Search - Various Artists :: Our Band Could Be Your Life

Our Band Could Be Your Life
Various Artists
Our Band Could Be Your Life
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (33) - Disc #1


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Remembering D.
Stargrazer | deep in the heart of Michigan | 11/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Boasting both a superb song selection and a cast including not only 90s stalwarts like Seam, Treepeople, The Meat Puppets, Nels Cline, Thurston Moore, Jawbox, and Unwound; but also the extended Minutemen family -- Mike Watt, Ed Crawford (fIREHOSE), Tom Watson, Joe Boon, Albert and Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult), Dez Cadena (Black Flag, DC3, etc.), Ethan James, Kira Roessler (Black Flag, Dos), and Joe Baiza appear in various combinations throughout the album.

It's a good listen, providing a few complete re-toolings of Minutemen songs (most notably Seam's glacially-paced "This Ain't No Picnic," Ethan James & Cindy Albon's stripped-to-the-bone arabic-flavored "Themselves," and Lou Barlow's narcoleptic, acoustic take on "Black Sheep") as well as some bashed-out punk readings that focus on the headlong energy of early Minutemen material.

The sheer scope of artists featured gives weight to the Minutemen's personal, political, and musical umbrella of influence, even including a couple illuminating interview snippets and a "live" recording of "Badges" where the soundman and a promoter can be heard bickering over the din of the music in the background -- a hilarious inclusion that reveals just how well 80's punk and countercultural bands were received in 1980s America.

Considering the sheer musical and ideological influence of the Minutemen as well as the workmanship and passion committed to each song, this canonization is both welcome and timely. As a tribute album, "Our Band Could Be Your Life" functions well as a dramatic re-telling of the Minutemen tale, recombining the punk, contrapuntal arrangements, "out" jazz and workingman's industrial folk that informed their albums into what feels like a family-style wake.