|Studio album by Mike Watt|
October 6, 2010 (Japan)
|Recorded||May 2009 and June 2010|
Parabolica Records (Japan)
|Mike Watt chronology|
Front cover of 2010 Japanese release
Hyphenated-Man (rendered on the cover in all lower case letters as hyphenated-man) is the fourth solo album by Mike Watt, and the first full-length recording he made under his own name since parting with Columbia Records in 2005. Initially released in Japan by Parabolica Records in October 2010, the album was released in the rest of the world on clenchedwrench, an independent record label newly founded by Watt. He is accompanied on the album by his band The Missingmen, guitarist Tom Watson and drummer Raul Morales.
Writing and Recording
The album is a loose concept album (Watt refers to it as his third "punk opera") of thirty short songs, all two minutes or under (most average about a minute and a half) inspired by creatures from the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch; each of the thirty song titles is derived from a nickname Watt came up with for each creature, "since I don't know three-hundred-year-old Dutch". According to Watt, the album "is quite different" from his previous punk operas Contemplating the Engine Room and The Secondman's Middle Stand "in that it has no standard narrative... meaning no regular beginning-middle-end." Another inspiration woven into the album's lyrics was taken from "the idea of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz kind of tripping on what men do to 'be' men."
Musically, Watt was inspired to write short songs again after re-immersing himself in the back catalog of his first band, The Minutemen prior to and in the course of filming the documentary We Jam Econo. Watt had seen a parallel between the album's initial concept and The Minutemen in "how many little trips could roll up into one big one."
The music to all thirty songs was written by Watt on one of Watt's late friend and Minutemen bandmate D. Boon's Fender Telecasters. The guitar and drum tracks were recorded in three days in May 2009 during a planned break in a tour Watt undertook with the Missingmen, at Studio G in Brooklyn, New York, the studio of ex-Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone. Watt overdubbed his vocals and bass parts thirteen months later.
- Mike Watt - vocals, bass, songwriter, producer
- Tom Watson - guitars
- Raul Morales - drums
- Tony Maimone - engineer, mixer
References and footnotes
- "SPIN Review".
- 'hyphenated-man' mike watt, Mike Watt's Hoot Page, retrieved January 26, 2011
- Gary Graff (January 26, 2011), Mike Watt Revisits Minutemen Music For 'Hyphenated' Rock Opera, Billboard, retrieved January 26, 2011
- Mike Watt (2010), back cover liner notes, Hyphenated-man (Parabolical Records (Japan))
- The Arrow-Pierced-Egg-Man is the creature depicted on the front cover of the album.