Minutemen (band)

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Minutemen (band)_table_infobox_0

MinutemenMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_2_0 San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, U.S.Minutemen (band)_cell_0_2_1
GenresMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_3_0 Minutemen (band)_cell_0_3_1
Years activeMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_4_0 1980–1985Minutemen (band)_cell_0_4_1
LabelsMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_5_0 SST, New Alliance, EnigmaMinutemen (band)_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_6_0 Minutemen (band)_cell_0_6_1
Past membersMinutemen (band)_header_cell_0_8_0 D. Boon

Mike Watt George Hurley Frank ToncheMinutemen (band)_cell_0_8_1

Minutemen were an American punk rock band formed in San Pedro, California, in 1980. Minutemen (band)_sentence_0

Composed of guitarist/vocalist D. Minutemen (band)_sentence_1 Boon, bassist/vocalist Mike Watt, and drummer George Hurley, Minutemen recorded four albums and eight EPs before Boon's death in an automobile accident in 1985; after Boon's death, the band broke up. Minutemen (band)_sentence_2

They were noted in the California punk community for a philosophy of "jamming econo"—a sense of thriftiness reflected in their touring and presentation—while their eclectic and experimental attitude was instrumental in pioneering alternative rock and post-hardcore. Minutemen (band)_sentence_3

History Minutemen (band)_section_0

Formation Minutemen (band)_section_1

Minutemen began when D. Minutemen (band)_sentence_4 Boon and Mike Watt met at age 13. Minutemen (band)_sentence_5

Watt was walking through a park in their hometown of San Pedro, California when Boon, playing a game of "army" with other boys, fell out of a tree right next to him and found that his friends, one named Eskimo, must have ditched him. Minutemen (band)_sentence_6

Both boys shared a passion for music; Boon's mother taught D. to play the guitar and suggested Watt learn to play bass. Minutemen (band)_sentence_7

At first, Watt did not know the difference between bass and standard guitars. Minutemen (band)_sentence_8

The pair eventually started playing music together, mostly covering songs from artists they admired. Minutemen (band)_sentence_9

In the summer of 1973 Watt and Boon formed the Bright Orange Band, with Boon's brother Joe on drums. Minutemen (band)_sentence_10

In 1976 they discovered punk; Boon's mother died, and the Bright Orange Band disbanded shortly thereafter. Minutemen (band)_sentence_11

The next year, the two joined a short-lived band called Starstruck. Minutemen (band)_sentence_12

Following Starstruck's disbandment, Boon and Watt met drummer George Hurley and formed The Reactionaries with vocalist Martin Tamburovich. Minutemen (band)_sentence_13

After the Reactionaries disbanded, Boon and Watt formed Minutemen in January 1980. Minutemen (band)_sentence_14

Watt has said their name had nothing at all to do with the brevity of their songs; rather, it was derived partly from the fabled minutemen militia of colonial times and partly to lampoon a right-wing reactionary group of the 1960s that went by that name. Minutemen (band)_sentence_15

In the documentary We Jam Econo, Watt also states that the name was a play on "minute" (/maɪˈnjuːt/ my-NEWT). Minutemen (band)_sentence_16

After a month with no drummer, during which Boon and Watt wrote their first songs, the band rehearsed and played a couple of early gigs with local welder Frank Tonche on drums. Minutemen (band)_sentence_17

The group had originally wanted George Hurley to join, but he had joined a hardcore punk band called Hey Taxi! Minutemen (band)_sentence_18

with Michael Ely and Spider Taylor after the Reactionaries disbanded. Minutemen (band)_sentence_19

Tonche quit the group, citing a dislike of the audience the band initially drew, and Hurley took over as drummer in June 1980. Minutemen (band)_sentence_20

(Early rehearsal recordings with Tonche on drums later became the georgeless EP.) Minutemen (band)_sentence_21

Their first live gig was as an opening band for Black Flag. Minutemen (band)_sentence_22

Early days Minutemen (band)_section_2

Greg Ginn of Black Flag and SST Records produced Minutemen's first 7" EP, Paranoid Time, which solidified their eclectic style. Minutemen (band)_sentence_23

Like most punk bands at the time, the band sold the EP at their shows and at a few local record stores. Minutemen (band)_sentence_24

It became a minor hit with the hardcore scene. Minutemen (band)_sentence_25

They settled on their music style on their first LP, The Punch Line (1981), and toured constantly around America promoting the album. Minutemen (band)_sentence_26

Their third EP and fourth overall release was Bean-Spill. Minutemen (band)_sentence_27

Their second LP, What Makes a Man Start Fires? Minutemen (band)_sentence_28 , gained attention from the alternative and underground press. Minutemen (band)_sentence_29

They continued touring extensively, which included a double bill with Black Flag in Europe. Minutemen (band)_sentence_30

