• 6.29.8 The Watt from Pedro Show with Devin Hoff

    Watt on TWFPS

     

    Watt on TWFPS

     

    Devin

    Devin

    Thalia

    Thalia

    Devin

    Devin


  • 6.1.8 The Watt From Pedro Show

    I dropped in on another one of Watt’s radio show. 

    Watt at the Love Grotto

    Watt at the Love Grotto

    the show

    the show

    Brother Matt

    Brother Matt

    Vinnie Vegas

    Vinnie Vegas

    Watt points at magazine

    Watt points at magazine

    Vinnie

    Vinnie

    Watt working

    Watt working

    Watt at the Love Grotto balcany

    Watt at the Love Grotto balcany


  • 5.8.8 picture-less : Mike Watt to see RUSH (as I did last year w/Nels Cline)

    This was a sincere attempt to elevate the taunting at Watt about my favorite band Rush. He, undoubtedly, has a huge respect for the musicians, but the music itself, ….  it’s not on his regular rotation. So when I heard Rush was playing in town, I immediately demanded that he should come with me to the show.

    Being a sport that he is, he actually made it to the show. The venue was the new Nokia in Downtown LA. The audience… well, these were Rush fans, they are of a ‘particular’ kind. It’s the same people from the last 20+ tours that the band had done…. Same people but now with kids, which they bring along in an attempt to bond.

    I really don’t know why I still like them since I was introduced to their music in the 90s. Then, I was just arrived from Thailand into a new land and a new family (latter of which I’d soon reject). Nostalgic, for sure, but more than that, I feel like I forever owe it to them for sparking my music exploration. I was already into John Lennon, Simon & Garfunkel, and other ‘mild’ music – mostly because of the words. When I read the lyrics off of the vinyl insert of the Fly By Night album, I was more than thrilled to finally be “home”. It might be different if Pink Floyd was still the same guys making (not necessary the same) new music, or the Doors, or a handful of other bands. But for countless reasons, Rush is very  unique. For nothing else, it’s that they are still rolling out their tours, and I love it. 

    Watt – always pushing to do a hundred things in a day, was tired. I kept an eye on him as he literally was laying low in his seat. Most Rush fans – of course – stand… as was I. Every so often I’d glance back to Watt making funny faces and pointing and people being ridiculous with their air drumming/guitaring. He was just watching the projection on the side wall, of all the live footage mixed with some animations. He bailed after the last note, having to leave to Tokyo to do a recording marathon in one week time frame.

    It was a great fun night! I like to smash different worlds together and see what happens. This ‘never-to-be-repeated’ moment was all worth it.

     

    Repost because it is worthy of your reading : In contrast – the 2007 Rush tour, I went with Nels Cline to Anaheim for it. I have to say that it was a much MUCH different vibe. First being an outdoor amphitheater, I feel was more natural for Rush. But – I let the qualified person tells the story :

    Nels’s report from LAST YEAR

    July 26, 2007 
    Man oh man!!!… Peak and I were a half hour late due to her workload + traffic – the damn concert started at 7:30! But it was so great because the whole event was so…charming in some weird way. Geddy Lee was very likeable – an affable and self-deprecating front man. And he has aged well. And Peak just LOVES HER SOME RUSH. She was so happy. It was adorable!
    Of course, I had never seen Rush – barely ever heard them! Here are some observations:
    The audience was mostly young, male, and poorly attired. There were many father/son attendees (how cute is that?), and the relatively low number of the womenfolk made it easy for Peak to use the bathroom without waiting in line. This was in Orange County, so there were LOTS of XL Ts, baggy cargo shorts, and caps.
    The sound/light production was – perhaps predictably – completely amazing. Insane moving lights. lasers, computer animation/films. The films included appearances by South Park characters and SCTV‘s Bob and Doug MaKenzie in special Rush bits – wow! 
    Geddy Lee apparently always has a fake “amp setup” that differs each tour. Peak informed that last time it was a washer/dryer from which he ultimately removed clothing and threw it out to the crowd. This time it was a “Henhouse” chicken roaster that glowed like molten lava and which was periodically attended to by a “cook” in cook hat and apron! His singing is totally consistent, and he looks relaxed while he shreds his bass and does 3 things at once. 
    Neil Peart never looks like he is having fun at all. Glenn (Kotche) + Scott (Amendola) – I think he slightly rushed one fill and, during his mostly uninteresting solo spot, he accidentally bumped one of his tiny cymbals lightly with his drumstick. An off night, obviously! There were killer overhead camera shots of him so we could see his majestic tub-pounding really well at times. He loves him some Buddy Rich! He even played traditional grip briefly twice, seemingly when double-stroking was required. 
    Alex Lifeson played a succession of MANY Les Pauls – some with trem, some without, finally ending up with a white ES 345 hollow-body. He really doesn’t solo/wank much at all, and he consistently favors a lot of delay on his solos. His sample of “acoustic guitar” sounded amazingly convincing, and there were 2 “acoustic-guitar-on-stand” moments. One was actually a mandola or something, which was capo-ed and sounded great for all of the 30 seconds or so it was played. His hair is almost as white as his sporty footwear.
    Peak really knows her Rush, and since we the audience are being treated to a repetoire spanning some 30 years, it was fun to try to guess which decade each song was from. My guesses were pretty good – mayde 70% correct. Interestingly, 2 of my favorite songs played turned out to be from the new CD. It seems that their music has become less ornate and synth-driven in the last 15 years, with the more heavily odd-meter/extendo stuff being from the 70s and the most synth-drenched being from the 80s, etc. …There were socially-conscious songs (slides of Klansmen, civil rights marches, electric chairs, children in gas masks), references to DHARMA and the like (is Neal Peart a Buddhist now?), and moments where the band pokes fun at itself, such as when Geddy Lee said, “We’re going to take a wee break now because we are so ancient.” Also, “Because we have 4,000 albums out, we have too much music that we want to play for you tonight.” Plus those South Park kids!
    Besides flipping out for songs like “Tom Sawyer”, the audience would – rather winningly, to my mind – whoop and swoon when: Geddy sang high, green laser configurations occurred, hotshit solos or fills occurred, massive dangerous-looking flames (about 15 feet high, I would say!) exploded all over the stage. It’s fun to hear total DUDES gasp and sigh in delight! Weird, I know.
    The final impression: Rush totally delivers. They were impeccable. Love ’em or hate ’em, they and their crew knocked it out of the park.
    The trip out of the parking lot was chaos and the only real drag.


