Tuesday, December 22, 2009

R.I.P. DETAILED TWANG – COME VISIT OUR NEW SITES

DETAILED TWANG posted music and related ephemera from 2006 to 2009 - thanks to everyone who read about, commented on & enjoyed downloading the music here. Many of the links to music are still active, so if you're coming here for the first time, feel free to scroll around - maybe I've posted something that'll blow your mind.

I now have 2 other sites that I post to. One is called THE HEDONIST JIVE, and it comprises all my micro-interests like music, film, books, navel gazing and extreme narcissism. In August 2012 I started an all-music Tumblr called DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE that's more like this blog than the aforementioned, and it's also a podcast and a print magazine, too. Come check in and let us know what you think.

Monday, September 21, 2009

TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME TWO

The next volume of garage punk 45s and LP cuts I made for myself a few years ago moves partially out of the 1980s and into the first year or two of the nineties. Looking at the assembled lineup here, which I have to say is pretty goddamn impressive, it’s running about 50/50. As I made more volumes of these – and don’t worry, I’ll probably end up posting them all before this site runs its course – I added an incremental year before tapping out around 1994 (which, to my way of thinking, is right around the time the third wave of punk rock tapped out as well).

Several of these tracks have been posted on Detailed Twang before, sure, but certainly not grouped with garage punk rock of this order of magnitude. I do so very much hope that you enjoy it.

Track list:

TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME 2

1. THE GORIES – Telepathic
2. CLAW HAMMER – Bullet In My Head
3. MORLOCKS – By My Side
4. CHEATER SLICKS – Why
5. DIRTY LOVERS – Teenage Love Bomb
6. THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Diddy Wah Diddy
7. HONEYMOON KILLERS – Get It Hot
8. SUPERCHARGER – Sooprize Package for Mr. Mineo
9. BOYS FROM NOWHERE – Beg
10. LAZY COWGIRLS – Goddamn Bottle
11. GORLS – Bongo Beat
12. FALL-OUTS – Greed
13. MYSTREATED – Wait and See
14. THE MUMMIES – I’m Down
15. THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Goes Without Saying
16. THE HUMPERS – My Machine
17. ART PHAG – Molly n’ Bobby
18. MORLOCKS – In The Cellar
19. HONEYMOON KILLERS – Gettin’ Hot
20. THE GORIES – Hate
21. DIRTY LOVERS – All I Want
22. CLAW HAMMER – Self Destruct
23. THE MUMMIES – Whitecaps Pt. II
24. SUPERCHARGER – South City Psycho
25. LAZY COWGIRLS – Sock It To Me Santa
26. THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Yeah
27. MYSTREATED – Listen
28. THE HUMPERS – Loser’s Club
29. BOYS FROM NOWHERE – Rocket to Nowhere

Download TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME TWO (this is a .zip file)

Friday, September 18, 2009

THE WHITEFRONTS - "6 BUSES"

(This is adapted from a post I published a couple of years ago in which I posted this song as well).

Who were the WHITEFRONTS? Well, when I started college at UC-Santa Barbara in 1985, they were sorta my hipster cousin & his pals' favorite local band down there. I never got to see them; I think they graduated or got kicked out or something around '86 and moved to San Francisco, where they gigged around for a bit and then called it a day a couple of years later. My cousin used to play me some great "cassette tapes" of their stuff (do you know what those are?), which ranged from Velvet Underground-inspired freakouts (like the track I'm posting here, the fantastic "6 Buses" from the "Roast Belief" album) to Hawaiian slide guitar weirdness to hippie bongo workouts to Meat Puppets-style fake hardcore punk. And lots of genres and styles in between.

When you hear this track, perhaps you'll wish to start the Whitefronts revival with me?

