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We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 552 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 10 user | 22 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A feature-length documentary chronicling early 80's punk rock band the Minutemen, from their beginnings in San Pedro, California, to their demise after the death of singer D. Boon in 1985.

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Title: We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Milo Auckerman ...
Himself
Joe Baiza ...
Himself - Saccharine Trust
Kevin Barrett ...
Himself - Urinals / 100 Flowers
Scott Becker ...
Himself - Option Magazine
Jello Biafra ...
Himself
Richard Bonney ...
Himself
D. Boon ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jack Brewer ...
Himself - Saccharine Trust
Dez Cadena ...
Himself
Joe Carducci ...
Himself - SST Records
...
Himself - Guitarist
Byron Coley ...
Himself - Archivist
Ed Crawford ...
Himself - Firehose
Brother Dale ...
Himself
Richard Derrick ...
Himself - Musician / Former Roommate
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Storyline

The Minutemen were a rock band from San Pedro, California. Through interviews with members Mike Watt (bass) and George Hurley (drums), the band's story is revealed. Commentary from other performers such as Flea, Greg Ginn, and Henry Rollins illuminates the band's place in the Southern California music scene and their contribution to music. Concert footage and old interview footage show Watt, Hurley, and departed singer/guitarist D. Boon, who died in an automobile accident in 1985. Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

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25 February 2005 (USA)  »

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Connections

References Over-Exposed (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Paranoid Chant
Written by Mike Watt
Performed by the Minutemen
Published by Cesstone Music (BMI)
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful, touching, inspiring
15 September 2006 | by (somewhere else) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the best thing about this documentary is that it manages to present a deep and rounded enough picture of a great subject that it will have substantial appeal both to the most devoted long-time Minutemen fan and to those who've never heard of them or experienced their music. For those who've been enjoying the music of D. Boon, Mike Watt, and George Hurley for years, some of the content will be familiar by now, but the story takes on fresh vitality and power when told by the band members themselves--both from archival interviews and in fresh footage of the surviving members.

I wish dearly that this film or something like it had been around 20 years ago since the Minutemen, for all of their magic and considerable virtues, are not only an acquired taste but a somewhat difficult one to acquire. As becomes the focus of many of the testimonials from their contemporaries, they stubbornly stuck out as unique and eccentric even in the (rapidly-calcifying) LA punk scene. In this world of misfits who tended to rush to cookie-cutter formula for some semblance of security or solidarity, the Minutemen insisted on following their own muse, creating not only their own style of music but their own ways of working, their own lingo, and--most of all--their own deeply personal (and yet highly political) way of looking at the world. Because of this rejection of the quick, easy 3-chord punk format and all of its attendant accessories (simple anti-authority anger and lyrics, ripped clothes, tough snarling image), the Minutemen never gave their audience any easy footholds to get into the music. Instead, it took careful, sensitive, and repeated listenings to see the very human spirit(s) behind the music, to appreciate the revolutionary fervor and self-deprecating humor of their outlook. It's easy to forget after 20 years of fanhood just how hard it was and how long it took to really appreciate them, but this film will make the chore much less painful for prospective new converts, since the guys themselves and their most sympathetic fans and friends get to tell the story and set the record straight. As Watt himself muses at one point, so much of what they did was wildly misunderstood at the time, which is why there was and is a burning need for a film like this--it allows us to finally get the clearest look yet at the inner workings of a truly unique, intelligent, and heartfelt band.

This brings us to another reason why it's so wonderful even for those who don't know the Minutemen, or even those who can't or won't enjoy the music--there's a great, great story at the heart of this film, the tale of a rare and wondrous creative friendship sundered by a senseless loss that is tempered by the brave and inspiring way in which Watt in particular has continued to wave the banner of honesty, homespun truth, and DIY. D. Boon's untimely demise is also made meaningful by the obvious reverence and respect shown by so many of his contemporaries, by the clear spiritual influence he has had on so many other musicians. Though gone, his music and spirit lives on, never more perfectly captured than in this loving documentary.


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San Pedro? 65chevynova
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The DVD is coming out on June 27th!!! jamescastle
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