Local Wire

Mike Watt + the Missingmen

One of the saltiest, sliest, most macho hombres ever to slap a bass guitar, Mike Watt truly is a breed unto himself. Raised in the hardscrabble port town of San Pedro, California, Watt taught himself bass and practically rewrote the book on it. His "thudstick" would be the dominant expressive element in two seminal college-rock bands: The Minutemen and fIREHOSE. After the latter dissolved in 1993, Watt cashed in some of his hard-earned artistic cred and cut a high-concept solo album, Ball-Hog or Tugboat (1995), that featured contributions from Eddie Ved­der, Henry Rollins, Frank Black, J Mascis, and Dave Grohl, to name a few. Later, Watt toured with Porno for Pyros and joined The Stooges as the band's semi-permanent bassist. Not bad company, eh? Especially for a fashion-backward lug with the vocal range of a rhinoceros fart. That's Watt for you: He's a visionary musician, sure, but his appeal goes far beyond the sum of his accomplishments. He's iconic, timeless, a punk-rock Leonard Cohen. Currently touring the West Coast with his backup band, the Missingmen, Watt will embark on a European tour with The Stooges this summer. Have thudstick, will travel.
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Craig Outhier