We Jam Econo

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We Jam Econo
Promo poster
Directed byTim Irwin
Produced byRocket Fuel Films Productions
Keith Schieron
StarringD. Boon
George Hurley
Mike Watt
Release date
  • February 25, 2005 (2005-02-25)
Running time
91 minutes

We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen, is a full-length documentary about the influential 1980s punk rock band Minutemen, created by director Tim Irwin[1] and producer Keith Schieron[1] in association with Rocket Fuel Films. The film premiered on February 25, 2005 at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, California, after two years in production.


Poignant recent interviews with the band's two surviving members Mike Watt and George Hurley, as well as first-person anecdotes from notable musicians including Ian MacKaye, Flea, Henry Rollins and Thurston Moore, complement the archival concert and interview footage of the band.[2][3]


As fans of the band, director Tim Irwin and producer Keith Schieron had discussed making a documentary about Minutemen since they were in high school, around 1989.[4] The two approached Mike Watt who gave the project a thumbs up[4] and that inspired them to start calling and emailing potential interviewees.[4]

The title is a lyric from their song "The Politics of Time." It's also referred to in a comment made near the end of the film by Mike Watt, in a 1985 interview, when the band is asked if they have anything else to say. He answers for them: "We jam econo." Econo was local slang for economic and described the band's dedication to low-cost record production and touring. It also describes the band's (and burgeoning underground independent music scene's) do-it-yourself attitude and philosophy.[5]


Film includes interviews with the following individuals (in alphabetical order):


The 2-disc DVD (with 16-page booklet) was released on June 27, 2006 on Plexifilm.

DISC 1: Feature "We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen"

  • Original music videos filmed by Louis 'Video Louis' Elovitz [1984] "This Ain't No Picnic", "Ack Ack Ack Ack", "King of the Hill" & "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" [not used][6] for:
  • 19 Deleted Scenes and Interviews
  • Uncut Bard College Interview (56min)

DISC 2: Three live performances:

  1. Swing To The Right
  2. Fascist
  3. Joe McCarthy's Ghost
  4. Paranoid Chant
  5. Tension
  6. Contained
  7. Fanatics
  8. Art Analysis
  9. Issued
  10. Validation
  11. Definitions
  12. Warfare
  13. Sickles & Hammers
  14. Hollering
  15. On Trial
  • 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. - 1984, songs include:
  1. Big Foist
  2. Retreat
  3. Toadies
  4. Anxious Mo-fo
  5. Love Dance
  6. Static
  7. Search
  8. Cut
  9. Plight
  10. Working Men Are Pissed
  11. Ack Ack Ack
  12. Life As A Rehearsal
  13. Beacon Sighted Through Fog
  14. The Only Minority
  15. Mutiny In Jonestown
  16. Maybe Partying Will Help
  17. Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing
  18. The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts
  19. Mr. Robot's Holy Orders
  20. One Reporter's Opinion
  21. God Bows To Math
  22. Please Don't Be Gentle With Me
  23. Joe McCarthy's Ghost
  24. The Punch Line
  25. Definitions
  26. The Anchor
  27. Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
  28. This Ain't No Picnic
  29. There Ain't Shit On TV Tonight
  30. No Exchange
  31. Self-Referenced
  32. Dream Told By Moto
  33. Corona
  34. I Felt Like A Gringo
  35. Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Truth?
  36. Little Man With A Gun In His Hand
  1. Corona
  2. Themselves
  3. The Red And The Black[7]
  4. Badges
  5. I Felt Like A Gringo
  6. Time
  7. Green River[7]
  8. Lost
  9. Ack Ack Ack
  10. History Lesson Pt. II
  11. Tour Spiel
  12. Little Man With A Gun In His Hand


The A.V. Club declared "We Jam Econo catches a lot of what made the Minutemen great" and said "The cold comfort that We Jam Econo offers is the notion that genius is fleeting, and the best anyone can hope for is that someone will record it before it fades."[8] Variety called it "a suitably unfussy tribute to a band that disdained even the slightest rock-star flash" and predicted the DVD release would be "a must-have for music aficionados."[9] PopMatters said We Jam Econo was " an endearing, heartfelt documentary that's made by the devout, for the devout, but which is sure to win over anyone except the occasional racist who mistakenly intended to watch a movie about border vigilantes."[10]


  1. ^ a b "Watt's Bio". Mike Watt. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Plymell, Charles. "A Tribute To "We Jam Econo" - an original moment in time, man!". Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Malcolm, Paul (June 28, 2006). "We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Seattlest Interview: Keith Schieron, Producer, "We Jam Econo"". Seattlest. June 1, 2005. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Calvert, John (January 11, 2012). "An Econo History Of The Minutemen". The Quietus. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  6. ^ Due to licensing issues the fourth official Minutemen music video, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (a cover of a Van Halen song), could not be included. There is however a bonus feature on the DVD of Randall Jahnson telling the story of the video he directed.
  7. ^ a b "The Red and the Black" by Blue Öyster Cult and "Green River" by Creedence Clearwater Revival appear on Disc One as the extra "Copy Songs." Also, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" was part of the acoustic performance but has been removed due to licensing issues.
  8. ^ Murray, Noel (March 4, 2013). "The inspiration and heartbreak of the Minutemen story comes through in We Jam Econo". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Harvey, Dennis (July 20, 2005). "We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen". Variety. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  10. ^ Strub, Whitney (June 26, 2006). "We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005)". PopMatters. Retrieved March 8, 2019.

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