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Double Nickels on the Dime (33⅓ #45)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In recent years The Minutemen have enjoyed something of a revival, thanks in part to the film 'We Jam Econo', as well as having MTV's 'Jackass' adopt 'Corona' as their title theme. This book sheds light on the band's remarkable music, which blended several styles into something that will never be replicated.
Paperback, 106 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Continuum
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Informative history and song-by-song rundown of one of the landmark albums of the 1980s rock underground. The Minutemen's "Double Nickels on the Dime" was released at about the same time in 1984 as The Replacements' "Let It Be" and Husker Du's "Zen Arcade." It was a thrilling time, when these and other postpunk and indie bands were growing by leaps and bounds. "Double Nickels" and The Minutemen's jagged sounds are much tougher nuts to crack than the 'mats and the Huskers, whose love of the pop s ...more
the minutemen's "double nickels on the dime" record is probably the record i've enjoyed for the longest period of my life. musical obsessions have come and gone but the minutemen have been there since high school and i could always find time to put this record on even when i was listening to nothing else in my life other than 60s garage rock or skinhead reggae. naturally i picked up the book about the album as soon as i saw it for sale, and read the entire thing immediately.

although the intervie
Michael Fournier's The Minutemen: Double Nickels On the Dime benefits greatly from the author's passion, enthusiasm, and in-depth knowledge of the Minutemen's great album. Fournier's structure is very straightforward, with a short introduction followed by a more lengthy (but brief - this is the Minutemen he's writing about, after all) song-by-song discussion. The song pieces provide both details of lyrics and instrumentation, as well as interesting background on the band's history and mindset. O ...more
Een boek dat ik nog geen half uur nadat ik hoorde van het verschijnen ervan had besteld: Double Nickels On The Dime (2007) van Michael T. Fournier. Het is het vijfenveertigste deel in de 33 1/3-reeks van Continuum, een verzameling boeken over klassieke albums. Andere delen gaan o.m. over Forever Changes (Love), Harvest (Neil Young), Led Zeppelin IV, Grace (Jeff Buckley), Trout Mask Replica (Captain Beefheart), Daydream Nation (Sonic Youth) en Highway 61 (Dylan). Het gaat niet enkel om de platen ...more
Oct 21, 2007 Vaughan added it
Recommends it for: people I can't stand
I"ve read a lot of these 33 and a third books and the quality varies wildly, but I love the size of them--so easy to carry and then either give to someone when you're done or just leave in a public place. The one on The Replacements' "Let it Be"(by the singer of the Decemberists) is amazing, Ric Menk's one on The Notorious Byrd Bros is really good as well. At best, these books make you want to play the record while you're reading, or re-visit them with new ears. That said, this one is so bad tha ...more
Dave Raffaele
Even though I know the the author, I still believe I can give unbiased thumbs up for this book. The reason is I really didn't know the band before reading it. As Mike started to walk through the story behind every song I realized this needed to be an interactive experience. I went out and bought the album so I could start listening to the tracks as I read. It really make this book shine even more. Mike has a great way of painting the picture for the mind's (and ear's) eye. It is obvious he spent ...more
John Pierson
If you have been lucky enough to experience The Minutemen in the right time of your life, you will know that it will hold onto your heart and soul for the rest of your life. If the aforementioned is true for you this book will help to explain how three musicians from San Pedro California could alter the world in such a simple way. Michael T. Fournier does a great job at getting Mike Watt and George Hurley to open themselves up to explaining the abstract world of their songs from Double Nickels, ...more
cybil and simon
This was my first taste of the 33 and a third series. I read it and then re-read it. It is exactly what I wanted it to be; personal; insightful; funny; full of the kind of details and anecdotes that geeks like me want to know. Makes me think someone should write one about Pedro the Lion's 'Control'
Learned a few things about my favorite album ever.
I first read this a while back, but revisited it because I'm doing a reading with the author next weekend (#Humblebrag). One of my favorite entries in the series - it's concise ("It's econo!"), and a perfect blend of personal nostalgia and research about the band (both with the album, and their history leading up to it in general). One of my favorites I've read in the series. It's essential if you're a fan of the band, highly recommended for fans of punk history, or even the more musical curious ...more
This book was fail. I only give it two stars in honor of the album that inspired it. There is an art to criticism and I had hoped an approach to one of the most dynamic, creative, inspiring, unclassifiable records in the history of rock would have been just as dynamic and inspiring. Instead what we get is this a middle of road tract that reads like an essay written by a teenager about his "favorite band" but with all cuss words left out to make sure he doesn't piss off his English teacher. A lit ...more
Oct 08, 2007 matt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: econo folks
The blessing and curse of the 33 1/3 series is that without a standard format, any writer is able to interpret their favorite record in a number of different ways. In my experience, its greatest successes have been in the novella treatment (Pernice on The Smiths, Meloy on the Replacements) as well as thorough investigations of the era and subject at hand (done best in the treatment of Love's Forever Changes).
At their worst (Ok Computer, Unknown Pleasure) they have been minute textbooks, banal in
The one thing you learn pretty quickly if you start reading books in the 33 1/3 series is that, much to their credit, they allow each individual author to put his or her own spin on things and don't try to force everything into a single formula (the dreaded VH1 - Behind The Music approach).

