Mike Watt - Ball-Hog Or Tugboat ?
Mike Watt - Ball-Hog Or Tugboat ?
Capitol Records (Columbia) 1995 CD
01. Big Train
02. Against the 70's
03. Drove Up From Pedro
04. Piss-Bottle Man
05. Chinese Firedrill
06. Intense Song for Madonna to Sing
07. Tuff Gnarl
08. Sexual Military Dynamics
09. Max and Wells
10. E-Ticket Ride
11. Forever - One Reporter's Opinion
12. Song for Igor
13. Tell 'em, Boy
14. Sidemouse Advice
16. Maggot Brain
17. Coincidence Is Either Hit or Miss
As could be expected, Ball-Hog boasts an impressive series of voices, styles and surprises, and at times, it’s equally messy as it’s sprawling.
The amount of styles touched upon is dazzling, as the album switches from power-pop (a terrific “Piss-Bottle Man” with Evan Dando), to angular Beefheart-funk (“Sexual Military Dynamics”with Henry Rollins), jazzy noodling (“Intense Song for Madonna to Sing”), inoffensive but pleasant alternative rock (“Big Train”),slightly dissonant rock (Sonic Youth’s “Tuff Gnarl”) and analogfaux hip-hop (“Coincidence Is Either Hit or Miss”). Some of themusicians do strictly what’s expected of them, like Eddie Vedder,who croons throughout “Against the 70’s” as if his life depends onit, or Henry Rollins, whose “foaming at the mouth”-performance isparticularly entertaining. Others, however, wind up doing thingsyou’d never expect them to: Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner owns theslice of unpredictable funk-rock “Tell ‘em Boy!,” the Peppers’ Fleadelivers the goods by playing trumpet (!) on the jazzy “SidemouseAdvice,” with an equally impressive Carla Bozulich (Geraldine Fibbers) on big-breasted vocals. The loose atmosphere that must’veinfested many of the sessions infuses most of the songs with an “onthe spot”-carelessness that usually works well. For instance, “Maxand Wells” (with Mark Lanegan’s sinister vocals), or “Forever –One Reporter’s Opinion,” a re-interpretation of the Minutemen’sclassic track from their magnum opus Double Nickels on the Dime, sound as if they’re (successful) first takes. Of course, a 68-minutegathering like this isn’t devoid of little breakdowns: “Heartbeat” is pretty directionless (but luckily it’s saved by an answeringmachine message of Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, who secures alife-long seat in the pantheon of idiots with a long-windedexplanation of why she was to cool to contribute to the album),while a few of the other songs should’ve been trimmed a bit (enthusiasm regularly commits sabotage on the bullshit detector),but like Forrest Gump with his box of chocolates, the fun about this album is that you never know what you’re gonna get. Finally,there’s the unquestionable highlight (to me, at least), the trackthat warrants the price, the icing on the cake and the one thatafter dozens and dozens of listen still has the capacity to make my lower jaw drop to the floor: a cover version of Funkadelic’s “MaggotBrain,” already a classic instrumental (apart from the fewopening lines, that is) in its own right, but equalled – if not topped– by this distortion-drenched take by Watt, original organ whiz Bernie Worrell and J. Mascis, who delivers one of the most insanelyintense, sad and completely out there solos of his life. Runningmore 12 minutes, it tears through Eddie Hazel’s original, by way of Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and a shitload of effect pedals. Likethey did 25 years earlier, before they started recording theoriginal, somebody must’ve told Mascis to play as if his mother hadjust died. It’s a good thing not the entire album ended up like that,or it would become the death of me. As it is now, Ball-Hog or Tugboat? is a damn enjoyable and diverse album that’s a lot of fun if you’re willing to approach it with the open-mindedness most of the musicians obviously had in them while participating, plus it might be a nice introduction to Mike Watt’s output that’s worthy of closer inspection. (Guy Peters)
A bit of the list:
Frank Black ; Henry Rollins ; Eddy Vedder (Pearl Jam) ; J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr) ; Bernie Worrell (Funkadelic, Parliament) ; Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers etc.) ; Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction) ; Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) ; Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks) ; Cris et Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets) ; Evan Dando et John P. Strohm (Lemonheads) ; Mark Lanegan et Gary Lee Conner (Screaming Trees) ; Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo et Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) ; Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear et Dave Grohl (Nirvana) ; Mario Caldato, Mike D et King Ad-rock (Beastie Boys) ; Nels Cline et Michael Preussner (Nels Cline Trio) ; Danny Frankel (songwriter) ; Vince Meghrouni (Brother Weasel) ; Tony Atherton (Bazooka) ; Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Scarnella) ; Petra Haden, Rachel Haden, Tony Maxwell et Anna Waronker (That Dog) ; Brock Avery (Reeves Gabrels) ; Epic Soundtracks (Swell Maps) ; Paul Roessler (DC3) ; Spot (The Stop & Listen Boys) and lots more...
Same Rip specs as usual, now defend yourself against the 70's and remember coincidence is either hit or miss!
Unzip pass: deathburger