Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The Minutemen's "This Ain't No Picnic"/Why D.I.Y. Will Never Die
The Minutemen will always be one of my favorite bands, even just for Double Nickels on the Dime (1984), that classic postpunk double-album with 43 songs in an hour-plus. Apparently, the title was a response to the lame Sammy Hagar song "I Can't Drive 55." In Jim Doppke's words, "punk rokkers drive slow." D. Boon, the lead singer and guitarist, died tragically in a car accident at age 27. They provide the title of Michael Azzerad's book about postpunk and indie, "Our Band Could Be Your Life," a line from "History Lesson Pt. 2," which spells out the Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) ethos of the band--that we all are capable of making art our lives and our lives into art. That kind of Marxist production-side thinking D. inherited from his mom, and made a hell of a lot of people into artists, musicians and writers. So while critics like Brian Phillips in the recent Poetry Magazine are wringing their hands over the hand-wringing about poetry and its readership (who apparently lack taste), everyone who D. Boon inspired is in the bliss of art-making.