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November 19, 2017


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Mike Watt
The Secondman's Middle Stand (Columbia Records)

By: Alex Steininger

On his most personal record to date, Mike Watt, founder of legendary punk outfit The Minutemen and fIREHOSE front man, creates a concept record with The Secondman's Middle Stand. It is the story of how Watt almost died in his early 20s but lived to tell about it - and appreciates life so much more now because of it. Fusing his punk legacy (and intensity) with gospel, freestyle jazz, and various other odds and ends, Watt blazes through this record. Beginning with "Boilin' Blazes", a song about the illness and how he is going to make it through, and coming near the end with "Pluckin', Pedalin' and Paddlin'". Watt appreciating the simple things in life, such as riding down the street riding his bike, realizing life is a beautiful thing and something that should be taken in to its fullest extent. The Secondman's Middle Stand is a hard record to swallow if you don't pay attention, or if you just give it a surface listen and write it off. However, if you take the time - as Watt did writing and recording this - you'll find a deep love for it and won't be able to put it down. I'll give it a B.
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