Thursday, 26 March 2009

We Jam Econo: The Story of The Minutemen (4 out 5)

I'd been wanting to see this for a long time, so when those kind DVD-distributing puppies at the Lovefilm farm (that's how I imagine them) popped it in the mail I was very pleased indeed.

We Jam Econo: The Story of The Minutemen is...well...the story of the Minutemen. Charting the hostory of this seminal punkrockexperimentalweirdbutjazzfunkadelic band from their humble beginnings all through to the tragic death of singer/guitarist D. Boon. The story is told by Minuteman Mike Watt as he drives through their old home town pointing out places of interest, mixed with a bunch of rare live footage and a seriously impressive line-up of "talking heads" from the Punk Rock/Alternative Hall Of Fame. Ian Mackaye, Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, Milo Auckerman, Raymond Pettibon, Jello Biafra, Keith Morris, Greg Ginn. everyone has opinion on the Minutemen.

It's an interesting film, mainly because the band is so good and fascinating, but I guess there isn't that much of a story here. They were an unusual band stuck in a love-hate relationship with the 80's hardcore punk scene and one of them died in a car accident. That's about it, really. And the archive footage, which is all very fascinating, just isn't that exciting on a technical level. But, maybe I'm being unfair. In my head I'm comparing it to other music documentaries about artists I love, such as Jem Cohen's Instrument (about Fugazi) or The Devil and Daniel Johnston, both of which featured insane amounts of extremely personal (and brilliantly shot) footage. Another complaint is the sound, which is absolutely terrible during some of the interviews.

In the end, I guess I'm just being snobbish. It's just not "arty" enough for me. Haha. Anyway, I give this film 4 Niks out of 5 possible. Well worth seeing. Maybe I'll do a Minutemen music post later on. Maybe.

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