Mike Watt & the Missingmen, Nones | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Mike Watt & the Missingmen, Nones Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Thu., May 14, 9 p.m. 2009

To paraphrase a song by his most iconic band, the Minutemen, Mike Watt changed my life. Though today plenty of kids see “punk” as more or less equivalent to “purple fauxhawk and Fall Out Boy T-shirt,” Watt has confronted the common assumptions about the genre with a constant barrage of questions throughout his 30-year career, which he’s sustained with seemingly boundless curiosity and creativity. Is punk a sound or an idea? What is a song, anyway? What is the role of each instrument? Of lyrics? For a kid like me, raised on Van Halen in parochial Peoria before moving to the polyglot purgatory of central Florida, such questions opened up profound possibilities. Even in his podcast, “The Watt From Pedro Show,” he sounds more excited about music and life than a lot of dudes half his age. For the past few years his gig as Dave Alexander’s replacement in the Stooges has slowed down the output of his other bands, but only a bit. The Unknown Instructors, his group with Minutemen/Firehose drummer George Hurley and fellow San Pedroite Joe Baiza of Saccharine Trust, released its third album, Funland (Smog Veil), on Tuesday. And on this tour with the Missingmen—aka guitarist Tom Watson of the Red Krayola and drummer Raul Morales—Watt will perform songs from his third “opera,” the forthcoming Ten and Twenty Don’t Make Fifty, recorded earlier this month, as well as tunes from across his career. It’s a rare chance to see one of the most dedicated and visionary musicians in American punk doing his own thing. Nones open. —Brian Costello

Price: $15

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