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Double Nickels on the Dime (33⅓ #45)

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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  248 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
The story of the Minutemen has been told before ("Our Band Could Be Your Life, We Jam Econo"), but this book focuses purely on their music - the punk ethic and the remarkable, enduring songs that comprise this, their greatest achievement. Including extensive interviews with Mike Watt and many others close to and inspired by the band, this is a great tribute to a classic pi ...more
Paperback, 106 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Continuum
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33⅓
25th out of 114 books — 48 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 432)
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Ranjit
Jul 01, 2013 Ranjit rated it really liked it
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
Tom
Aug 07, 2007 Tom rated it did not like it
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
...more
Peter
Mar 07, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it
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
Guy
Jan 29, 2008 Guy rated it really liked it
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
Vaughan
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
Jun 01, 2008 Dave Raffaele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
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
Apr 22, 2013 John Pierson rated it it was amazing
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
Lizz Roth
Jun 18, 2015 Lizz Roth rated it it was amazing
The album is wonderful - the book adds a great back-story.
cybil and simon
Aug 20, 2007 cybil and simon rated it it was amazing
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'
Brad
Sep 17, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it
Double Nickels on the Dime is my personal choice for greatest album ever recorded in the history of man, an opinion I share with the author. As Fournier points out many times, despite the enormous length and quick spurts that make up each 90 second song, there's really no filler. The second half may be less iconic than the first but ultimately everything on that album is memorable in its own way. Even today as I listen it amazes me how I am able to know exactly what track comes next.

So given tha
...more
Erik
Feb 04, 2015 Erik rated it really liked it
Shelves: 33-1-3-research
As punk rock opuses go, Double Nickels on the Dime is a masterpiece. It's an awkward masterpiece that doesn't always hit the nail on the head, but is monumental in it's successes and as such succeeds in the scope it set out to be. The Minutemen, more than any "punk" band should be considered American icons and heros. Their own style, sound, and way of being captures the idea of the independent American Spirit and sought to fulfill the very American idea of do it your self success. They were a wo ...more
Trevor
Mar 11, 2016 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, non-fiction
Highly recommended for any fans of The Minutemen, Punk Rock, Bands, Music, Art, DIY, Guitar, Bass, Drums.
Jake
Jul 29, 2014 Jake rated it really liked it
Learned a few things about my favorite album ever.
Joe
Feb 27, 2014 Joe rated it it was amazing
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
Bryan
Mar 14, 2010 Bryan rated it it was ok
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
matt
Oct 08, 2007 matt rated it liked it
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
...more
Scott
Feb 10, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it
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
...more
Eric Skillman
Sep 18, 2007 Eric Skillman rated it really liked it
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'
Dec 23, 2013 Grig O' rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
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
...more
Tom
Aug 25, 2012 Tom rated it it was ok
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
...more
Robert
Aug 16, 2016 Robert rated it it was amazing
Although The Minutmen were given some space in Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life (the title itself is stolen from a line in a Minutemen album) I find this trio to never get the right amount of press. The 33 1/3 series excel at this so this is particular volume is strong.

Double Nickels on the Dime was originally a double album and Minutemen tracks were short and yet they had a lot going on in them. Fournier manages to delve into this album's depths and comes out with an insightful piece of re
...more
Ray
Dec 14, 2012 Ray rated it liked it
Shelves: music-etc
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 S.
Jun 16, 2009 Andrew S. rated it really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2008 Warren Truitt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
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.
Dane Haiken
Oct 08, 2015 Dane Haiken rated it really liked it
It was extremely fun reading this econo, short-n-sweet book about an album that I've come to take for granted. It's a true masterpiece in every sense – joyous, smart, virtuosic, literary, democratic, positive, and infinitely deeper than it looks. The book goes track-by-track, so I listened track-by-track as well. Super fun!
Nathan
Sep 25, 2009 Nathan rated it really liked it
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.
Ryan
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.
Patrick
Aug 25, 2008 Patrick rated it liked it
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
Feb 16, 2009 Kurt Klopmeier rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
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.
Jesse
Aug 06, 2007 Jesse rated it liked it
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.
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Michael T. Fournier is the author of Double Nickels on the Dime (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2007), Hidden Wheel (Three Rooms Press, 2011) and Swing State (Three Rooms Press, 2014). He graduated from University of Maine's MA program, where he won the Steven Grady Award for fiction. His prose and music criticism has been widely published, and he's toured the United States extensively -- twice through suc ...more
More about Michael T. Fournier...

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