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11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 1, 2011
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Hyphenated-Man + Double Nickels on the Dime
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Editorial Reviews

In an effort to judge Mike Watt's third "opera" on it's own merits, one may try to put aside everything he has done over his career. This is not only a disservice to the man, but is, quite frankly, an impossible task. Twenty-six years after The Minutemen's landmark Double Nickels on the Dime, Watt returns to the familiar punk and jazz influenced sound he and his band made famous. This time, it's more refined and more mature without lacking any of the energy or urgency of yesteryear. Hyphenated-man features thirty songs in 47 minutes with Watt on bass, his deep baritone singing melodies and reciting spoken word while the Missingmen (Raul Morales and Tom Watson) wail on drums and guitar. Add to all of this a special redrawn cover by legendary artist Raymond Pettibon and you've got an album worthy of the history that led up to it.

1. Arrow-Pierced-Egg-Man
2. Beak-Holding-Letter-Man
3. Hammering-Castle-Bird-Man
4. Bird-in-the-Helmet-Man
5. Belly-Stabbed-Man
6. Stuffed-in-the-Drum-Man
7. Baby-Cradling-Tree-Man
8. Hollowed-Out-Man
9. Finger-Pointing-Man
10. Own-Horn-Blowing-Man
11. Fryingpan-Man
12. Head-and-Feet-Only-Man
13. Shield-Shouldered-Man
14. Cherry-Head-Lover-Man
15. Pinned-to-the-Table-Man
16. Mouse-Headed-Man
17. Antlered-Man
18. Confused-Parts-Man
19. Bell-Rung-Man
20. Boot-Wearing-Fish-Man
See all 30 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Recordings Group
  • ASIN: B004JOBT4O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,015 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stargrazer on March 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Mike Watt's last album, as much as I respected where it was coming from, was more of an exercise to listen to than a pleasure. Long songs, bursting with narratives about catheters and perineal abcesses, as cathartic as they were, must truly be the most out-there concept of all time for a rock album. After the high-water mark of "Contemplating The Engine Room," which paired topnotch sidemen with concise, well written songs, the follow-up "The Secondman's Middle Stand," was a bit of a choreful slog by comparison -- and I mean no disrespect. The playing and recording are impassioned and inspired. It was just the first Watt album -- even the first Watt project, ever, that didn't really move me. I can engage it on a conceptual level, and I can be glad that Watt triumphed over his illness, while still not finding true satisfaction in the music.

So I approached "Hyphenated-Man" with an unfamiliar trepidation. As a Minutemen/Dos/fIREHOSE/Banyan/Bootstrappers/Unknown Instructors/etc. fan, this was a wholly disconcerting and alien feeling to have. Watt's predilection for unusual themes and parameters was well promoted: once again, this would be an "opera," an album based on the odd humanoid characters that populate Hieronymous Bosch's 16th-century painting "The Garden Of Earthly Delights." In a long-awaited return to the short, chorus-less jazz/punk format of the Minutemen, this would also be an album of short songs. Yet, all united in concept, conceived as one big song shattered into 30 pieces. Watt wrote most of the songs on guitar, then reverse-engineered the bass lines. Basically, he wrote himself a thought problem, then solved it 30 different ways.

Well, I needn't have been concerned.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By @GNES $TECK on March 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am in no way a religious person, but: GOD BLESS MIKE WATT.
Forget that this is Watt's first (solo) album in over six years (yet he's performed on probably 6 or more other projects since, including AI's Kelly Clarkson's 3rd album and the 1st STOOGES' album in over 20 years!); forget that this is his THIRD (punk rock) OPERA; forget even Watt founded the MINUTEMEN and fIREHOSE...know only THIS: that on Hyphenated-Man, Mike Watt & the Missingmen pound out 30 original, no-frills power trio blasts of post-punk skate-jazz filtered through dirty speakers and joyfully sung with a Yogi Berra-like ease. Watt's THUD STAFF is as heavy, deft and poignant as ever. The production by Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu) pours from the speakers warm and big; this band sounds like they are playing in your lap. The music is everything a fan of the Minutemen/fIREHOSE/Stooges/Mike Watt/Banyan/Unknown Instructors/Funanori might want: intense jazz/folk/punk that is both simple and profound, played with mad musicianship and insight. Watt's voice has grown husky from growling out his SPIEL (arty/political truisms) these passed 30 years: though nary is a rant in site: he means every word. Mike Watt opines heartfelt punk poetry (this time about being middle-aged) that somehow could have been uttered by you or me (or your dad...but this f'n rocks!). And what about these Missingmen? Raul Morales plies his drums like a man possessed of virtuosity, power and finesse. His rhythms are both loose & tight, with more than a passing nod to the never-overly-busy clockwork drumming of Minutemen George Hurley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Green on November 10, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Mike Watt through all his musical incarnations. I saw the Minutemen and fIREHOSE perform several times each, and have many of his albums with them, Ciccone Youth, Dos, the Unknown Instructors, and others.

Watt's solo albums are truly different from his other work, yet you can definitely follow the thread. This album reminds me a lot of his work with Dos, because although there is a full band, his bass is so prominent in the mix, and the tunes are short and complex. It's a very challenging listen; in many ways his most "difficult" music to date, and perhaps his least commercial in a long time, but the rewards become evident if you are patient and keep listening. That said, it is not difficult to listen to -- just difficult to get your head around. (Unlike other avant grade stuff, you don't feel assaulted. It is more like discovering a new place than being sonically beaten up.)

Many years ago, when I was an English major, I wanted to do a tribute to D. Boon, so I picked a bunch of short Minutemen lyrics I liked, to read at an open mic night. However, when I checked, most of those lyrics were written by Watt. This album, with its strange metaphors, its thematic structure, and playful twists, reminds me of why I like Watt's wordage so much.

It's strange and wonderful and challenging stuff, and I think it is awesome that at 53, Watt is still trying new things.
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By Chris L. Monroe on September 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I loved this album from the first time I heard it, not a weak song in the bunch. I've always been a huge fan of Mr. Watt in his various bands and projects. This album does not disappoint. I definitely hear a touch of Minutemen and fIREHOSE in this record, but with no hint of nostalgia. This is Watt doing what he does best. This will soon be a punk rock classic, an accolade which is definitely deserves. Ok my spiel is done now, go buy the record!!
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