tunes perched behind drum set before stumbling across stage toward his own mic.

Tom Watson's guitar playing was a definite highlight. He spanned a spectrum of styles, from the pop-punk of the band's Roky Erickson cover, "Sweet Honey Pie," to the closely comped funk of the Minutemen numbers (which included Double Nickels tracks "One Reporter's Opinion," "Anxious Mo-fo," and "Toadies"). Watson, like Watt, channels the free-wheeling ideals of punk into a musically divergent direction; most times his sound was more "downtown" guitar than Johnny Ramone. Solos and oblique noises squeaked over Morales' even-handed drums in starts and stops, while across stage Watt ratcheted up the neck of his short-scale bass.

Watt on bass was unhinged but on point as he alternately strummed and slapped through the setlist, which mixed new tunes, older Watt material (Ball Hog b-side "The Big Bang Theory") and copious covers. I didn't catch all the cover songs, but "Ex-Lion Tamer" (Wire) and "Little Johnny Jewel" (Television) were two, with many more tucked in. The band took few breaks, and the vocals came out till Watt was beat red.

In total, the gig was something of a career primer with a definite look toward the future. Watt closed the set with his usual -- an emphatic "start yer own band."

More pictures from the show below...

Mad Happy...

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt & the Missingmen...

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Mike Watt

Check out the interview we just posted with Watt HERE.

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Comments (17)

Watt is a total sweetheart - he stayed after the show for a long time selling t-shirts, signing things, and posing for photos with fans. He even let some guy play his bass (unplugged) at one point!

Posted by Lori | May 8, 2009 7:21 PM

flyin' the flannel!

Posted by Anonymous | May 8, 2009 7:32 PM

watt was AWESOME. Met with the people from Mad Happy, and saw Tom outside as we went to leave... was an amazing night. i grew up listening to the Minutemen and seeing and meeting Mike last night was just... mind-blowing. He's someone I look up to, and I got to shake his hand.

Posted by Anonymous | May 8, 2009 7:45 PM

Lori, agreed. got to talk to him in Florida years ago after some shows. He's generous, warm, a friend to all artists and musicians.

Posted by Snail Kid | May 8, 2009 8:12 PM

"He's generous, warm, a friend to all artists and musicians."

Are you gay?

Posted by Anonymous | May 8, 2009 8:44 PM

"Are you gay?"

you're a sad individual.

can't wait for tonight's show!

Posted by Anonymous | May 8, 2009 9:25 PM

Watt at Maxwells was awesome

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 10:04 AM

keep it up,its really fantastic

Posted by Tasha | May 9, 2009 10:31 AM

Mike Watt & The MissingMEHn

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 10:38 AM

When I saw Mike Watt open for the Black Crows in 2004, I didn't know who Watt was. Watt is a true bass legend. He's a really nice guy too!

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 11:01 AM

was the opening instrumental surfing with the shah?

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 11:45 AM

No, Watt opened with Chinese Firedrills. He sang lead. Most of the show was Not instrumental. The Black Crows played more instrumental jams. It was an incredible show! I hope they do it again.

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 12:19 PM

Watts the fuckin real deal.. Humble, stellar player.

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 1:40 PM

"Mike Watt & The MissingMEHn"

Dumbest comment of the year which is saying something here.

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 2:10 PM

Mad Happy!!!

Posted by Anonymous | May 9, 2009 3:30 PM

Watt is 180 degrees from the typical BV slag commenter. Which is why he's indispensable. Unfortunately, there's only one of him, and so, so fucking many of you.


Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2009 10:31 AM

Mad Happy!!!

Posted by Shamuibq | January 8, 2013 11:19 PM

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