Mike Watt


Perhaps Mike Watt’s latest album, Hyphenated-Man, would make sense if it had been titled more appropriately. Repetitive-Man or I-Don’t-Get-It-Man would work equally well to describe this 45-minute medley of non-sequitur lyrics, slick Muzak guitar riffs, funky beats, and strange arrangements. Here, wacky, twisted lyrics make Watt out to be a strict adherent of Les Claypool, though what we get is much more comprehensible. While most of the songs are fast and choppy, it’s the slower, laid-back melodies that capture the best of Watt’s voice: a strange Southern-like drawl that dips and curves like Johnny Cash’s. Elsewhere, the guitar riffs and bass lines are very well written, sometimes complex, and always catchy. Ultimately, though, Hyphenated-Man works because it refuses to take itself too seriously, making for an album that’s original, fun, and full of Watt’s signature bass-fueled quirk. Mike Watt plays Velvet Jones Thursday, March 10, at 8 p.m. Visit for info.

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