Minutemen - Discography

They originally called themselves The Reactionaries, with additional band member and singer Martin Tamburovich. According to Watt, the name came from a Mao Tse-Tung quote about how all reactionaries are actually "paper tigers".

After the Reactionaries disbanded, Boon and Watt formed The Minutemen in January of 1980; the band's name was derived partly because of the fabled minutemen militia of colonial times, partly because of the fact that many of their earlier songs lasted a minute or less, and partly to take the name back from a right-wing reactionary group of the 1960s that used to harass figures like Angela Davis through the mail. After a month with no drummer — during which Boon and Watt wrote their first batch of tunes, the band rehearsed and played a couple of early gigs with local welder Frank Tonche on drums. The group originally wanted George Hurley to join, but he had joined a new wave band called Hey Taxi after the Reactionaries disbanded. Tonche quit the group, citing a dislike of the audience the band initially drew, and Hurley took over the drum seat in June of 1980. (Rehearsal recordings with Tonche on drums later appeared as the posthumous EP Georgeless in 1987.)

Greg Ginn of Black Flag and SST Records produced the Minutemen's first 7" EP, Paranoid Time, which solidified their eclectic style. At first, they completely avoided guitar solos, choruses, and fade-outs. Later, they were known for hybridizing punk rock with forms of jazz, funk, acid rock, and R&B in novel ways, perhaps best exemplified on 1984's double-album, Double Nickels on the Dime. 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. On Double Nickels, they co-wrote some songs with other musicians, notably Henry Rollins, Chuck Dukowski and Joe Baiza.

The group's early recordings (up until their 1985 12" EP Project: Mersh) were recorded as "econo" (Pedro slang for inexpensive, short for "economic") as possible - the group would book studio time after midnight at cut rates, rehearse the songs prior to going into the studio, record on less expensive used tape, and record the songs in the order they intended to have them on the record rather than waste time editing the master tape during the sequencing phase. In fact, contrary to standard practice even in indie rock, the Minutemen saw records as a way to promote their tours, not the other way around.

The Minutemen in concert, 1985
The Minutemen in concert, 1985

The Minutemen toured frequently, but usually for only a few weeks at a time--they all held down day jobs. Their "econo" practices helped ensure that their tours were always profitable, unlike some of their SST peers.

Several Minutemen album sleeves and covers, such as the Paranoid Time EP and What Makes a Man Start Fires? LP and the inner gatefold jacket for Double Nickels, feature drawings by noted artist Raymond Pettibon, who was at the time associated with the SST label, providing sleeves for Black Flag. Other album covers, like on The Punch Line and 3-Way Tie (For Last), featured paintings by D. Boon.

Following Boon's death, Watt and Hurley originally intended to quit music altogether. But encouraged by Minutmen fan Ed Crawford, they formed fIREHOSE and have had solo projects since the Minutemen disbanded.

Watt has done three acclaimed solo albums, 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 reformed Iggy Pop & The Stooges in 2003. 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.


bulut on 1:44 pm said...

Post Mersh: Vol. 1 @192
Tracks 1-8: "Buzz Or Howl Under The Influence Of Heat"
Tracks 9-14: "Project Mersh"

Post Mersh Vol. 2 @192
Tracks 1-18: "The Punch Line"
Tracks 19-36: "What Makes A Man Start Fires?"

Post Mersh Vol. 3 @192
Tracks 1-7: "Paranoid Time"
Tracks 8-10: "Joy"
Tracks 11-15: "Bean Spill"
Tracks 16-42: "The Politics Of Time (Rarities)"
Tracks 43-46: "Tour-Spiel (Live)"

3-Way Tie (For Last) @192

Rare Stuff @192

Here's Double Nickels:

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't happen to have the Minuteflag EP, would you? That would make my fucking life.

philthy said...

still looking for minuteflag? saw it here

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