WHY MACRO WHEN YOU CAN MICRO: The Mortal Micronotz Film

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With a compelling back catalog newly available for a digital generation, let’s take a closer look at what the time-honored Kansas work ethic can produce when it puts its hive mind to it. Money-back guarantee.

BY UNCLE BLURT

They formed in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1980, and improbably enough—given that to this day Kansas continues to be voted “State least likely to produce a classic punk band”—turned into a punk band that anyone who was around back in the day surely will describe as “classic.”

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That would be the Mortal Micronotz, peers of New Wave kings The Embarrassment and Get Smart!, and for their initial 1980-86 run, fanzine writers, college rock DJs, and disaffected suburban youth loved ‘em dearly. Bar/None Records recently decided to reissue the Micronotz’ five albums in digital format, and now there’s also a good quality film of the band recorded live in Minneapolis, July 29, 1985, at the venerable First Avenue club. We’ve been given permission to, er, “broadcast” the show here at BLURT, and it’s a distinct honor. Hey, why sift through all the detritus at YouTube when you can simply tune in to Channel B, ya know?

We are advised, of the band’s origin story, “The year 1980 was a rough time for three teenagers who had been friends since grade school to be coming of age. The future looked bleak with fears of nuclear death and an economy gone nuts. The dawn of the Reagan years added more confusion to this pre-MTV generation.  Amusing themselves with punk rock music at a time when the media had declared punk rock dead, guitar playing filled a void. Music absorbed their time, energy and spirit. What naturally occurred was that John Harper, David Dale and Dean Lubensky formed a band with Steve Eddy, a drummer in the marching band, and awkwardly adopted the posturing of musicians, a task not necessarily easy for 14 to 16 year olds. Their tenacity opened new doors in those early days that lead to early years of acclaim….”

Ain’t it ever the truth. Cue up gigging, road tripping, and recording, a scene repeated over and over across the Amerindie landscape of the early and mid ‘80s.

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For more info on the band, you can inspect the Wikipedia page, or head over to the band’s section on the Bar/None site, which has a succinct bio and plenty of opportunities to nab some tunes. Ye olde Blurt editor F. Mills, who claims that he not only used to write for a Midwest fanzine called The Offense that was a staunch champion of the Micronotz, he also owns the band’s records on cassette, hastens to add for ye olde readership, “Seriously, how you gonna resist a band with a name like that? Check ‘em out, and if you don’t dig ‘em, I’ll give you your money back. Or at least take a listen to your band, okay?”

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