Mike Watt has been dubbed lots of things, including punk's philosopher king, but one thing remains sure: after thirty years of "jamming econo," he is a profound proprietor of honest music. Having made memorable, inchoate music with his own bands the Minutemen and fIREHOSE, and working with a vast array of fellow travelers including Sonic Youth, Janes Addiction, the Stooges and J. Mascis and the Fog - just to name a handful - Watt has no peer that comes close.
With one foot in his fruitful past - the rootsiness of Creedence Clearwater Revival, stripped-down severity of Wire and controlled abandon of the Pop Group - Watt's solo outings since the mid-'90s have navigated the punk opera Contemplating the Engine Room
(based on his father's experience in the Navy) to the keyboard-bass-drum brio of The Secondman's Middle Stand
His newest record with Unknown Instructors, featuring old sidekicks drummer George Hurley and Saccharine Trust's guitar-alchemist Joe Baiza, echoes his affection for unbridled spoken word, free form jazz-spiel, and off-kilter funk. Meanwhile, this tour introduces Mike Watt and the Missingmen, whose tunes return to more traditional songcraft, from the heavy, blistering rock of Humble Pie's "30 Days in the Hole" to Roky Erickson's spry and soulful "Sweet Honey Pie."
With Ladyheat, 9 p.m. tonight at Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh, 713-521-0521 or www.pegstar.net.