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Mike Watt: Bass in your face, not an 8-track
By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
Mike Watt has had an undeniable ef-
t on the music world. From his early
gig as bassist in the SST punk band Min-
utemen with D. Boon, to his work in the
band fIREHOSE to his current solo stuff,
Watt is on his 25th tour and remains a
punk icon. His album "Ball Hog or Tug-
boat?" features dozens of guests, some
with excessively high name recognition,
which has caused some problems for Watt.
"For every famous dude on the record,
there's a dude who's not famous at all. I
wish the (S)pin people and those fuckers
I don't think it's a self indulgent wank
off, it was very quickly done (11 days),
very spontaneous ... Most of the songs just
had bass parts, except '(Chinese)Firedrill'
and the twocovers. I'djust show a bass line
and say 'Whatdoyouguys want to do?"'
Watt admits that some things have
changed over the years. "I'm taking
Where: State Theatre
Tickets: Sold Out
Showtime at 7:30 p.m.
chances. I think I was on autopilot too
much with the fIREHOSE thing. Kind of
a Tito thing, or a post-Tito Yugoslavia
thing. Made a band with D. Boon. And
when Edward came out, even though he
wasn't anything like D. Boon, I kinda
froze the politics of the way we played.
And now I'm overcompensating, trying
to do things that are really wild for Watt.
Standing in thermiddle on that last tour was
very scary forme,butithelpedme grow in
ways I couldn't with the cruise control
thing. Nothing against Edward or George,
I truly dearly love them. But for my own
sake as a bass wrestler I had to find where
the wall was by pushing against it, and
that's what I'mtrying to do (now.)"
And now he's touring with Nels
Cline, Michael Preussner and Vince
Meghrouni as his band, and two of them
are drummers. "I figured, kick drum's
kind of my note, why not get two of
them? Not Allman Brothers kind of two
drummers, but Rasheed Ali, Alvin kind
of two drummers. Make that quantum
leap between punk and jazz (laugh)."
And to make it even more exciting,
"They haven't toured before. ...
They're from the tradition of really go-
ing off, they're really not from the song
oriented thing like I am. I thought it
would be a good kind of synthesis."
Watt's tours seem to all be full of ad-
venture. "When I toured with Ed
Vedder and Grohl, I only practiced with
them dudes for six days. I only got
scared really bad once, in Toronto. But
those guys helped me a lot. You wonder,
how do you stay punk in 1995 as a guy
like Watt, doing it this long. The struggle
turns more personal."
Watt sees this struggle in terms that
go beyond just a sound. "It's a weird
kind of brotherhood we have. More than
this Alternative Nation shit that MTV is
trying to sell. It's really about people.
Playing together is a neat kind of thing,
when it's not handled by managers or la-
bels, just going one on one, personal."
Watt recorded 30 songs (only 17 of
which could get on the record) and de-
scribes the recording as being like "30little
bands" not some big We Are the World
rock fest. So, a vast number of people were
brought into the Wattfold. "In a way it's a
dare. 'Can you hang with this?"'
So Watt forges onwards, now in-
volved in perhaps the most bass-led tour
of all time by being with Primus. And
'Clueless'is smarter than it looks
By Kirk Miller But right, I did say I liked "Cluel
Daily Arts Writer mainly when the movie lives in its
Let's get this out of the way; Alicia Beverly Hills 90210 world and s
Silverstone can act, does it well and is CuIeIess there. Silverstone plays Cher (along
very hot. Yum. her friend Dionne "named after far
Before any protest shots are fired at Directed by Amy singers who went on to do infomerci
me, I'd like to defend my behavior. I was Heckerling; with Alicia an ambitious but shallow rich
forced to sit through two female friends Silverstone schooler that lives to improve hei
of mine sighing and screaming over At Briarwood and Sho and everyone else's, whether they li
Chris O'Donnell in "Batman Forever," __ or not. Cher has her own philosop
Od if woman are going to gasp every what'simportant (shoppingappearance
Wme a guy with nipple plates and a glo- Why, to pick one random example, what's not(high school boys, studying)
rified crew cut beats up Jim Carrey, then does the movie open with The Muffs' Complicating Cher's vapid life
I can salivate over an 18-year old ex- version of the early '80s hit "Kids of arrival of a new girl in school
Aerosmith babe (besides, pass me a America," segue into David Bowie's an- doesn't quite fit in, her half-brother
hunky body suit and shave my head and cient hit "Fashion" and then play "Girls moving in (in the film's best refer
I'll gladly kick Ace Ventura's ass). Just Wanna Have Fun" during a gym referred to as "Kato") and just b
Oh, right, movie. "Clueless" is a lot class scene? References to Nine Inch "in." All attention must flow Cher's
better than the trailers suggested. While Nails, flannel shirts and Christian Slater or Cher does this really sexy pou
previews suggested "Valley Girl II" and sound more like a parent's feeble attempt shows off her legs. Well, she does th
dated it 15 years,the actual product is very to sound "hip" than actual generation ter anyway, and that's as far as horm
nny and only dated about five years. sketching. boys are going to see in this film be
Despite lusting after this cute boy, Cher remains "hymenally challenged"
Cher has decided to remain "hymenally There's not much of a plot to give
challenged" and save herself for Luke away, but everything moves along at a
Perry or a college boy. SEE CLELEsS PAGE13
"We're not supposed to make friends
with you, but we're going to!" So sings
Supergrass, one of the most engaging
British bands to come overseas. Their
eeky mix of punk, falsetto harmonies
d humor, coupled with their youth
(they're all around 19) make them the
British buzz band of the moment.
This is a band who wanted to use Hugh
Grant's mug shots to promote their new
single "Caught By the Fuzz." A band
whose lead singer, Gaz, has been ap-
proached by CalvinKleintoadvertisetheir
underwear. A band whose album"IShould
Coco" is oneofthebestdebutsoftheyear.
"I Should Coco" is loaded with
Ongles, from the aforementioned
Buzzcocks-pastiche "Caught By the
Fuzz," about getting busted for smoking
pot, to "Lenny" (so named because it
sounded like "a crap Lenny Kravitz
song") to the New Wave thrill of
"Alright" (also featured on the
"Mansize Rooster," which sounds
like an English dancehall tune, and the
glam-rock of "Time," show how diverse
and musically well-versed this band is.
Tracks like "She's So Loose" and "Sofa
(Of My Lethargy)" reveal a sensitive-
yet-catchy side to this charismatic band.
At 12 songs long, "I Should Coco"
leaves the listener hungering for more,
which is why their singles are also re-
quired listening for Britpop fans.
"Lenny"'s B-sides are especially note-
worthy - the real deal here is "SEX!" A
country ditty to the oldest pastime, it fea-
tures lyrics like "The first time can be
very hard, but you know you wanna try
it again ... and again and again!" Any
band that manages to be this funny,
clever and catchy is bound for big things.
- """h or Phnr.
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