Sunday, July 04, 2004
"buzz or howl under the influence of heat"
45 rpm EP
Back in the day, Minutemen were my heroes. As a staunch anti-Reagan free-speech, anti-drug war liberal, d. boon sang songs that really mattered. Now I find boon's songs puerile and didactic and its Watt's songs that really suprise now. The following songs are way ahead of their time, considering they were recorded in early '93. This was part of their What Makes a Man Start Fires (which this preceded) funk-punk rant and rage period. Ironically, I'm reminded of two other bands I've written about here (Rifle Sport and Dr. Nerve). "Cut" is a complex yet short pre-emo emo piece (what can be more emo than cutting yourself on an ice machine?) and "Self-Referenced" is jazz stop-and-start tight jam wherein Watt beats himself up.
Watt's lyrics would generally come from stray ideas, little pieces of paper (he once sang his grocery list) and stream of consciousness.
R. Meltzer was a hero to them - and they to him - and they reprinted a note here that Meltzer sent them in which he lumps Minutemen in with W. H. Auden and Bob Kaufmann, which is about right. Alas, the last time I was in San Diego, I could no longer find Meltzer's awesome "reviews" in the back of their alternative City weekly. Hope he's okay -- can't find much of a trace of him on the Internet -- like one of those silent film stars that never crossed over (see also R. A. Wilson), I'm sure he's still out there somewhere.
Links: Watt's page is on the right. See also Corndogs, which has a truckload of live shows and some rare cuts for the taking. Build your own fantasy live show (anyone remember those FM Weekends where they did "The Show that Never Happened" by stringing tired old studio cuts together with crowd sounds?)!
Disclaimer: These samples will be up for around one week & are meant for evaluation purposes only. Quality is not perfect since this is recorded off the original LP. This CD is still available on Amazon.com and linked to the .gif above. I heartily recommend this for every cool record collection.