This tour strengthened their place as one of the most well-known acts in the hardcore scene. Minutemen (band)_sentence_31

In 1983 they released their third LP, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat. Minutemen (band)_sentence_32

Minutemen's anti-rockist eclecticism was perhaps best exemplified on 1984's double album Double Nickels on the Dime. Minutemen (band)_sentence_33

Though still somewhat obscure to mainstream audiences, Double Nickels has been cited as one of the more innovative and enduring albums of the 1980s American rock underground. Minutemen (band)_sentence_34

On Double Nickels, they co-wrote some songs with other musicians, notably Henry Rollins, Chuck Dukowski, and Joe Baiza. Minutemen (band)_sentence_35

In 1985 they released their most commercial-sounding recording, Project: Mersh. Minutemen (band)_sentence_36

Though the album sounded more mainstream, it sold poorly compared to Double Nickels due largely to the negative reaction to such a commercial album from within the underground community. Minutemen (band)_sentence_37

They continued touring, and by the time of their final album, 3-Way Tie (For Last), they decided to take a small break. Minutemen (band)_sentence_38

They played their last tour with R.E.M.. Minutemen (band)_sentence_39

Their final concert was in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 13, 1985. Minutemen (band)_sentence_40

D. Boon's death Minutemen (band)_section_3

On December 22, 1985, Boon was killed in a van accident, putting an end to Minutemen. Minutemen (band)_sentence_41

Watt fell into a deep depression after his friend's death, but was convinced to continue performing by Sonic Youth. Minutemen (band)_sentence_42

This put an end to the band's plans to record a half studio/half live triple album with the working title 3 Dudes, 6 Sides, Half Studio, Half Live. Minutemen (band)_sentence_43

The live tracks were to be based on the ballots that they handed out and as a way to counteract bootlegging. Minutemen (band)_sentence_44

A year later, however, Watt and Hurley compiled various live recordings, based on the ballots, which were released as Ballot Result. Minutemen (band)_sentence_45

In addition, Richard Meltzer had sent Watt lyrics for ten songs for an album on which he was going to collaborate. Minutemen (band)_sentence_46

This project, eventually titled Spielgusher, was completed (by Watt, Meltzer, Yuko Araki, and Hirotaka Shimizu) and released in January 2012 on clenchedwrench. Minutemen (band)_sentence_47

After disbanding Minutemen (band)_section_4

See also: George Hurley, Mike Watt, and Unknown Instructors Minutemen (band)_sentence_48

Following Boon's death, Watt and Hurley originally intended to quit music altogether. Minutemen (band)_sentence_49

But encouraged by Minutemen fan Ed Crawford, they formed Firehose in 1986 and have both formed solo projects since Minutemen disbanded. Minutemen (band)_sentence_50

Watt has created four acclaimed solo albums, recorded four with now-former-wife Kira Roessler as the duo Dos, recorded three others as part of the punk jazz jam band Banyan with Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), Nels Cline (Wilco), and Money Mark Nishita (Beastie Boys), contributed on "Providence" off Sonic Youth's album Daydream Nation and "In the Kingdom No. Minutemen (band)_sentence_51

19" and "Bubblegum" off EVOL, toured briefly as a member of Porno for Pyros in 1996 and J Mascis and the Fog in 2000 and 2001, and became the bassist for The Stooges in 2003. Minutemen (band)_sentence_52

He founded his own label, Clenchedwrench, in 2011, to release many of his own projects, including his fourth solo album Hyphenated-man. Minutemen (band)_sentence_53

George Hurley has produced work with Vida, Mayo Thompson, and Red Crayola, further indulging the free-form and off-the-wall leanings showcased on Double Nickels. Minutemen (band)_sentence_54

Hurley and Watt have also continued to make music together both live and in the studio since Firehose's splitting in 1994, starting with a track, along with Petra Haden and Stephen Perkins, for the NORML benefit album Hempilation II in 1998. Minutemen (band)_sentence_55

(See Legacy below for further Hurley/Watt projects.) Minutemen (band)_sentence_56

George Hurley and Mike Watt Minutemen (band)_section_5

On rare occasions since 2001, and usually in the Los Angeles area (two December 2004 performances in England being a notable exception), George Hurley and Mike Watt, who have remained friends since Firehose's disbanding in 1994, reunite to play a set list of all Minutemen songs as a duet. Minutemen (band)_sentence_57

They refuse to have a substitute guitarist play late Minutemen guitarist D. Minutemen (band)_sentence_58 Boon's parts; instead the songs are arranged for bass and drums. Minutemen (band)_sentence_59

They insist that they not be billed as Minutemen for these shows or referred to as a Minutemen reunion, as they do not want to cheapen or "vampire" the Minutemen name. Minutemen (band)_sentence_60