Play The Whitefronts, "6 Buses"



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GRASS WIDOW & THE SPECTRES OF MINIMALISM PAST

I’d have to vote GRASS WIDOW as my favorite current band right about now. This new San Francisco trio have one-upped themselves on their newest 45rpm 12”EP on the Captured Tracks label, moving greatly into an echoey, treble-heavy, clattering sound ripped straight from the late 70s Los Angeles scene, and most specifically from THE URINALS. I have heard bands take stabs at approximating the unique, monotonic, minimalist DIY sound of this particular band for thirty years, never once achieving anything as good as Grass Widow do on their new record – which, you may not be surprised to hear, has a cover of The Urinals’ “Black Hole”.

GRASS WIDOW, though, are all female, and they add a level of off-kilter harmonization that achieves the same sort of effect that John Talley-Jones did with poor recording equipment and echoes layered into the vocals. All three women sing, usually in high-pitched, sing-songy cadences that, in unison, sometimes sound as if they’re ricocheting around a Vatican cathedral. The new record has only four tracks, two of which I’d like you to listen to today. When they get to “Black Hole” at the end of Side 2, they do it so straight & so naturally that it could very well be called “claimed”. In other words, they do nothing special with it, and it sounds almost exactly like the original in spirit, tone and form. Totally love it. They rip it up live as well. See what I mean by jumping on this bandwagon before they become even bigger than 100 FLOWERS.

Play Grass Widow, “Tattoo”


Download GRASS WIDOW – “Tattoo”
Download GRASS WIDOW – “Thirsty Again”

Monday, September 14, 2009

TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME 1

I mentioned a few posts ago about my 2000-2004 fetish of digitizing just about every piece of 33rpm and 45rpm vinyl I’d ever owned, which back then was pretty considerable. Now it’s paltry, but then again, everything I own has been converted to ones and zeroes, and can be quickly posted here now for your listening pleasure. I then made myself themed CD compilations, much like “The Ultimate Post-Punk C-78”. One of my favorite series that I roasted up was my own TWIST AND BURN! set of CDs, which encompassed my favorite 1980s and 1990s garage punk records. This was, by many accounts including my own, a golden era for punk rock music, a “third wave” after the 1960s and 1970s eruptions.

Actually, let’s be honest here: the 1980s by themselves were pretty beat for garage-influenced punk rock music, while being fantastic in other regards. I was only able to get one full CD together of the really, really great stuff, whereas I have multiple CDs’ worth of 1990s stuff, and that’s only the first half of the 90s. Jeez, my CD cover art even includes THE CRAMPS, a band more famously associated with the 1970s. TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME 1 is kind of a whopper, though – I think you may agree when you download and burn the whole thing. From ART PHAG to the SUICIDE KINGS, from THE NIGHTS AND DAYS to the ORIGINAL SINS, there was some pretty twisted, righteous, raw noise erupting from garages all over the planet. Almost everything here comes from a 45. Here’s the track listing:

TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME 1

1. DEVIL DOGS – Twist and Burn
2. BO-WEEVILS – That Girl
3. DWARVES – Lick It
4. THEE HYPNOTICS – The Girl’s All Mine
5. THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Garbage Can
6. ART PHAG – Golf
7. SLOTH – Fetch The Wedge
8. EASTERN DARK – Julie is a Junkie
9. ORIGINAL SINS – Just 14
10. ELECTRIC MANCHAKOU – She Said
11. SID PRESLEY EXPERIENCE – Public Enemy #1
12. SISTER RAY – Purgatory
13. SCIENTISTS – There’s a Monster In Me
14. THIRSTY BRATS – White Ghetto
15. DWARVES – Nothing
16. SUICIDE KINGS – Take Yer Medicine
17. EASTERN DARK – Johnny & Dee Dee
18. BOYS FROM NOWHERE – Goin’ Too Far
19. DEVIL DOGS – North Shore Bitch
20. CRAMPS – Weekend On Mars
21. ART PHAG – A Boy and His Gun
22. SID PRESLEY EXPERIENCE – Hup Two Three Four
23. THEE HYPNOTICS – All Night Long
24. BOYS FROM NOWHERE – I Don’t Bother
25. SLOTH – Miss Sleazy Underbelly
26. WORKDOGS – Funny $

Download TWIST AND BURN!, VOLUME 1 (this is a .zip file)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

ALL SPIT & VINEGAR: THE MEKONS' "NEVER BEEN IN A RIOT"

Like a lot of fortysomethings - as opposed to fiftysomethings - my first exposure to Leeds, England's MEKONS came in the mid-1980s, when they garnered a ton of critical acclaim for their countrified stabs at Americana and released LPs on American labels. People I know who were into The Mekons were really into them. Though I never had a problem with any of that, I'm still waiting to hear the Mekons record that gets me on board - I've just never gotten so much as a tingle from the 80s-90s stuff.

