Saturday, July 5, 2008

Friday Flashback

So, yeah...a wee bit delayed this week due to Independence Day festivities.

In light of the long 4th of July weekend, I've plumbed the depths for a pair of domestic contributions. The subject matter itself is of no particular importance whatsoever, but here are two Cali bands from yesteryear worthy of note.

The first, Camper Van Beethoven, has a huge catalog of ska-punk mish-mash awesomeness, but is best known as a one-hit (if this song can ever even be considered a 'hit') wonder. Quite a shame really.

Here then is Santa Cruz's Camper Van Beethoven video of Take The Skinheads Bowling, a post-punk anthem of sorts:

Next up is the greatest three man band in the history of Punk. Also from the great state of California. These guys figured it out early on, and sadly D. Boon passed away in a car accident in December 1985. The Minutemen, while arriving at the tail-end of the Punk movement, redefined what Punk was, could be, and should be.

We Jam Econo wasn't simply jargon; these three working guys from Pedro were Punk incarnate.

To quote D. Boon:

Punk is whatever we made it to be.

There should be a Rock Band on every block, because it could happen.

Here's a clip of the greatest three man band ever, San Pedro's own Minutemen live in 1984, at one of my old local haunts, the 9:30 Club in DC:

And what the heck, since I'm a day late this week, let's go for a triple. If anyone ever told you Punk bands couldn't play their instruments (which by the way, clearly is not a prerequisite to forming a band at all), show them this. This song rips through pretty much anything else like a raw visceral buzzsaw of energy, Cut, with Mike Watt on vocals for a change:

If you are new to the Minutemen, do youself a huge favor and check out Double Nickels on the Dime, NOW!

One of the great unsung, underappreciated bands of all time.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


David Larkins said...

Yay Minutemen! :)

Max said...

Great choices this week, Sham.

That Camper song is one of those self-defining songs for me -- something that I heard and glommed onto when I was first getting interested in music beyond the top 40 and hit radio....

It's prob'ly about time for me to check out the Minutemen again. I bought Double Nickels... a couple years ago and it just didn't click for some reason.

Sham aka Dave said...

I think Minutemen might be something of an acquired taste. I remember buying the Double Nickels vinyl LP, listening to some of it, and then shelving it in my collection.

At some later point, I listened again, and one of the songs (can't remember which now) suddenly got through to me. Then I couldn't get enough of it. D. Boon was dead by then, I think this was around '86 or '87 while in college.

They certainly had a unique sound; frenetic, experimental, genre defying, oftimes VERY short, strange lyrics, unconventional song structure, but DAMN could they play.

I think you probably just need to hit on the one song that does it for you, and the rest will make sense.