Instead, they insist on being billed under their real names and that the advertisements state that they will be "playing Minutemen songs as a duet." Minutemen (band)_sentence_61

They were chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform one of these shows at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he curated in March 2012 in Minehead, England. Minutemen (band)_sentence_62

Musical style Minutemen (band)_section_6

They were influenced heavily by bands such as Wire, Gang Of Four, The Pop Group, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, and The Urinals, and nearly all of their early songs had unusual structures and were less than a minute long—even later, when Minutemen's music became slightly more conventional, their songs rarely passed the three-minute mark. Minutemen (band)_sentence_63

Though Minutemen were members of the hardcore punk community and were somewhat influenced by the speed, brevity, and intensity of hardcore punk, they were known for hybridizing punk rock and hardcore with various forms of music (like jazz, funk, acid rock, and R&B), separating them from most hardcore bands of that era. Minutemen (band)_sentence_64

Minutemen were fans of Captain Beefheart, and echoes of his distinctive, disjointed, avant-blues music can be heard in their songs, especially their early output. Minutemen (band)_sentence_65

Through most of their career they ignored standard verse-chorus-verse song structures in favor of experimenting with musical dynamics, rhythm, and noise. Minutemen (band)_sentence_66

Later in their career they blended in more traditional song elements they had initially avoided. Minutemen (band)_sentence_67

They also played cover versions of classic rock songs by bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steely Dan, and Blue Öyster Cult. Minutemen (band)_sentence_68

Boon and Watt split songwriting fairly evenly (and Hurley made many contributions as well), though Watt rarely sang and Hurley even less so. Minutemen (band)_sentence_69

Boon's songs were typically more direct and progressively political in nature, while Watt's were often abstract, self-referential "spiels." Minutemen (band)_sentence_70

Lyrics and themes would thus often veer from surreal humor, as in "Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs" and "One Reporter's Opinion", to the frustrations of blue collar life in California, as in the enduring "This Ain't No Picnic". Minutemen (band)_sentence_71

While many contemporaries rarely displayed a sense of humor, Minutemen were generally more light-hearted and whimsical. Minutemen (band)_sentence_72

One example of this can be found in the title of their album Double Nickels on the Dime, which poked fun at Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" by implying that the Minutemen preferred to take risks with their music rather than behind the wheel of a car. Minutemen (band)_sentence_73

Legacy Minutemen (band)_section_7

Many of the band's peers credit Minutemen. Minutemen (band)_sentence_74

Dave Alvin of The Blasters called Minutemen "one of the finest combos to ever step on to a beer soaked stage". Minutemen (band)_sentence_75

Joe Strummer of The Clash listed Minutemen as one of the ultimate punk bands along with Ramones, Television Personalities, and Buzzcocks. Minutemen (band)_sentence_76

In the early 2000s, the instrumental portions of the Minutemen song "Corona" (off Double Nickels) was the main theme song of the MTV reality stunt show Jackass. Minutemen (band)_sentence_77

In 2000 Watt, as administrator of the band's publishing, allowed the automaker Volvo to use the Boon instrumental "Love Dance" (from Double Nickels) in a car ad. Minutemen (band)_sentence_78

Boon's royalties were paid to his father, who was suffering from emphysema. Minutemen (band)_sentence_79

Watt simply refers to the decision as a way for Boon to help his father from beyond the grave. Minutemen (band)_sentence_80

Since 2001 Watt and Hurley have done occasional gigs, mainly in the L.A. area except for two December 2004 shows in England, playing Minutemen songs as a duo with no guitarist. Minutemen (band)_sentence_81

At some of these gigs, Watt would set up one of Boon's old guitars and amps on the side of the stage where Boon used to stand. Minutemen (band)_sentence_82

These performances, at Watt's insistence, are to be billed strictly as "George Hurley and Mike Watt". Minutemen (band)_sentence_83

They are also now involved in an improvisational music group, Unknown Instructors, with members of Saccharine Trust and Pere Ubu. Minutemen (band)_sentence_84

The group's career is chronicled in the book Our Band Could Be Your Life, a study of 13 important American underground rock groups by veteran music journalist Michael Azerrad. Minutemen (band)_sentence_85

The title is taken from the lyrics to the Double Nickels track "History Lesson – Part II." Minutemen (band)_sentence_86

The documentary film We Jam Econo charts the band's history through interviews with Watt, Hurley, Henry Rollins, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other California punk rock contemporaries. Minutemen (band)_sentence_87

The film premiered at the Warner Grand Theatre in the Minutemen's hometown of San Pedro in February 2005. Minutemen (band)_sentence_88

The film was released on DVD in June 2006. Minutemen (band)_sentence_89

In the spring of 2007 the documentary went into a heavy rotation cycle on various Sundance cable television channels. Minutemen (band)_sentence_90

