As the trailer begins, you hear Jim Jarmusch announce that he's "in an undisclosed location interrogating Jim Osterberg (Iggy Pop) about The Stooges, the greatest rock 'n' roll band ever. 'Interrogating' is the perfect choice of words for Jarmusch to choose as nothing less would do justice to the severe impact The Stooges had on the rock scene.
Raucous, loud, dangerous and unafraid to cross the boundaries, not only did Iggy Pop and the rest of the band embody rock, they also embraced an entirely new ethos that was being formed - in part by them - called punk.
Iggy Pop originally formed The Stooges as a blues band, but didn't want to stick to the traditional confines of the genre, he wanted to take the style in a whole new direction, so he and three of his friends began writing songs together. The eight tracks they'd originally compile included I Wanna Be Your Dog and the ten minute+ track We Will Fall. The record would be produced by the Velvet Underground's John Cale and go on to make The Stooges a name that's still recognised as one of the most important bands to come out of those early years of rock 'n' roll.
Continue: Gimme Danger Trailer
Though punk was a reaction to the safe, staid, cash-register mentality of the '70s arena-sized music scene, it found itself all too quickly co-opted into the industry. Groups like the Sex Pistols disintegrated, The Clash morphed into an adventurous roots-rock, pseudo-ska outfit that started playing radio-friendly hits in arena gigs of their own, and The Ramones, well, they just stayed doing what they always did, never more or less popular than when they started. When the 1980s dawned, music seemed just as escapist as ever, only now many of the outfits were New Wave, punk's bastard offspring, retaining some of the adventurous musicality and edgy fashion sense but little if any of the antiestablishment anger. With a clenched-fist conservative like Reagan in charge, and a mainstream culture just as lobotomized as that of the previous decade, American punks realized there wasn't going to be another Clash coming around, and if they wanted more music of its raging ilk, they'd have to create it on their own. Enter hardcore.
Continue reading: American Hardcore Review
Tim Irwin's smart, funny, and affecting documentary about the band makes no great claims about the Minutemen's genius -- in fact, he leaves ample room for numerous scenesters at the time who scratched their heads at the group's look and sound. Instead he concentrates on the close friendship between Boon and Watt, childhood friends who put together a punk band not so much because they loved the Ramones or the Clash but because they loved the idea of creating their own culture out of whole cloth. They were comically naïve at first, thinking that basic stuff like tuning wasn't essential; some guitarists liked their strings "loose," they figured, while others preferred them "tight." But soon enough they'd invented a spiky, insistent sound that packed a surprising amount of movement into very brief tunes with provocative titles like "Little Man With a Gun in His Hand," "Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs," and "Jesus and Tequila." (Most listeners figured they were called the Minutemen because their songs often clocked in at under 60 seconds, though Watt debunks that notion in the film.)
Continue reading: We Jam Econo: The Story Of The Minutemen Review
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