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Minor Threat

From Academic Kids

Minor Threat was a short-lived hardcore punk band from Washington DC. They have been hugely influential: Critics have called them and their work "iconic", [1] (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:3hvsa93gb23a) and noted their "groundbreaking" music "has held up better than most of their contemporaries." [2] (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:gz6htr49klox)

They and fellow Washington DC residents Bad Brains set the standard for many hardcore punk bands in the 1980s and 1990s. They produced short, often astonishingly fast songs, eventually with excellent production quality (then lacking in most punk/alternative rock). All of Minor Threat's records were released on the band's own Dischord Records.
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Minor Threat
Contents

History

While at Wilson High School, Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson were in the influental DC punk band The Teen Idles. After that band broke up, MacKaye decided to switch from bass to vocals, and organized Minor Threat with Nelson and two prep-school kids (from Georgetown Day School), bassist Brian Baker and guitarist Lyle Preslar. Minor Threat's first performance was in December 1980, opening for Bad Brains.

Their first 7" EPs, "Minor Threat" and "In My Eyes", were released in 1981. The group became popular regionally, and toured the United States' east coast.

"Straight Edge," a song on the first EP, inadvertently inspired the straight edge movement. The song seemed to be a call for abstention from drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex -- a new thing in rock music, which initially found a small, but dedicated following.

Another Minor Threat song from the first EP, "Out of Step", further demonstrates the aesthetic: " Don't smoke/Don't drink/Don't fuck/At least I can fucking think/I can't keep up/I'm out of step with the world." The "I" in the lyrics was implied, and some in Minor Threat--who drank--took exception to what they saw as MacKaye's imperious attitude on the song.

When "Out of Step" was re-recorded for the band's 12", "Out Of Step," MacKaye inserted a rap explaining, "This is not a set of rules..." An ideological door was already opened, however, and by 1982, straight-edge punks, such as followers of the band SS Decontrol, were swatting beers out of people's hands at clubs. (SS Decontrol's singer, Springa, was at the time a heavy drinker and cocaine user.)

Minor Threat's song, "Guilty of Being White," led to some accusations of racism, although as with "Straight Edge," MacKaye has strongly denied such intentions, saying that some listeners misinterpreted his words. Slayer later covered the song, though perhaps not entirely in the spirit in which MacKaye wrote it.

Among the factors in Minor Threat's breakup were disagreements over musical direction: Guitarist Preslar was increasingly enamored of U2.

Singer Ian MacKaye went on to found Skewbald, Embrace, the obscure Egg Hunt and later Fugazi and the Evens, as well as collaborating on Pailhead.

The band's own Dischord Records released material by many bands from the Washington, D.C. area, such as Rites of Spring, Gray Matter, and Dag Nasty, and has become a respected independent record label.

Members

Discography

Releases

Compilations

External links

nl:Minor Threat pl:Minor Threat sv:Minor Threat

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