We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen

 

2005

Nihilism, not rebellion, tended to guide the punk rock that exploded on the West Coast in the Eighties. But three guys from San Pedro, Calif., had something different in mind. Forming a band called the Minutemen, the trio of D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley cranked out angular art-punk stuffed with tasty political diatribes in lyrics that could have passed as haiku.
 
The Minutemen’s all-too-brief career is the focus of the loving (and occasionally hagiographic) documentary “We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen.” Incorporating archival footage and a myriad of interviews, director Tim Irwin presents a loving portrait of three working-class guys whose bare-bones aesthetic mirrored punk at its best.
 
The two-DVD package includes video from three Minutemen gigs. The unconverted might wonder what all the fuss is about, but anyone who remembers or reveres the heyday of punk (such as this reviewer) will find this required viewing.  

-Phil Bacharach

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