My wife and I were driving home and I was down on our remote neighborhood, my job, and lack of writing time. Then the Minutemen came on the radio. I’d never heard the song, but couldn’t mistake the burbling bass, skittering drums, and blurted vocals. I listened for a moment, chuckled at a lyric, then looked up at my wife driving with palm trees passing beyond her and thought how lucky I was to live near the beach with such an amazing woman, in the range of a cool radio station. The Minutemen are a mood shifter, the friendship that drove the band infusing every song with contagious goodwill. I hugged my wife. I went home and wrote. I’ve since found a new job.
The Minutemen inspire great things. Case in point: this collection of comics and drawings based on songs from their legendary double album, Double Nickels on the Dime. Fifty-nine artists (including John Porcellino and Dmitry Samarov) each bring a different song to life, creating psychedelic narratives, sharing stories that relate to the songs, or just taking a crack at drawing drummer George Hurley’s floppy ‘80s skater bangs. The art is varied, but consistently rad, and the narratives are all imaginative, a testament to the power of the band’s emotionally direct lyrics.
The book itself is a classy-looking trade paperback, the art in black and white. A small press from Virginia ran a crowd funding campaign to publish it, and they’ve achieved something terrific: a tribute that transcends its inspiration, providing perspective on a dense album, adding dimensions to the Minutemen’s music, and standing on its own as a unique collection of art—just like a Minutemen album. –Chris Terry (leafandsignal.com)