Legendary bassist Mike Watt has managed to squeeze a lifetime's worth of music into the last 22 years. As a founding member of The Minutemen (with childhood Pedro bud D. Boon) and fIREHOSE (with our very own Ed Crawford, now of Grand National), Watt created some of the most endearing and influential music of the '80s and early '90s. His first solo album, 1995's Ball Hog Or Tugboat, was a star-studded affair, with guest appearances by the surviving members of Nirvana and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. He followed this with a tribute to his career-Navy dad--the concept disc Contemplating the Engine Room. That leads us to his latest release, The Secondman's Middle Stand, which Watt describes as "the story of the sickness that almost took me two years back and left an intense impression on my body and mind. It loosely parallels Dante's Divine Comedy." As a punk elder and no-bullshit social commentator (check out his Web site, hootpage.com), Watt is a counter-culture national treasure--a reminder of the way rock music can be, a career musician who isn't afraid to hold a mirror up to his own life and describe, in unsentimental terms, just what he sees. He also plays the hell out of the "thudstick" (his term). Catch him at Kings Barcade, Saturday, May 4.