When I found out that Dos was coming to town, it was like when a little kid impatiently waiting for Christmas morning, when every passing second felt excruciatingly long. I got my first taste of Dos when I heard their haunting bass-only version of Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain” for the first time over a decade ago. A friend of mine in Georgia sent it to me as a Real Audio file, and aside from the song title I knew nothing about the people behind the song except that they were a married couple. Nearly a decade later, by sheer happenstance I was surfing through Mike Watt’s website and happened upon some info on a side project of his called Dos. Lo and behold, it turned out to be the same duo. Mike Watt, Kira Roessler, two basses. That’s it. Though it doesn’t sound like much, the musical energy sparked between the duo is nothing short of phenomenal. I was so excited that I even pitched to preview the show for L.A. Record, which I did.
Dos formed as Mike Watt’s first-ever side project in 1985 during the days of The Minutemen, for whom Mike played bass. Earlier that year Black Flag opened for a few Minutemen shows, and Mike asked their bassist, Kira Roessler, if she’d be interested in jamming in a two-bass-only situation. When Minutemen frontman D. Boon tragically died in December of that year, Kira saw how important it was for the devastated Mike to keep playing, so they started jamming two-bass stuff and forming songs from the jams they’d previously done. The two bass lovers eventually became lovers themselves and married. Though they later divorced, the pair never abandoned Dos and have collaborated on and off to this day, playing scattered, far-and-few-between gigs. Feeling incredibly fortunate to have stumbled upon this one-off date, I’d been counting down the days until the show.
As expected, the duo’s performance was amazing. The surprisingly large crowd gathered in a semi-circle surrounding the duo, who performed not on the stage in back, but on the main floor near the entrance. Kira was adorable as she hopped about the makeshift stage while Mike just stayed put, decidedly focusing all of his energy on his fat bass lines. After their set, they were sweet as could be, signing autographs and talking with fans. If you hear about another Dos show coming up, drop any plans you may already have and go see them.