double nickels in the dime
Michael t. Fournier
I’ve spoke and written about this series in the past where classic albums get dissected by fans. Ones I’ve appreciated have been takes on American hardcore classics from dead Kennedy’s, fugazi and jawbreaker. Whenever the words hardcore classic are joined together in an American music context then the minutemen cant be far away. They are a band I return to constantly their work ethic, their humility and the sadness of their story is one I identify with. I’ve no interest in the tales of sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. Music for me is an entertaining Avenue for change. When it’s made by people with honesty I’m ready to rally to their cause.
Hence the minutemens story is one that captures me. Hugely influential and always in touch with their hometown of San Pedro the minutemen finished when their guitarist D.Boon died in a car crash. The fact that this classic record sees the band driving their economize truck right on the speed limit has no end of further sadness.
As their bass player Mike Watt says “Punk was a state of mind” and the minutemen certainly stuck to that. A 50 second song could have free jazz, rock, and whatever else you were having but deep down there was always a tune ready to burst free.
Being a band with a lot of songs this ended up appearing as a double album. When the band decided to sit down and go through the order of the songs each band member took a side of the record to choose. The final side being the ones left over. The book takes each side on song by song which gives a definite feel to the collection.
A positive about this series is that there are different authors with varying writing styles talking about records they love. It is the fan that comes out through the writing and Fournier is no different. It could be written (albeit with a different style) by any of the readers. You have to love this band, this record and now this book