Our Band Could Be Your Life

I’d forgotten until recently how much I love The Minutemen-  three unlikely looking punkers from San Pedro, California who made several classic mid-80s indie-punk albums for SST. Although Minutemen are more of a band inspired by punk than sounding like punk. They were fired up by punk’s DIY attitude and sense of freedom and personal political responsibility but weren’t Sex Pistols copyists or three chord trickists. Instead they played very short, quite fast, agit-folk-punk with a bit of funk on the side. On their 1984 double lp Double Nickels On the Dime they released 43 songs, none much over two minutes long. This one tells their story and is just about perfect.

History Lesson Part II

From an earlier lp (Buzz Or Howl Under The Influence Of Heat) comes this intricate beauty, loads of ascending and descending, criss-crossing guitar and basslines, working up to the one line chorus- ‘little man with a gun in his hand’. If you don’t like this, I’m not sure there is any hope for you.

Little Man With A Gun In His Hand

And from the magnificent documentary We Jam Econo, History Lesson Part II live, acoustic and stripped down, with some chat from Mike Watt in the van first. D Boon, singer and guitarist, died in a car accident in 1985. I don’t think Mike Watt has ever gotten over it.

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