The Album: Minor Threat: Minor Threat (1984)
In 2003, James Spooner released Afropunk, a personal love letter/manifesto dedicated to people like him: punk fans of a different shade whose acceptance in the scene was often hard-fought and tenuous. That became a movement, with annual afropunk festivals becoming entities unto themselves, across the world. Spooner is now a tattoo artist and graphic novelist, living in Los Angeles.
For our episode, Spooner joined us to talk about Minor Threat’s self-titled compilation of their early singles, one through which he discovered the ethos of straight-edge (no drugs, drinking, etc.) and a wider world of possibilities within punk rock. Minor Threat, the short-lived but heavily-influential group out of Washington D.C., fronted by Ian MacKaye is legendary and this compilation was one of the first ways in which listeners could discover the group, their sound and their philosophy. During our episode, we discussed how what about straight-edge appealed to him, the racial politics of punk and how a kid from the high desert of California came across this music and culture to begin with.
More on James Spooner
- “The True Story Of How Afropunk Turned A Message Board Into A Movement” (Vice)
Interview with James Spooner (Live from Planet Earth)
- Monocle Tattoo Website | Instagram
More on Minor Threat
- Review in Sputnik Music
- 1982 interview
Show Tracklisting (all songs from Minor Threat unless indicated otherwise):
- Minor Threat
- Straight Edge
- Screaming at the Wall
- Guilty of Being White
- Black Flag: White Minority
- Patti Smith: Rock N Roll N–
- The Monkees: (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
- Steppin’ Stone
- Bottled Violence
- I Don’t Wanna Hear It
- The Murder City Devils: Boom Swagger Boom
About the show
Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.
Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.
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