Results tagged “Mike Watt” from this Public Address 2.0


Video capture of Kurt Cobain at a record store gig and signing— near the final frame


Part of the media frenzy lately has been a renewed interest in music. Once upon a time, I could recall the names of most of the members of the bands I liked, and could recite discographies or lyrics at will. Much of that is lost, pushed aside by an avalanche of reading. For the first time in my life, I think my book collection actually outweighs my collection of audio media (in sheer poundage). Moving is a really scary concept.

Earlier in the week, I was reliving Contemplating the Engine Room by Mike Watt. Today it was Double Nickels on the Dime by the Minutemen. Musically, changing eras always seem to be centered on deaths— Hendrix in 1970, D. Boon in 1985, Cobain in 1994. Watching an uncut version of Nirvana unplugged a few days ago, I thought of a weird connection. Pat Smear was a founding member of the Germs. “Drove up from Pedro” pretty much credits the Germs with the inspiration for the founding of the Minutemen. My how things come around. I never was a fan of British punk like the Clash or the Sex Pistols; punk rock for me always had the Minutemen and the Meat Puppets at the center. As the eighties turned, it seemed to me like the Minutemen were the new Dylan, and the Meat Puppets were the new Hendrix. But the real difference was that fame was local, and taste was individual. I never met another punk who agreed with me. Everyone had their own centers.

After Nirvana, it seemed like the discord died, and the great diversity of music which was the 80s (at least for me, I never listened to hair bands) went with it. Corporate rock remerged stronger than ever— packaged and processed, shrink-wrapped for your pleasure. Freaks on parade didn’t cease, of course, but it just has seemed to me as if most of them are marching in lockstep to some new tattooed and pierced drummer, pounding out the rap’n’roll beat. It’s nice to buy some new records by people who aren’t marching to anyone’s beat except their own.