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Mike Watt: On and Off Bass


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"[Watt] has a keen eye for capturing unexpected disruptions within seemingly normal, even mundane situations... Loss is prevalent throughout ON AND OFF BASS but it is undercut with hope; there is always the sustaining reservoir of inspiration -- from Boon, from music, from San Pedro itself -- to dip back into. It's the same reservoir that John Coltrane described in a 1966 interview with Nat Hentoff: 'There is never any end. There are always new sounds to imagine, new feelings to get at.'" --LA Review of Books "As with everything that Watt has turned his attention to since he began making art in 1980, ON AND OFF BASS is sincere, funny, handmade, beautiful, totally idiosyncratic, and entirely original." --The Rumpus "An unusual and beautiful photographic memoir." --New Yorker Magazine "His skill lies not in classical composition -- although photo nerds will nonetheless find plenty to like in the book. Rather, Watt's strength comes from his ability to capture everyday scenes. His pictures make the mundane into the sublime." --LA Weekly "Watt's photography shows the intelligence of a man with a thoughtful appreciation for the world around him." Express Milwaukee "A collection that rewards repeated viewings and is very well crafted." --Blog Critics Watt brings his world and his experiences into focus, sharing them unabashedly with whoever chooses to come on board. He brings the past into the present, never merely resting on his laurels and always missing D. Boon, his missing friend." --Rockerzine "Mike Watt's photos are the poetry of San Pedro...every time he goes out on that kayak he comes back with gold. These gorgeous images paired with the raw reflections of 3 decades on the road are sure to blow the minds of all who love punk rock and our beloved vision questing troubadour." --Jack Black "Here is the last stand of the fruited earth and the ship-freighted sea. How lovely America was. God bless San Pedro and Mike Watt." --Iggy Pop "When you mix pirate, Pedro pix, music, d. boon forever, hard work, weird sincerity, good will, curiosity, love, and an adult moustache, what do you have? Poetry is the answer. Poetry poetry poetry. Watt Watt Watt!" - Richard Hell, author Punk: Chaos to Couture " The heart and mind and EYES of Michael Watt, half-brother of us all, in black/white and color. No blue-eyed beatnik Buddhist ever breathed such humility; no jackleg science-fictioneer ever oozed such enchantment. That's right!" --Richard Meltzer, author, Autumn Rhythm: Musings on Time, Tide, Aging, Dying, and Such Biz "Mike Watt is the lighthouse keeper, and his D string is never sharp; brave sailor w/sails trimmed, vision clear (or anyways tryin' hard), his music, words and lately photo-images have been inspiring me for 'pert-near 30 years. Let's now with this volume add 'beatific poet to the list.'" --Lee Ranaldo, musician, Sonic Youth; author, Against Refusing "Watt covers the waterfront." --Raymond Pettibon, artist "This exquisite publication of his poetry, poetic vignettes, philosophic observations and stunning 'chance' photography gives tactile continuum to prolific music accomplishments, his living art: 'While carving an axe handle, the model is always nearby.' The Muse has certainly bestowed its gilded awards to this generous (beyond Renaissance) man." --Charles Plymell, author Benzedrine Highway "There is an ocean in the centaur of burning heart. Salt, grease and rusty buoys. The sun, lighthouse...I hear his music through his eyes and words and even though it's expected, I still can't believe how beautiful it is." --Yuka Honda, musician, Cibo Matto, The Plastic Ono Band " Susan Sontag wrote that photographs of people are haunted by death. There aren't many people in Mike Watt's photographs so maybe that's why they seem haunted rather by life -- the large operations of man around the harbor and the smaller scale activity of wildlife that puts up with them. Mike is out at sun-up and getting to see SoCal's lands end from his kayak is an unearned privilege, the best kind a book can deliver. Paired with excerpts from his journal which catch him rolling across the continents as a working musician gives a -precise idea what besides exercise Mike gets out of it." --Joe Carducci, author, Enter Naomi: SST, L.A. and All That ...

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