Then there's the 1978 debut 45, "Never Been in a Riot". It is a masterpiece of simple, scattered, clattertrap rock and roll. Right up there with the Desperate Bicycles and their ilk for sheer DIY mastery. I'll cop to only owing this song via mp3, and I've never even heard the two B-sides. Anyone know where I can find them, outside of paying $100 for the original 45?

Play The Mekons, "Never Been in a Riot"


Download THE MEKONS - "Never Been in a Riot" (A-side of 1978 EP)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

DEMENTED ARE GO – MORTY SHANN & THE MORTICIANS

(This is a re-post from 2007)

I’m not the only person to have posted these tracks in the quote-unquote blogosphere, but I’ve lived in perpetual terror for too long thinking that there might be some of you who’ve yet to hear them – so here it is, MORTY SHANN AND THE MORTICIANS. As I understand it, these two guttural howls from 1960 remained unissued and unloved until Norton Records set fit to put them on a 45 a few years ago, and then later comped them on the “KICKSVILLE VOLUME 2” rockabilly acetate collection. I was floored the first time I heard them. Think screaming HASIL ADKINS-style hoot, mixed with raunchy throat culture vocals a la THE TRASHMEN (an inspiration? When did “Surfin’ Bird’ come out? Wow – the always-reliable Wikipedia says 1963), and then muddle up the fidelity real real good until you’ve got an absolute Top 10 contender for the Primitive Shit Rock hall of fame. Plus the songs just scoot, too. I wouldn’t call it rockabilly at all – it exists in an almost otherworldly place of its own, and if it’s really from 1960, as Norton says it is – holy crap.

Here’s what I wrote about this record (the 45) a couple years ago:

Made reference to these guys a few posts ago and got an email saying, "who??". Well. MORTY SHANN & THE MORTICIANS were unknown to history until Norton found their unissued 1960 recordings of these two songs and quietly set them loose along with all the other sleeveless 45s they pushed out a few years back. I sort of picked this one out of a catalog on a whim and was just floored when I heard it. Primitive Shit Music? Puh-leeze. This is so raunchy and bug-eyed insane it puts even the TRASHMEN to shame. Morty is a frog-voiced, gravel-throated belter and his band plays off-the-rails, poorly-tuned madman's rock that's completely frantic and pulse-quickening. Before your breath can be caught and your nerves steadied, each 90-second retarded wonder is over in a big unexpected flame-out or quick fade. Fans of BUNKER HILL, THE PINETOPPERS and the fastest of the early lo-fi rockabilly pioneers will be very pleased, but this really ain't rockabilly, nor R&B -- just pure white frat trash. It'd be real nice to know who these guys were and where the hell they came from & if they ever tried to inflict this sound on a paying audience.

Play Morty Shann & The Morticians, "Movin' In"

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

ROCKABILLY FIREBREATHING FROM FIREWORKS

(This is a re-post from a couple years ago)

Circa 1991-94, no rock and roll label could touch In The Red Records. Most still can’t. I remember tearing up packages that would arrive in the mail from them, breaking nails & bloodying fingertips, all to hear the latest & best garage-inspired rock released in decades – during an era when the “form”, such as it was, was in a decided renaissance. At the time, outside of THE GORIES and the CHEATER SLICKS, my favorite In The Red platter was this 45 from Dallas, Texas’ FIREWORKS. Consisting of two obscuro rockabilly covers, the double A-side “Untrue” / “She’s a Tornado” are such wild paintpeelers you can hear the steam pouring out of the back of the amps. Full of reverb, distortion and great whooping, yelping vocals, it begs the question, “who were Fireworks, and why do I love ‘em so much?”. Glad you asked.

