Minutemen – Live At KPFK – 1982 – Past Daily Soundbooth
Minutemen – live at KPFK-FM – November 27, 1982
Minutemen to end one week and to start another – a live set from Pacifica station KPFK-FM on November 27, 1982. Formed in San Pedro, California in 1980, Minutemen Composed of guitarist/vocalist D. 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. 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.
Greg Ginn of Black Flag and SST Records produced Minutemen’s first 7” EP, Paranoid Time, which solidified their eclectic style. Like most punk bands at the time, the band sold the EP at their shows and at a few local record stores. It became a minor hit with the hardcore scene.
They settled on their music style on their first LP, The Punch Line (1981), and toured constantly around America promoting the album. Their third EP and fourth overall release was Bean-Spill. Their second LP, What Makes a Man Start Fires?, gained attention from the alternative and underground press. They continued touring extensively, which included a double bill with Black Flag in Europe. This tour strengthened their place as one of the most well-known acts in the hardcore scene. In 1983 they released their third LP, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat.
Minutemen’s anti-rockist eclecticism was 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. In 1985 they released their most commercial-sounding recording, Project: Mersh. 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. They continued touring, and by the time of their final album, 3-Way Tie (For Last), they decided to take a small break. They played their last tour with R.E.M.. Their final concert was in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 13, 1985.
If you’ve heard about them, but never actually heard them, this is a good representation of what Minutemen were up to in 1983. If you know about them – this is like a warm blanket to you. Crank it up and enjoy the hell out of it.