Wednesday, 09 October 2019

”arrrrrrgghh, wouldn’t you now it be international talk like a pirate day when me + my missingmen be shoving off for moe’s alley in santa cruz, ca to kick this ‘dick watt tour 2019’ off w/a gig there tonight? aye, it be.”

Thus begins and ends Mike Watt’s announcement on his Instagram page that they’re going on tour. Grammatical mistake and all. This is good news… the part about them being on tour.

I’ve been doing band interviews on and off since 2008, without any qualifications. I’m happy to announce that now, 10 years later, the quality of my interviews still hasn’t improved, and the need of said “qualifications” has become evident. But, what am I supposed to do, get a degree in journalism? Might as well major in unemployment. No, I am a scientist, and therefore I stick to a more lucrative lifestyle.

I had the great chance to interview Mike Watt many years ago (highlighted right here in Ground Control), and it’s an interview I remember clearly to this day. In fact, it’s probably my favorite interview I’ve ever done. Probably because it had such an impact on me. Also because it makes for a great story to tell people about what it was like to get inside Watt’s van (or “boat” as he calls it) and speak with him for an hour, then catch his set, then ignore Dinosaur Jr. and go home and stuff my face with grapefruit or whatever obscene act. Obscene because of the grapefruit, not the Splenda I used on it. I am not a barbarian, you see… 

Anyway, Watt’s live set was truly remarkable in the sense that I had never seen anything like it. Not because the musicianship onstage was top notch, and it’s clear that Mike Watt and the Missingmen are at the peak of their ability, but because the band completely ignored their entire catalog on their setlist. That tour — the Praccin’ for the 3rd Opera Tour — was meant to be a rehearsal for the recording of Watt’s third album. So, instead of “praccin'” those actual songs live, it was like being at an embryonic band’s practice. For a half hour, the audience was treated to covers, of songs I had never heard before, and of the Minutemen (which, yes, I had very much heard before). Only to have the band than leave the stage, leaving us all baffled as to what we had just seen/heard.

Fast forward to the present, the 3rd Opera has been released and played on tour, and Watt has taken on many new projects like his new one Jumpstarted Plowhards. Mike Watt and the Missingmen are on tour!!! Who knows what songs that will bring, but you know it will bring some of the best music this side of the Pecos. Get out there!!!

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