Watt Welcomes Guests In NYC
Punk icon Mike Watt was joined onstage Wednesday night (Oct. 10) at New York's Mercury Lounge by former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard as well as Watt's former fIREHOSE bandmate Ed Crawford.Punk icon Mike Watt was joined onstage Wednesday night (Oct. 10) at New York's Mercury Lounge by former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard as well as Watt's former fIREHOSE bandmate Ed Crawford. The show marked the first night of the rejuvenated College Music Journal (CMJ) Music Marathon, which was postponed from its originally scheduled dates directly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Watt, whose already scheduled gig with guitarist Tom Watson and drummer Jerry Trebotic (aka the Jom and Terry show) was adopted by the Music Marathon, did his part to kick off the festival with a wide-ranging setlist full of punk covers, jazz-influenced instrumentals, and original tunes from the breadth of his 22-year recording career. The receptive crowd was also treated to an appearance by Bouchard, whom Watt introduced as one of his idols from his youth. With Crawford and Bouchard both on guitars, the newly minted quintet paid tribute to the Oyster Cult with a raging version of its 1973 anthem "The Red and the Black."
Crawford, known to fans as Ed fROMOHIO, also led a rendition of "Walkin' the Cow," a Daniel Johnston song Crawford and Watt covered on fIREHOSE's fourth album, 1991's "Flyin' The Flannel" (1991). His new band, Grand National, was also on last night's bill.
Watt reprised a couple of tunes from the Minutemen's seminal 1984 double album "Double Nickels on the Dime" -- "Toadies" and "One Reporter's Opinion" -- as well as tossing in two covers from minimalist punkers Wire's debut "Pink Flag" and a rousing version of Television's "Venus De Milo" to contribute to the set list's classic punk slant.
Watt closed by thanking the crowd for "keeping an open mind tonight, and -- especially in these times -- keeping an open heart," and then in true punk D.I.Y. fashion, sold t-shirts and stickers from the stage for half-an-hour after the show.
The trio's Time to Cat and Mouse tour continues tonight with a show at Maxwell's in nearby Hoboken, N.J., which will be Web cast through Watt's Hootpage beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The tour will play nearly a month's worth of dates before coming to an end Nov. 5 in San Francisco.