It's hard to jam econo with a catheter. Ask Mike Watt. In 2000, after an abscess in his perineum burst, the legendary Minutemen and fIREHOSE bassist found himself bedridden with a raging fever, pounding Percodan, hallucinating, peeing orange and contemplating death more than the engine room. Fittingly enough, Watt used the downtime to re-read Dante's Divine Comedy, the inspiration behind his third solo effort, The Secondman's Middle Stand. A complex conceptual effort cut into nine parts, Stand charts Watt's own agonizing journey from inferno to purgatory to ultimate paradise. The result is a trippy, swirling third dimension with lots of sunsets and pelicans. Supported by a B3-organ-fueled backing trio that sounds like Procol Harum on a prog fix, San Pedro's nautical son and beloved spielmeister returns from a tour of duty in hell older, wiser, thinner but oddly re-energized. Somewhere, D. Boon is smiling.
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