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We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen


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We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen + Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991
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Product Details

  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FKO40W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,566 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen" on IMDb

Special Features

  • DISC 1:
  • Feature "We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen" (90min)
  • Original music videos for: "This Ain't No Picnic" "Ack Ack Ack Ack" and "King of the Hill"
  • 19 Deleted Scenes and Interviews
  • Uncut Bard College Interview (56min)
  • DISC 2:
  • 62 songs from three live performances:
  • The Starwood Los Angeles, CA - November 18th, 1980 (Includes multi-angle feature)
  • 9:30 Club Washington, D.C. - 1984
  • Acoustic Blowout (Cable Access Show) - Hollywood, CA - 1985
  • 16-page booklet with full color photos, flyers, filmmaker notes and liner
  • notes by David Rees, creator of "Get Your War On".

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

WE JAM ECONO - THE STORY OF THE MINUTEMEN is the acclaimed feature-length documentary on the too-brief life of one of the most revered, intriguing, and inspired American bands ever. At the heart of their story is the immeasurable personal and musical bond between bassist Mike Watt and singer and guiatrist D. Boon. Childhood friends, their unbridled creativity and political views were the foundation of this groundbreaking band which refused to be categorized as Punk.

The film weaves together personal tales from Watt and drummer George Hurley with archival interview footage of the band and rare live performances. New interviews with over 50 musicians, artists, journalists, and friends help tell the Minutemen story, from their humble beginnings in the harbor town of San Pedro, California, to the tragic 1985 death of D. Boon in a highway accident in the Arizona desert.

Amazon.com

Chances are if Alt-Rock changed your life in the 1990s you have the 1980s band The Minutemen to thank. And for those of you who missed out when The Minutemen were at the top of their game, you're in luck. We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen is the long-awaited documentary of this wildly eclectic, seminal indie punk band. San Pedro High School graduates and long time friends D. Boon (guitar), Mike Watt (bass), and George Hurley (drums) formed The Minutemen in 1980 in the wake of the late seventies punk explosion. The Minutemen's trademark sound was a unique blend of punk, funk, classic rock riffs, mexicali rhythms and jazz beats sprinkled with a healthy dose of left wing politics and angst. These genres were often blended together into the same song and played in rapid fire bursts clocking in at one to two minutes tops. Their relentless touring and recording helped The Minutemen build a solid underground following while winning praises of music critics everywhere. After releasing their magnum opus Double Nickels On the Dime (1984) and opening for REM in 1985, the Minutemen were quickly rising to the top of the American Underground/College Rock heap. It looked as though super stardom may have been on the horizon for the boys from San Pedro. Sadly, the ride would be cut short when front man D. Boon died in a car crash on December 22, 1985. Culled from hours of home video footage, live concert footage and new interviews with Mike Watt and George Hurley, We Jam Econo chronicles the band from their early teen years, the band's roots in the 1980s Southern California hardcore scene, right up to the tragic death of front man D. Boon. We Jam Econo also includes loads of interviews from fellow musicians that read like a "who's who" list of the 1980s punk/ hardcore scene including the guys from Black Flag, X's John Doe, Minor Threat/ Fugazi's Ian MacKaye, Hüsker Dü's Greg Norton and Grant Hart, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra, Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, among many other admirers. The extras on this DVD include deleted scenes and extended interviews, their music videos and a complete band interview from 1985. By far the best extra on this set are the three complete live Minutemen performances from 1980, 1984, and 1985. --Rob Bracco

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This excellent mix of music and commentary is recommended to any fan of rock and roll.
Tim Niland
Minutemen documentary = "WE JAM ECONO," which chronicles their heyday, their lives, & their music!
Dave K.
After watching "We Jam Econo" I feel like I understand why they made the music they made.
John Albert Beckwith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul Romano on September 6, 2006
Format: DVD
I really like these DVDs, and highly recommend them to both fans of the Minutemen and those curious about these acknowledged pathbreakers in punk/indie music.

To be sure, a number of the criticisms noted by other reviewers are on the mark. For example, there are possibly too many commenters; a large number pop up for one relatively un-illuminating comment (e.g., how great a drummer Hurley is, how funny a dancer Boon was, etc.). It would have been nice to have more sustained commentary from fewer commenters, but that's not a major fault.

