Mike Watt is one of the most brilliant bass players around, the consummate self-taught master of the 'thud-staff' since his days in the Minutemen, in the intervening decades adding funk and jazz riffs, especially when he covers songs like Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." On his podcast, the Watt From Pedro Show, he plays a wide variety of music, and talks about it like he is trying to learn something from everything he hears.
He didn't play Coltrane on Tuesday at Bar Deluxe, and the set was surprising in its brevity at barely an hour. He packs a lot into an hour, and Tom Watson, guitarist cohort in this trio the Missingmen, packs a lot into it too in terms of notes, energy and also sheer inspiration. The trio is one of the most jaw-droppingly amazing musical combos to witness live.
But Mike, isn't it time to change it up a bit? You've been playing a lot of the same covers for what, five years or so? "Seven Screaming Diz Busters" is a great song that allows you and Tom to show off your instrumental prowess, but why don't you try a different Blue Oyster Cult song for a change? I'm not saying go 'full-cowbell' with "Don't Fear the Reaper" but maybe "Cities On Flame With Rock'n'Roll" or still radio-recognizable "Godzilla." Playing Wire covers hints that there might be some kind of music snob underneath the flannel and "jam econo" aesthetic. I don't want to believe that.