Sunday, September 26, 2004

"Minuteflag" EP
SST Records, 1986

Recorded around the same time Husker Du was laying down tracks for Flip Your Wig, Minuteflag, a party improv collaboration between the minutemen and Black Flag was a one-off project that upon hearing the results both bands agreed not to release it. While Mould and Hart were pushing the boundaries of post-hardcore into pop and emo territory, Minuteflag was exploring the the jam band domain even if it wasn't meant to see the light of day.

However in 1986 with the dissolution of the minutemen, the record was released. My reaction, having bought this without hearing anything about it but just by the sheer novelty of a record by two of my fave bands, was WTF?! - this sounded like Grateful Dead cover band trying to do space - I listened to it once and shoved it into a box... but now it kinda makes sense. Kira and Watt would continue to explore the two-bass thing on Dos - you can hear the genesis of this in the aptly named "Friends." Black Flag would release an all instrumental Weeding Out shortly thereafter and Ginn would later form an all-instrumental jam band (Gone) and declared himself a Deadhead (if hadn't done so by this time). Even the Rollins Band would record a Dead cover - don't know if it made it to an album but I heard the demo being played (by Ian no less) one afternoon while browsing at late and lamented Yesterday and Today record store.

All these songs are worth another spin despite what naysayers like Trouser Press and even the bands say. But "Fetch the Water" holds out best, with the infectious chorus and the sheer number of musicians makes it a wall-of-sound sonic treat. Plus its good to hear d. boon singing with Henry and Kira.

Fetch the Water

Fun fact: The cover of the Minuteflag EP (here's an ebay picture) was drawn by Joe Baiza who would like perfect the punk-jamband synthesis of Minuteflag in Universal Congress of.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if Rollins Band did a GD tune, but Rollins did the song "Franklin's Tower" on his Wartime project--maybe that was what you heard in the store that day? Wartime was a not-too-successful (IMO) one-off that was musically influenced by the DC Go-Go sound.

Jim H said...

Thanks - it was "Franklins Tower" but I couldn't remember the title. When I asked Mr. M. who it was, he just said Henry & I assumed his band. Obviously, I didn't think enough of it to ask anymore...