Therefore, as I am learning, the quality & approach varies widely from book to book. This one is pretty good though. The author talks about the band & album in general (important relevant stuff about
Eric Skillman
Sep 18, 2007 Eric Skillman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: thunderbroom operators, those who jam econo
Been eyeing this series for a while, finally decided to grab one at the Brooklyn Book Fair last weekend. Finished it the next day—perfect back pocket-sized subway reading. It occasionally gets a little over-reverent and hero-worshipy, which doesn't quite suit a down-to-earth, DIY band like the Minutemen, but it's full of fun facts and trivia—for example, having only ever experienced Double Nickels on CD, I never knew that the four sides of the original double LP were organized by individual band ...more
Grig O'
I've found 33 1/3 books very hit and miss so far, but this is one of the better ones. Read it if you already dig Double Nickels (as you should!) and are looking for another fan's take on it. Fournier takes the band's DIY ethos to heard and this shines through in his tone: everyone can, and should, start a band, write a book, paint a picture.

Quotes from the guys who made it (primarily Watt) perfectly complement Fournier's writing, although it would've been even better if Georgie had been involved
I love the record and there are some interesting factoids in this book.
It's a pretty straight track by track run down. A couple of strange omissions eg. the call back to 'party with me punker' in 'maybe partying will help' goes without mention (if my memory serves me) which seems odd as this is exactly the kind of thing the book is keen to make a big deal about.
Probably not much here for people who aren't already well familiar with The Minutemen. Those people should buy the record instead or may
I agree with another review here about how this is written from the "fan boy" p.o.v. and that's ok. A lot of the books in this series are. But if you are real fan of The Minutemen or Mike Watt, the book will outline the details of how this legendary album came to be which ties in with the bands' "econo" worth method. It's a fun read. Its refreshing how the author taps into every young music fans' discovery process.
Andrew Peyrie
I'm digging the 33 1/3 series as now all us fans feedback on the product, like we collect someone else's production and make it our product. This is a fairly heartfelt example of the 33 1/3 series, well researched (explains the evolution of each song and the entire album) yet funky (just like the Minutemen)! Was surprised to learn how they got lyrics and scraps of melody from various associates . . .
Warren Truitt
Learned lots of stuff about the Minutemen and Double Nickels from this tiny book that even I, a die-hard fan, didn't know: The overall theme and several specific songs were based on Joyce's Ulysses, and the three dudes in the band picked songs for their side of this two-album set as a round robin selection, with side four being the tunes left over that no one picked. Long live the Minutemen.
Sep 25, 2009 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Emo Kids
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
This book definitely made me want to go back and revisit the entire Minutemen catalog. I enjoyed Fournier's writing, and his organization of ideas made the book flow extremely well. It's always fun to read about someone you know a fair deal about, so perhaps that's why I dug this one.
Jan 29, 2008 Ryan added it
I never knew that "Ulysses" was such a big influence on Mike Watt while he was writing the songs for this album. That was interesting, but the writing was so poor that getting to such nuggets was sometimes quite a slog. Good book to read on the plane, though.
Aug 25, 2008 Patrick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: minutemen fans, minutemen curious
Enjoyable and includes some good info about DNOTD. However, I thought this was one of the more pedestrian efforts of the 33 1/3 series. It wasn't bad at all, just a bit on the dull side.
Kurt Klopmeier
Another song by song analysis by someone who obviously loves this album. The band is so likable it's just as great to hear their commentary as the author's commentary on each song.
It's always mildly interesting to see if a book about an album I don't know intimately can hold my attention. "Double Nickels..." didn't. But at least it was only 100 pages.
I've read some really good books in this 33 1/3 series, but this is not one of them. Made reading about one of my favorite bands of the '80s into a chore.
The author's enthusiasm is real, but the book's a senseless waste of valuable trees.
4-stars more for the subject matter and information than the writing.
Three Rooms
Three Rooms marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2015
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Michael T. Fournier’s debut novel, “Hidden Wheel,” uses his punk rock background to reflect on the financial crisis, forced obsolescence, and nature of criticism. "Hidden Wheel" was published by Three Rooms Press in November 2011.

Fournier is also the author of a book-length discussion of the Minutemen’s 1984 album “Double Nickels On The Dime,” the 45th installment of Continuum Press’s “33 1/3” ser
More about Michael T. Fournier...

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