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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast
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Il Sogno Del Marinaio: La Busta Gialla

In Minutemen and fIREHOSE, Mike Watt helped break punk-rock barriers with his bass guitar. His adventurous spirit continues to thrive in his first international collaboration, Il Sogno Del Marinaio.

Watt teams up with Italians Stefano Pilia and Andrea Belfi for the band's debut album. While the songs are far from the minute-long econo-punk tunes of Watt's past, there's still a sense of movement. Over the course of eight tracks, the trio venture into vivid soundscapes that bounce, sway and stroll. Interesting instrument choices, like the xylophone on the tropical "Funanori Jig," keep the music engaging, especially in songs that lack traditional lyrics. Longtime Watt fans are likely to enjoy "The Tiger Princess," in which he unleashes his trademark spiel. With lyrics like "pop awake to find my fingers full of fur," his words are a joy to wrap your mind around.

While Watt's the most famous name in the trio, he wisely lets the other musicians shine. The group ramps up the energy for the funky "Punkinhead Ahoy!," which concludes the album with a celebratory jam.

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