With a pedigree that includes the Minutemen and fIREHOSE, not to mention Banyan and latter-day membership in the Stooges, Mike Watts current output is, of course, bound to be measured against his towering credibility. As always, however, Watts new music as the leader of his trio the Missingmen comes off with an unassailable lack of pretense. Gloriously ratty and loose, the Missingmen incorporate everything youd expect from Watt -- remnants of the most inventive aspects of classic rock as they get strained through a punk filter -- but then again toss them out the window in favor of just having fun. With so many musicians, their determination to maintain their underground aesthetics ultimately turns them into unwitting victims of their own integrity, their earnestness reduced to posturing over time. Watt on the other hand has avoided selling out and stuck to his guns, but has also managed to look perfectly natural in the process. In the end, his sense of ease rewards the listener by invigorating the music.
Fri., May 22, 8 p.m., 2009