Corndogs, they were.
High on the American postpunk/indierock pedestal sit San Pedro, California's MINUTEMEN, legendary for singer/guitarist D. Boon's girth as well as his goofiness. Thunderstick (bass) master Mike Watt continues to ply his spiel throughout the land, and surfer-turned-legendary-drummer George Hurley does what he does.
I can't even begin to blog about what this band meant to me as a teenager in the 1980s, it was amazing that this band - an SST artist at that - could sound so, well, un-SST'ish and cool. Put anything from WHAT MAKES A MAN START FIRES? next to 3-WAY TIE (FOR LAST) and you say "this is the same band?" - and it was. They were truly on the brink of something special when tragedy struck the band in December 1985, when Boon was killed in a car crash.
There are two things you need to know about this band.
1) They were fucking corndogs.
2) They laid the groundwork for the indie/punk DIY movement. "Start your own band, write your own book, paint your own picture" are words to live by indeed. They jammed econo, and they lived by what they said. Ethical to the core. The records were the flyers for the gigs. Their band could be your life.
I'm done spieling. Just listen. My favorite Minutemen selections, in no particular order, all a-jumbled (just like the band).
These are the tracks, I'll at least note what releases I pulled them from. So in the DIY spirit, here are my favorite tracks for you to use to assemble your own Minutemen compilation.
And if you haven't seen the spectacular "rockumentary" full-length feature on the band We Jam Econo you best hie yourself to amazon.com or your favorite bricks/mortar retailer and purchase the DVD post-haste. I cannot recommend it more highly.
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PARANOID TIME (1980)
Joe McCarthy's Ghost
THE PUNCH LINE (1981)
The Punch Line
Song For El Salvador
If Reagan Played Disco
WHAT MAKES A MAN START FIRES? (1983)
Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
Sell Or Be Sold
Life As A Rehearsal
BUZZ OR HOWL UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF HEAT (1983)
I Felt Like A Gringo
Little Man With A Gun In His Hand
DOUBLE NICKELS ON THE DIME (1984)
"take that, huskers!"
D.'s Car Jam / Anxious Mo-Fo
#1 Hit Song
Two Beads At The End
Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Truth?
Shit From An Old Notebook
Nature Without Man
Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing
Take 5, D.
My Heart And The Real World
History Lesson Part II
The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts
This Ain't No Picnic
Untitled Song For Latin America
Jesus And Tequila
PROJECT: MERSH (1985)
"I got it! We'll have them write hit songs!"
King Of The Hill
Take Our Test
3-WAY TIE (FOR LAST) (1985)
Price Of Paradise
The Big Stick
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
The Red And The Black
Spoken Word Piece
Ack Ack Ack
Hittin' The Bong
BALLOT RESULT (1987)
No One (remix)
Ack Ack Ack
This Ain't No Picnic
Little Man With A Gun In His Hand (from Double Nickels vinyl, cut from CD issue)
I Felt Like A Gringo (alternate studio version)
Three RAR files, as usual, you gotta grab 'em all...
This Ain't No Picnic (1984)
Hard to believe this was once played on MTV! Best video ever.
D. Boon's mad hopping slays me every time. Fantastic.
The Anchor (live)
Taken from We Jam Econo - I can watch/listen over and over and over.