In 2003 Watt released his own book on Minutemen, Spiels of a Minuteman, which contains all of Watt's song lyrics from the Minutemen era as well as the tour journal he wrote during Minutemen's only European tour with Black Flag, essays by former SST co-owner Joe Carducci, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Blue Öyster Cult lyricist and longtime Watt hero Richard Meltzer, and illustrations by Raymond Pettibon that had been used in all of Minutemen's album artwork. Minutemen (band)_sentence_91

The book, released by Quebec-based publisher , is published in English and French. Minutemen (band)_sentence_92

In June 2015, Watt went on WTF with Marc Maron to discuss the legacy of the Minutemen. Minutemen (band)_sentence_93

Covers and tributes Minutemen (band)_section_8

Watt has dedicated all of Firehose's releases and his solo albums to the memory of Boon. Minutemen (band)_sentence_94

"Disciples of the 3-Way" on Firehose's final studio album Mr. Minutemen (band)_sentence_95 Machinery Operator is about Minutemen, and "The Boilerman" from Watt's second solo album Contemplating The Engine Room (which parallels the stories of Minutemen, Watt's father, and the novel The Sand Pebbles) is about Boon; Watt had guitarist Nels Cline play one of Boon's old Fender Telecaster guitars on the track. Minutemen (band)_sentence_96

Sublime (whose lead singer Bradley Nowell also died prematurely) sampled Boon saying "Punk rock changed our lives" on "History Lesson Part II" from Double Nickels as part of their song "Waiting For My Ruca" from 1992's 40 Oz. Minutemen (band)_sentence_97 to Freedom. Minutemen (band)_sentence_98

On the final track from the same album titled "Thanx", all three Minutemen are mentioned. Minutemen (band)_sentence_99

Watt repaid this salute by appearing in Sublime's video for "Wrong Way" in 1996. Minutemen (band)_sentence_100

Sublime also sampled George Hurley's drum intro from "It's Expected I'm Gone" for their "Get Out! Minutemen (band)_sentence_101

(remix)" on their posthumous release Second Hand Smoke, as did San Diego-based indie rockers Pinback on their eponymous debut LP. Minutemen (band)_sentence_102

The Unknown Instructors track "Punk Is Whatever We Make It To Be" from their first album The Way Things Work contains interpolations by vocalist Dan McGuire of several lyrics from Double Nickels on the Dime. Minutemen (band)_sentence_103

In 1994, Little Brother Records released the Minutemen tribute CD and LP Our Band Could Be Your Life. Minutemen (band)_sentence_104

The CD version included 33 tracks by artists covering Minutemen songs, plus a track with a Boon interview and a live version of the Minutemen song "Badges". Minutemen (band)_sentence_105

The LP version had 23 tracks, including the interview and Minutemen items. Minutemen (band)_sentence_106

Tribute songs have been written by several acts, including The Ergs! Minutemen (band)_sentence_107 , The Fad, and Uncle Tupelo. Minutemen (band)_sentence_108

Bargain Music, Hot Club de Paris, Karate, Brutal Truth, Jeff Mangum, Yonder Mountain String Band and Red Hot Chili Peppers have all covered Minutemen songs. Minutemen (band)_sentence_109

In 2015, the band EL VY, an American indie rock collaboration between Matt Berninger (lead vocalist of The National) and Brent Knopf (founding member of Ramona Falls and Menomena), inspired by both Grease and We Jam Econo, imagined "as a sort of punk rock musical following the adventures of Didi and Michael — named after the Minutemen's D. Minutemen (band)_sentence_110 Boon and Mike Watt. Minutemen (band)_sentence_111

Their song, It's a Game, is about The Minutemen. Minutemen (band)_sentence_112

Economical practices Minutemen (band)_section_9

Album art Minutemen (band)_section_10

Several Minutemen album sleeves and covers, such as the Paranoid Time EP and What Makes a Man Start Fires? Minutemen (band)_sentence_113

LP and the inner gatefold jacket for Double Nickels on the Dime, feature drawings by noted artist Raymond Pettibon, who was at the time associated with the SST label. Minutemen (band)_sentence_114

Other album covers, like on The Punch Line, Project: Mersh, and 3-Way Tie (For Last), featured paintings by Boon. Minutemen (band)_sentence_115

Discography Minutemen (band)_section_11

Main article: Minutemen discography Minutemen (band)_sentence_116

Studio albums Minutemen (band)_section_12

Minutemen (band)_unordered_list_0

Extended plays Minutemen (band)_section_13

Minutemen (band)_unordered_list_1

Compilations Minutemen (band)_section_14

Minutemen (band)_unordered_list_2

See also Minutemen (band)_section_15

Minutemen (band)_unordered_list_3

  • We Jam Econo – full-length Minutemen documentary from 2005Minutemen (band)_item_3_20

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minutemen (band).