Sunday, May 25, 2008

1984: Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?

(Minutemen playing in my hometown - Huntington Beach, CA)

Minutemen: Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth? [purchase]

I wasn't gonna come back to The Minutemen so soon ... really, I promise ... but 1984 just happens to be the year they released their magnum punkrockus opus, Double Nickels On The Dime. So, as you can see, my hands were tied. The one provision I placed on my post was that it somehow pertain to the events in and around 1984. "West Germany" was in the running, but thematically speaking, it was a little too similar to the just-posted "Viet Nam." Thus, "New Wave," a D. Boon/Mike Watt beat-jazz spiel about as far away from new wave as one could get in 1984 and not be a Run-DMC song. "New Wave," of course, was the music industry's attempt to make "punk" music more marketable ... i.e. turn it into pop music ... which Watt's lyrics scornfully address. Spike and/or tease hair, add skinny tie, replace guitar with synthesizer (or better yet, get a synth shaped like a guitar!), lather, rinse, repeat.

Speaking of the beats, Minutemen fans should check out this essay written by Charles Plymell, 1950s beat poet, one-time housemate of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, and apparently, a bigtime Minutemen fan. Good stuff.

a word war
i set off the keg
my words are war!
should a word have two meanings?
what the fuck for?
should words serve the truth?
i stand for language
i speak for truth
i shout for history
i am a cesspool
for all the shit
to run down in

D. Boon is dead. Long live D. Boon.