Darren Linwood, well, he seemed to be the main honcho behind this crew, and though I know he went onto ’68 Comeback and Mick Collins’ Blacktop (and had been in Dig Dat Hole too!), I kind of lost track of him. James Arthur, he of the mighty stun-guitar on this 45, now helps run Hook Or Crook records with el jefe Chris Owen, and went from Fireworks to killer combos like A Feast of Snakes and the Golden Boys as well. In any case, there were about 3-4 great Fireworks singles, none better then this firebreather on In The Red. Enjoy it here and let me know what you think.

Play Fireworks, "She's a Tornado"


Download FIREWORKS – “She’s A Tornado” (A-side of 1993 In The Red 45)
Download FIREWORKS – “Untrue” (other A-side of 1993 In The Red 45)

Friday, August 28, 2009

MONOSHOCK: FREAKIN’ TWEAKIN’ MECO MEN

Without going into too much detail, the late 80s/early 90s, Oakland-by-way-of-Santa Barbara band MONOSHOCK were both personal friends and a favorite mind-erasing band of mine. Aside from the more classic local “garage” acts of 1993-94, it was my contention that they were the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest band when they were around – a total monster of fuzz, distortion and really inventive ways of blowing apart a conventional rock and roll song. I’ve told their story a couple of times and a couple of different ways – here at my old blog Agony Shorthand, and again here at Detailed Twang, when I posted the 45 of theirs I put out on my short-lived label. (I’ll re-post those songs again someday).

Not long after that first one, bassist Scott Derr’s Blackjack Records put out a second, “Soledad / Striking a Match in the Year 4007”. That’s when I knew these guys were for real, in a recording sense (live it was already a no-brainer) and had a pretty deep bench of material to pull from. This is when they were still a trio, mind you (I think some of the blood got sucked when they added sax & keyboards), and at the point where they were realizing how much noise and panic they could wring out of three guys and a batch of distortion boxes.

It’s been said before, but singer/drummer Rubin Fiberglass was absolutely born to rock. I can totally see him at the start of “Striking a Match...” - where they do a couple of piss-takes before getting into the song - with his sunglasses donned even at 11pm, lubricating his vocal cords with god-knows-what, and getting’ his Iggy on before switching over to “the voice” that he used so fetchingly on all their material. In fact “Soledad” is a pretty great study in vocals, when you pay close attention to it. All three fellas get their god-given turn at the mic, with Fiberglass leading things in the chorus and main verses. The whole stream-of-consciousness bizarro-world lyrics & vocals from guitarist Grady Runyan during the “break” were not only the inspiration for this post’s title, but also for the title of the band’s posthumous collection “Runnin’ Backwards From The Ape-Like Superman”.

These recordings came straight from my 45, and not from that collection, which has slightly cleaned-up version of all their 45s. Please do your best to secure both, and keep supporting goodtime rocknroll music.

Play Monoshock, “Soledad”


Download MONOSHOCK – “Soledad” (A-side)
Download MONOSHOCK – “Striking a Match in the Year 4007” (B-side)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

THE ULTIMATE POST-PUNK C-78

When I got big into digitizing my vinyl, it extended my already-crazed obsession with creating personal compilations of music, which started off in the 80s as tapes for potential girlfriends (who didn’t do that, right?) and continued into self-loving compilation tapes for myself. Then in 2000 I bought a car with no tape player, but with a killer CD sound system. When combined with a long commute to work, and these new digitization capabilities, many new 78-minute compilation CDs were born.

One particular “C-78” that I made back in 2004 – the C-78 reference is a respectful nod to the C-60 and C-90 nomenclature previously reserved for blank tapes – was a response to Jon Savage’s article on post-punk in a 2003 issue of MOJO magazine. Savage made a pretty solid list of 1976-1981 songs that stood aside from punk by virtue of their general weirdness and/or instrumentation, or both, while still being very much informed by it. No one has ever seemed to have come up with a better moniker than “post-punk” for this music, ridiculous as that descriptor is, considering that many of the best post-punk tracks were made before or during what’s commonly referred to as punk’s heyday. “Post Punk” is meaningful only in the sense of being a catch-all term – i.e. those bands and artists who built upon 1977 punk with new instrumentation, song structure and a more “artful” approach while retaining the aggression or the experimentation inherent in the medium. I’m comfortable with it, even if others aren’t.

