September 9, 2004

Hiding in new places, getting wasted

* Interview of Mike Watt. excerpt:

MW: I’m 46 now. It’s all circumstance. I was born the year John Coltrane quit heroin, 1957. Sputnik went up that year also.

It ended up being a fortuitous time to be born because D. Boon, Georgie [Hurley] and me all graduated high school in 1976 which is right when punk came on. That’s why I believe we got to play in front of people because it was a scene that was open enough that would let anybody on stage.

DRE: How are you holding up?

MW: I’m much healthier. The last tour was my 50th tour and I was sick three times, the beginning, middle and end. I haven’t been sick since. I rebuilt my immune system. I got this illness three years ago that almost killed me. That’s what my next record is about.

DRE: I read that you tried to capture a sound of the illness.

MW: Yeah that’s what I thought about using an organ. This band I have is a bass, organ and drums. The organ is kind of churchlike so that creates the atmosphere. I was very grateful I got over being sick so I could pedal, paddle and plunk.

DRE: What are your fingers like?

MW: Well after a while you can’t really have the pads anymore because they get caught under the strings and rip off. So after a while your hands become like moccasins and more pliable so there is a thickness to them so they don’t tear. I understand all your nerves for touch and feel are there. So when they get torn open you are in a lot of pain. That was the early years but after a while my body gets accustomed to it.

DRE: I read this great quote from you, 'Being in a band is a political statement in and of itself.' I don’t know when you said that exactly but do you still feel that’s valid?

MW: Absolutely. For a young person a band is the most idealized form of a political state. Guys get together, make decisions and act on them. They enable creativity and actualize it by bringing it to audiences. The ensemble act of creating is kind of a political endeavor. Trying to find your own voice is also a political expression.

DRE: Have you always had that philosophy?

MW: Well a lot of these ideas came from Minutemen and my experience with D. Boon. We used to play in his bedroom until punk came then music was a whole new thing for us. When you could play for people we started thinking about all the different perspectives. We came up with the idea that the world was two different categories, gigs and flyers. Everything that wasn’t a gig was a flyer to get people to the gig. We were young men coming into our own and trying to understand how we fit into the world. We saw that music was one way we could relate to other people.

* Washington Post weighs in on the Bush military record scandal. excerpt:

"White House officials dismissed the latest criticism of Bush's service as partisan attacks in the midst of a heated campaign. In an interview with '60 Minutes,' White House communications director Dan Bartlett said 'partisan Democrats' were 'recycling the very same charges we hear every time President Bush runs for reelection' and added: 'It is dirty politics.' But he did not contest the authenticity of the documents, which could not be verified independently by The Washington Post."

Remember, yesterday Bartlett admitted to 'mispeaking' (read lying) about Bush's military record. And, it was Bartlett and Karen Hughes who, according to various accounts, were allegedly the two tasked with trashing the missing documents in the first place. Dirty politics. Ha.

* Bush sings Sunday Bloody Sunday.

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