Among the most original and confounding bands ever to thrash out music confused for punk, the Minutemen were less a product of any music scene than a combination of the personalities of three misfit grade school pals from San Pedro, California. Mike Watt, D. Boon and George Hurley made up the rules as they went. We Jam Econo tells the intriguing tale of the Minutemen using great archival performance footage (a companion disc includes 62 songs from three shows) intercut with talking-head interviews with Watt and Hurley.
Clips of musician contemporaries and those they inspired like Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, Ian Mackaye, Flea and others fill in the who, what, where, when and how of the widely misunderstood group's all-too-brief run, which ended tragically when Boon died on an Arizona highway in 1985.
However, in documenting the group's travails to make a case for the group's importance, director Tim Irwin loses sight of the oddball sense of humour at their core and fails to underscore the point of parody in what they were doing. It would've been good to hear more of their bizarre road stories. Though their struggle for acceptance during the era of hardcore and stadium rock certainly was difficult, they did have a giant poster of the Three Stooges covering the back window of their van.