I made my own list of classic post-punk songs from the 1976-1981 era, then pulled out the vinyl and the CDs and made a 78-minute CD out of my pickings. In what will probably become a more frequent occurrence here at Detailed Twang, I’m uploading the whole thing for you in a .zip file, so you can download it and burn it into your own CD (or put in into iTunes or whatever it is you kids do these days). I’m strongly considering making a second volume soon that takes in some classics that I left out, like THE MISFITS’ “Cough/Cool”; RED TRANSISTOR’s “Not Bite”; the VIRGIN PRUNES’ “Twenty Tens” and SPK’s “Mekano”. In 2004, these are the songs that I thought would represent both my tastes, and the entire “post-punk” genre, the best.

Track list

1. PERE UBU – Street Waves
2. DESPERATE BICYCLES – The Medium Was Tedium
3. THE NORMAL – Warm Leatherette
4. GANG OF FOUR – What We All Want
5. MARS – Helen Forsdale
6. THROBBING GRISTLE – United
7. TWINKEYZ – Aliens In Our Midst
8. JOY DIVISION – No Love Lost
9. SWELL MAPS – Vertical Slum
10. YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS – N.I.T.A.
11. THE FALL – Prole Art Threat
12. GORDONS – Adults and Children
13. URINALS – Black Hole
14. DOW JONES & THE INDUSTRIALS – Ladies With Appliances
15. DELTA 5 – You
16. CABARET VOLTAIRE – Nag Nag Nag
17. METAL URBAIN – Panik
18. ANIMALS & MEN – Don’t Misbehave In the New Age
19. MISSION OF BURMA – Max Ernst
20. SEEMS TWICE – Salient Feature
21. TWO BY FOURS – Little Cities
22. SHOES THIS HIGH – The Nose One
23. FLIPPER – Sex Bomb
24. BILL DIREEN & THE BILDERS -- Alien
25. NEW ORDER – Everything’s Gone Green

Download “Detailed Twang Ultimate Post-Punk C-78” (this is a .zip file)

Monday, August 24, 2009

XYX SUMMON THE MICROVIBRACIONES

My favorite record last year by a mile was the debut four-song "Sistema De TerminaciĆ³n Sexual" 7”EP from Monterey, Mexico’s XYX on S-S Records. They make a big, loud, crazed, echo-chamber version of ’77-style no-wave with only two members – a woman (Anel) playing rough, throbbing bass guitar run through a ton of effects (she also twiddles knobs from time to time on a primitive synth of some kind), and a guy (Mou) who is an absolute spasmodic wild man of a drummer. I was ready to dream the impossible dream, and stay up past midnight on a Monday to see them live a couple of weeks ago, and I did just that when they played the El Rincon in San Francisco and blew the fairly small crowd away. Most of their songs are short, chaotic and splay in a zillion different directions while remaining shockingly tight. I’d seen this two wandering the crowd during the evening and figured they were just a couple of new wavers (like me, of course) out to enjoy a little goodtime partytime rocknroll. Then they got up on stage and totally went berserk. These are the times when one is thankful that earplugs have become so ubiquitous, and that I’d remembered to pack mine for the club.

Since this EP from last year is already out of print, I reckoned it would be appropriate to present it to you. I want XYX to be huge, bigger than the Stones & the Beatles. I bought their new edition-of-300 45 on Skulltones records as well, and while it has even more loud, ear-scraping psychedelic oomph than the one I’m posting today, I’d have to say the recordings sound more like stopgaps until the inevitable monster LP comes out. Until then, do what you need to do to see this band, own the recordings of this band, and feel this band. They’re Detailed Twang’s pick to click for the time being.

