Monday, August 29, 2005

can you hear me doctor wu?

I got into Minutemen fairly late in life, but I think they're a great example of how the US concept of punk can be way more interesting than it's UK counterpart. Just look at the SST roster from the early-mid 80s - Black Flag, Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Sonic Youth and Minutemen. All completely stylistically different but all punk in the real sense - doing it for themselves and embracing all aspects of a musical "alternative" to the mainstream. It was more about how you carried yourself than how you sounded and these artists shared a set of ideals and a way of working that bound them together more than a homogenous sound.

Minutemen - Viet Nam

Minutemen didn't sound punk and they certainly didn't look the part (see lead singer D.Boon above), but they were more punk than many other bands, living the DIY ethic in all aspects of their day-to-day dealings, releasing 12 records in five years both on SST and their own New Alliance label. They took the energy and idealism of punk and fused it with a more expansive musical vision and a committed political ideology - you can see that they took a lot of their cues from Talking Heads, Wire and the Pop Group.

Minutemen - One Reporter's Opinion

In 1984 they released "Double Nickels On The Dime", an amazing double album (45 songs) recorded over a pair of two-day sessions. It was in some ways the result of healthy competition between them and Husker Du, who'd just released "Zen Arcade". "Double Nickels..." takes in funk, punk, folk music, everything in between. There are also covers of songs by Van Halen and, here, Steely Dan.

Minutemen - Doctor Wu

D.Boon died in a motoring accident in December 1985.

Visit Minutemen
Visit Mike Watt's Hoot page
Read Mike Watt's "Spiels of a Minuteman"
Buy Double Nickels On The Dime

No comments: