Ballhog at The Basement 

Mike Watt had a great solo record about 15 years or so ago (yes, you kids should defend yourselves against the ’90s) called Ball-Hog or Tugboat? On it, the former Minutemen bassist (and about a dozen of his first/best mates) caromed through a panoply of musical styles, all of which still managed to jam econo, thanks to Watt's irrepressible energy and impossibly intricate bass playing. Ballhog! lack any one picker of Watt's caliber, of course—how many bands do?—and frankly, they're more than a little rough around the edges. There's something here, however, in the band's oddball mix of strings and brass (often on the same song), Camel-filter vocals and Mason-jarred porch honk. Imagine a less emotive Avetts fronted by The Marshall Tucker Band's Toy Caldwell with some mariachi horns stolen from a Tex-Mex restaurant on White Bridge Road, and you begin to get the idea.
Sat., June 27, 9 p.m., 2009

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