Play XYX, “Anel and Her Problem”






Download XYX – “Anel and Her Problem” (Side A, Track 1)
Download XYX – “Pan de Muerto” (Side A, Track 2)
Download XYX – “Nunca, Nunca” (Side B, Track 1)
Download XYX – “Microvibraciones” (Side B, Track 2)

Friday, August 21, 2009

THE PRATS BELIEVE IN THE DISCO POPE

(This is a re-post from mid-2008)

I discovered THE PRATS, a ramshackle, quintessentially-DIY late 70s/early 80s Scottish group, just this past couple years or so on the “EARCOM 1” compilation. We posted those tracks here (but we need to re-post them due to them being removed a while back - don't worry, we will). If THE PRATS retired right then and there, they could leave the world knowing that they’d given the globe a primer into how to make much more with much less – less money, less quality, less capability, and less talent. Well somewhere along the way they went out and acquired a little talent. In 1980 THE PRATS released a 7”EP called “The 1990s Pop EP”. Now a jagged, well-recorded, thumping sort of post-punk band, The Prats gave their masterwork to the people in the form of the song, “Disco Pope”, which I’ve discovered this year. Every year I seem to find a new couple of obscurities that become among my all-time favorite songs, and this is the one for 2007-08.

Play The Prats, "Disco Pope"


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CANADA SCREAMING

Around the turn of the 21st Century – that is, about nine years ago - I started seriously digitizing my vinyl collection, and even made a quick foray into hooking up my tape deck to a computer. I only actually successfully digitized one cassette tape, and for some reason I can’t remember where I got the tape from. It’s a bunch of 1960s Canadian garage-rock obscurities – I believe it was sent to me by a fellow DJ on the late 90s/early 00s ANTENNA RADIO (I hosted a pre-punk show called “No Count Dance Party”), but I swear I can’t remember the guy’s name, or even if it was he who sent me the tape. In any case, I called my CD-R “Canada Screaming”, and I was pretty excited to rediscover it the other day. There are some MONSTERS on there.

Take THE PACERS from 1965, and their totally slipshod “I Want You Back”. This is raw, learning-to-play amateurism at its best, and it’s a totally longing, clashing slice of early punk rock music from a Vancouver-area band. Or how about Toronto’s A PASSING FANCY and their fuzzed-out 1967 “I’m Losing Tonight”. You’ve been there, haven’t ya? Genius. My favorite of the three I’m posting for you is 1965’s plodding, minor-key psychedelic howler “She’s My Lover” by THE DEVERONS. Now I totally flipped for this song before I knew that the lead singer in the band was one Burton Cummings, later the frontman for THE GUESS WHO, “arguably Canada’s most influential rock band”. Whoa, more influential than SAGA? Than CHILLIWACK? This song needs to be digitally tattooed upon every hipster’s cranium from this moment forward; it’s as easy as clicking the links below you.

Play The Deverons, “She’s My Lover”



Download THE DEVERONS – “She’s My Lover”
Download THE PACERS – “I Want You Back”
Download A PASSING FANCY – “I’m Losing Tonight”

Friday, August 14, 2009

SHREDDING THE BIG ONES WITH THE TIKI MEN

(Reposted by request)

I own exactly one record by a modern instrumental surf band (correction: make that two records), and it’s the raw-ass 1994 EP I’m posted for you here today by Sacramento, CA’s TIKI MEN. “Sneak-A-Drink With The Tiki Men” is as hot and loud and bothered as the best reverbed-out 1960s stuff, and outside of a few drunken PHANTOM SURFERS live shows, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a modern band capture the esprit of that sound as well as it is here. This record is so underground that even the venerable Grunnen Rocks database doesn’t even list it in the band’s discography, but I’m pretty sure this home-pressed job on “Secret Center” records was their debut. Covers appear to be run off at Kinko’s, but only on their best printers, naturally. A total lost slab of wave-shredding garage punk righteousness from the Capitol City, the camellia capitol of California, Sacramento C-A.

