Sunday, December 05, 2004

Paranoid Time (7" EP)
SST Records, 1980

Still in print, like most of their stuff, this is, what?, the third time minutemen are featured here. Here's one of the previous posts that explains my love-hate relationship with minutemen. Of interest here is the strength and longevity of Watt's songs, even here on their first record. His songs capture the imagination, remain topical even if the lyrics are dated and rarely meander off into sloganeering and adolescent whining. Even "Joe McCarthey's Ghost" is written in such a in-your-face way that its questions can only be answered on a personal level without having to delive into a book by some long dead idealogue to "get it"...

"Paranoid Chant" could probably be updated. Maybe he could sing it in the voice of a Shiite listening to the Iranian mullahs? What makes a child strap on a suicide bomb, indeed?

One of the other notable songs is "Validation' - the 38 second opener by Watt that has a cool percussion sound that almost sounds like they were hitting the bass with a drumstick. I was never sure whether it was intentional or not. Spot was able to capture some weird sounds.

The cover art is by Raymond Pettibone whose editorial cartoons, sorry ah, cover art, always require a double take. The cowboy actor standing on a crate to reach the actress probably meant to be Reagan then running for President. The improbable scenario of the purposely stereotypical Chinese (in Mao jackets) directing a Hollywood film with guns meant to be ironic, I guess, and mirrored in "Paranoid Chant" where the misinformed narrator is worried about Chinese ICBMs (tweren't many until the Clinton era). That said, I suppose I've never found the Chinese communist government amusing, to say the least. Repressive, ungodly, freedom-hating, they deserve a good spanking and the round humiliation an internal democratic revolution would bring -- their corruption will likely be their ultimate undoing. In any case, its good art in that it causes that internal argument that's always healthy for a person who claims to be alive.

"Paranoid Chant" (160 kbps)

Buy Paranoid Time on CD

Fine print:

All songs are recorded directly from vinyl - pops and clicks may be evident. Songs are usually made available for the purposes of continued discussion for less than two or so weeks.

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