And I'll agree that this isn't a highly polished effort, like the Clash documentary WESTWAY TO THE WORLD, or the Pistols documentary THE FILTH & THE FURY, but then I somehow don't think that would be appropriate for the Minutemen. These were working men, not art students. Fashion wasn't real big on their list of concerns; passion was.

And it's true; D.Boon's death is not dwelt upon at length. I think it would have been at a minimum redundant to do so, and possibly in bad taste. I think the filmmakers handle it with a deft and light touch that does not in any diminish the impact. For anyone who knows the band, of course, D.Boon's death hangs over the preceeding years of the story anyway. You dread getting to that inevitable part of the story. The filmmakers do not invite you to wallow in emotions; they allow you to breathe. I appreciate not being treated like a Spielberg fan.

I cannot fathom the reviewer who felt that Mike Watt was unemotional; I had the distinct impression that he was on the verge of tears at least three times in the segments that appear in the main documentary. My heart went out to him and George all over again, just the way it did when I first heard about D.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By danger ex machina on January 7, 2007
Format: DVD
Mister Director, this is better than Dylan to me. What, with all these brats buzzing around like insects in their Misfits and Clash t-shirts straight from Hot Topic (forget that they've never even listened to 'em), somebody has to wisen em up. Sit down and listen to Papa Mike for a while, kid. Punk was (and IS) never about clothes. Watt serves as the anchor for the film, mostly from the driver's seat of his van, waxing off on everything from clay wheels to Richard Meltzer along the way. George Hurley is a given, but everyone from Chuck Dukowski to Spot to Thurston Moore to the members of The Urinals/100 Flowers add their own take on the Minutemen story to the mix. And a fine pot of gumbo it is. But wait, there's more! The three videos are worth the price of admission alone. See Ronnie Raygun drop his payload on our boys in "This Ain't No Picnic". Check out D. Boon munching on a pineapple as the "King of the Hill" while a crowd literally fights for his table scraps. The coup-de-gracie is the wholesale destruction visited upon SST's old office in "Ack Ack Ack Ack", 3 Stooges style. The entire Bard interview intercut throughout the film is presented in its entirety, complete with a snarky interviewer and the band goofing off between takes. Something like twenty deleted scenes, and three full shows on the second disc round out a rare five star package that's actually worth the three hours at my crummy job to pay for it. Like Watt says, you can't help when you're born...some before, some during, some after. But you can let some of those after people borrow "We Jam Econo" or that Screamers DVD Target put out, and maybe, just maybe, a few of em will start their own band, paint their own picture, or write their own book. No sense complaining if you aren't willing to do something else instead, y'know.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Punker looks back from 40 on December 1, 2006
Format: DVD
I came across the 9:30 concert from this video on Comcast "In Demand" this evening and to say the least, I was blown away. While I was not at the 9:30 concert in D.C., I did see The Minutemen at Staches in Columbus, Ohio on the same tour and again opening for REM about two weeks before D. Boone's death. It seems as though I saw them elsewhere but it may be that those two concerts left such an impression at the time.

It is hard to believe that it has been more than 20 years since I last saw the Minutemen perform. And like the above reviewer, I clearly remember talking to D. Boone, who was friendly to everyone, while the opening band played. I also remember the entire band sticking around after the show just to hang out and thank the fans. The British punkers had their haircuts and attitudes. The Minutemen were genuine.

Seeing the 9:30 concert brought me back. As I stood in front of my television, I was 19 again standing at the foot of that very small stage in Columbus where I saw so many great shows. As the 80s punk scene turned to fashion and glamor, The Minutemen were there to keep us honest. With The Minutemen, the music came first. When you saw the white van parked in front of whatever venue they were playing, you knew this wasn't about the money or about the fame. These guys were the real thing.

Early in the first part of the 9:30 show, George (drums) has to fix a broken snare. While it is a slow moment in the concert footage, it was so real. There is no roadie handing him a new kit. The show waits while George fixes it himself. A couple of years after The Minutemen, I remember seeing Mike and George's band FireHose ask the audience (who were patiently waiting for the show to start) if anyone had a guitar or amp, I don't remember which.
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were they lovers?
Watt and D. Boon, to my knowledge, did not have a gay relationship that I know of and I know plenty of people who knew them both. Watt has always had a chick around (usually Kira) and Boon's girlfriend was driving when the accident happened. You can't keep this kind of thing a secret and besides,... Read More
Jun 23, 2006 by Hap |  See all 9 posts
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