Dos (Mike Watt & Kira Roessler) Review

Author: Nick Kress

The Church of Watt?

Tonight this writer jumped into a time machine and took a journey through punk and hardcore history with two legends as they captivated their loyal congregation presenting their beautiful sermon via two electric basses and sporadic, spoken word-like lyrics.  The performance took place at one of Houston’s many secret gems, a small theater/gallery that resembles an antique church. The unique venue, 14 Pews, is quaintly tucked in a primarily-residential area of the historic Houston Heights.  The Venue provided an extremely intimate setting and killer acoustics.  The audience/venue was so courteous that you could hear a pin drop in between songs and the staff even cut the air conditioning off so as not to possibly sacrifice a single element of the performance with additional noise or possible electrical interference.  With no disclaimer needed, everyone switched their cell phones to silent as the small, yet respectable gathering eagerly awaited their hero’s entrance.

Kira Black Flag pictureThe talent that graced us with their legendary presence among other things were the great Mike Watt and Kira Roessler performing under the name  DOS.  Many people (even avid punk rockers) may not have heard of DOS, however the duo have been doing this for upwards of 30 years, and have opened for their own big name bands,  fIREHOSE and Black Flag amongst others!  Kira Roessler played bass alongside Henry Rollins on seven Black Flag albums, has written material with fIREHOSE and more recently works as a sound engineer in the movie/television industry.  Some of her more notable attributes are her work on Game of Thrones, Insomnia, and Under the Tuscan Sun to name a few.  The set was comprised almost exclusively of bass.  At one point the two even entered into what seemed to be a minor bass dual.  Kira contributed vocals mostly in a spoken word like fashion.  She did, however sing occasionally, particularly on “No Me Queda Mas”, an unlikely cover by the Late, Latin, crossover pop star, Selena, in which she delivered her beautiful rendition in full Espanol!  Kira’s excellent performance was additionally enhanced by her adorable yet seemingly random hopping which caused a light pitter-patter that only her tiny frame could produce.  Un-intentional cuteness aside, the jumping around was a testament to the true punk/hardcore blood that still obviously pumps through her pioneering veins.

Mike Watt PromoKira’s accomplice, Mike Watt sat to her right calmly and effortlessly plucking away with confidence and precision on his signature Gibson SG Bass.  Watt has earned the privilege of being able to sit down through a set without any qualms.  There were barely any breaks or introductions in between songs.  When there were, Kira stood patiently by as Watt did the talking.  There was one instance where they did stop and Mike provided a little back story, explaining that a part of the particular song had been giving him some troubles.  He went on to proclaim that, “I refuse to let it get the best of me”.  It was at this point that Roessler interjected, telling the audience that it was an extreme rarity for Mike to do such a thing and to her recollection, this had been the first!  The audience responded with a respectful chuckle.  Mike Watt is best known for his work with Minutemen alongside his childhood friend D. Boon in the early 80’s.  The Minutemen‘s eclectic brand fused together elements of funk and artsy, progressive/experimental rock that has inspired many bands including household names such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime.  The average Joe may not know who Minutemen are until you tell them that their song, “Corona” served as the theme song for the popular MTV show Jackass.  Other notable acts that Mike Watt has created and or is a part of are The Missingmen, fIREHOSE, II Sogno Del Marinaio, and Iggy and the Stooges just to name a few.  He has also collaborated with monster, mainstream, heavyweights such as Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder in case you haven’t ventured too far away from your radio dial and need to find some degrees of separation.

BassThis one of a kind spectacle was truly a privilege to attend.  Both Kira and Mike have made such significant contributions to punk and hardcore as well as just about every other sub-genre of rock that it was powerful to just be in the same room as them.  DOS didn’t just blow the roof off 14 Pews, they also have made major contributions to the community by teaming up with Nameless Sound and the Girls Rock Camp Houston.  These organizations were able to allow the duo to put on workshops to the youth and provide their endless knowledge and talent to the young girls in the Girls Rock Camp and the guitar students of Milby High School.  By the Barricade was able to easily catch up with the two of them on an individual basis as they were more than willing to talk to this writer for an admirable amount of time.  They quickly made way to with other admirers, doing virtually every photo op, autograph signing, and anything else that the people so politely demanded.  Kira Roessler and Mike Watt are truly a class act!  Whether it’s DOS or anything that these two touch, By the Barricade would certainly recommend any music lover to step out of the box and see these living legends.


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Nick Kress

Author: Nick Kress

This classically trained music guru has played guitar, drums, bass, and vocals in various bands throughout the duration of his life. Currently, Nick is a guitar instructor who has a serious passion for punk rock, and an even stronger will to write!

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