  • 4.27.8 Richie Hass Memorial Benefit Show – Dos / Black Gang

    This was a special event being held starting in the afternoon. Both Nels and Watt were playing. Richie Hass passed away a month prior. He was a good friend of theirs – and many many others who also showed up.

    Dos -  Mike Watt and Kira Roessler

    Dos - Mike Watt and Kira Roessler

    Kira Roessler

    Kira Roessler

    Watt and Kira before show

    Watt and Kira before show

    Mike

    Mike

    Nels

    Nels

    Dos on stage

    Dos on stage

    Dos on stage

    Dos on stage

    Mike, Nels, and Bob Lee - Black Gang on stage

    Mike, Nels, and Bob Lee - Black Gang on stage

    bass knobs

    bass knobs


  • 4.20.8 The Watt From Pedro Show from Brother Matt’s

    Watt talkingWatt talking

     

    You can listen to the show from here.

    I guess I’m becoming a regular guest here at the show. Most of the time I like it. Brother Matt’s place is right next to the water and near a bikers’ hang. We often have the rumbling motorcycle exhaust pipe going by, bleed into the recording of the show. But this is Watt’s style, he sets the show’s vibe to be .. “as it happened”.

    Watt talking between show recording

    Watt talking between show recording

    Brother Matt talking

    Brother Matt talking

    Thalia listening

    Thalia listening


  • 4.1-5&19.8 Mike Watt and the Black Gang recording session with Nels Cline and Bob Lee at Jimmy Messer’s studio

    Mike Watt & the Black Gang Recording Mike Watt & the Black Gang Recording
      

    Another recording session! This one is Watt’s project. He written these songs, but all got stewed after everyone is set up in place and ready for Jimmy to hit the Button. This recording studio tucked in a corner of a giant rehearsal space building near Downtown LA, constantly got interrupted by various band noises in all around. It all got done early, with Nels coming in for an over dub on the last day. 

    Jimmy Messer in his studio

    Jimmy Messer in his studio

     

    Mike Watt & the Black Gang recording

    Mike Watt & the Black Gang recording

    Mike

    Mike

    Nels

    Nels

    Jimmy, Bob, and Mike

    Jimmy, Bob, and Mike

    Mike and Nels on the over dub session

    Mike and Nels on the over dub session

    Mike and Jimmy

    Mike and Jimmy

    Mike listening

    Mike listening

    Nels waiting for the queue

    Nels waiting for the queue

    Nels doing overdub

    Nels doing overdub

    Jimmy .... this is what it's like to work with Watt

    Jimmy .... this is what it's like to work with Watt

    Mike taking a picture of Nels

    Mike taking a picture of Nels

     

     


  • 4.16.8 Banyan at the Mint

    Mike before show

    Mike before show

    Banyan, founded by Stephen Perkins, is a trippy band. I’ve seen them play so many times over the past few years. I honestly admit that I still can’t get the picture that portray this band correctly. I think I go to these shows just to hang with Mike and Nels. I like watching them together.

    Nels

    Nels

    Perkins

    Perkins

    Watt at The Mint

    Watt at The Mint

    Nels

    Nels

    Mike

    Mike

    Nels dropping me off to my car a block away

    Nels dropping me off to my car a block away


  • 4.13.8 The Watt From Pedro Show

    I trekked down to San Pedro to do another installment of The Watt From Pedro Show, the internet radio that Mike Watt runs a few times a month. This time I was down for sharing my point of view specifically from being at the Black Gang recording. In my hasty ways, I shared my thoughts.

    Mike doing the show

    Mike doing the show


  • 3.13.8 Mike Watt and the Missingmen benefit show for George Tabb at the Safari Sam’s

    Mike - with a handmade sticker someone just gave him

    Mike - with a handmade sticker someone just gave him

     

    Mike talking to Tiff

    Mike talking to Tiff

    Mike talking to people

    Mike talking to people

    Mike Watt and Tom Watson

    Mike Watt and Tom Watson

    Washboard percussionist in the band that played before

    Washboard percussionist in the band that played before

    Guitarist in the band that went on earlier

    Guitarist in the band that went on earlier

    Tom Watson

    Tom Watson

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt


  • 1.7.8 Watt at Mr. T’s

    I missed the Missingmen gig. (This happens) But I hung with Watt for a minute.

     

    Mike at Mr. T's bowl after the gig that I missed

    Mike at Mr. T's bowl after the gig that I missed

    Watt at Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park - Los Angeles, CA

    Watt at Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park - Los Angeles, CA