Play The Tiki Men, "Tiki Torcher"


Download THE TIKI MEN – “Tiki Torcher” (Side A, Track 1)
Download THE TIKI MEN – “Swingin' Creeper” (Side A, Track 2)
Download THE TIKI MEN – “Black Cat” (Side B, Track 1)
Download THE TIKI MEN – “Incoming!” (Side B, Track 2)

Monday, August 10, 2009

THE REVILLOS' "MOTORBIKE BEAT"

(Note: I wrote the following on my old blog AGONY SHORTHAND in April 2003. Then I posted the song here on Detailed Twang in early 2007, using the exact same copy from four years earlier. Then I told and retold my same goddamn music discovery stories ad nauseum. Who cares, right? Now I'm doing it again, so you can hear this awesome tune):

I was 12 years old in 1980, and had had some limited exposure to what was then known as "new wave". Punk was still something I wasn't ready to fully tackle, given that the bands & audience actually spit on each other -- or so TIME magazine said -- but I was definitely extremely curious. Anything that might sound "punk" or "new wave" sounded it might be really fucking cool, so armed with a rudimentary knowledge of what it actually might sound like (having heard Devo and the B-52s, I was certainly an expert), I would tune in to various FM dinosaur rock stations and see if I could find any. These stations, which at the time normally played a mix of horrible AOR like Journey, Styx and the Eagles, were being forced by program directors to play some of this new shit, because everyone said it was "about to break". So you'd often hear some crap power pop trotted out as punk/new wave or my favorite, "modern music". And believe me -- and many others who've testified to this fact -- kids in my suburb, at least, used "punk" and "new wave" interchangeably and almost always as a negative, and the main epithet hurled at kids who dressed like funny new wavers or hardcore punks was ALWAYS "Hey, Devo!!".

So my plan was to write down the names of the performers and songs that sounded new wave or punk, and then I'd go look for the records at the mall. The first thing I heard that was definitely new wave to my 12-year-old ears was LOU REED's "Vicious", from the "Transformer" LP, but when I saw the cover at the Wherehouse or the Record Factory or whatever, I decided it probably wouldn't be any good. The wisdom of youth! It was a blast, though -- this was how I discovered ROXY MUSIC ("Virginia Plain" -- totally new wave), among others. But the big eye-opener was finding college radio. In the area south of San Francisco was (and still is) a great college station, KFJC. It was there that I heard new wave song after punk song after new wave song, but I'll definitely remember the first one I ever heard and loved: "Motorbike Beat" by the REVILLOS. Trouble was, I didn't write it down -- but the song stuck with me, and stuck with me, for years.

Once I found out it was the Revillos, sometime in the 1990s, their comedic image as "wacky space people with ray guns" totally turned me off (even though I like the REZILLOS first LP, and it's essentially the same band), so I never tracked the 45 down. An ill wind of nostalgia swept over me recently, though, and I bid for the 45 on eBay -- and won. And you know what? It holds up. It's a top-flight corker, this song -- ultra-frantic, rockabilly-tinged punk with dueling male & female vocals, squealing motorcycle sounds, and just a can't-beat-it FUN vibe that's not contrived or too loony to listen to. It was really nice to have it back, 23 years later, since I hadn't heard it since 1980. The flip "No Such Luck" isn't half bad, either! What about the rest of their stuff? That goofball space thing still has me pretty wary.....

(Here we are back in 2007, I mean 2009, again…) I since learned that most of their stuff was OK, but that this is still their crown jewel. Understand and accept that it’s probably closer to the B-52s themselves than it is to, say, The Cramps, and if you’re cool with that, then here’s the song for your listening pleasure.

Play The Revillos, "Motorbike Beat"

Friday, August 07, 2009

TWINKLE'S OUTSTANDING DEAD BOYFRIEND 45

A couple of weeks back we posted the great 60s girly screamer "Don't Drag No More" by SUSAN LYNN and called it her "dead teenager anthem", before I realized that the guy in the song doesn't actually die. He just gets warned that he's going to die. It's still part of a very prevalent 1960s "meme" with the clueless gearhead boyfriend and his level-headed, pleading girlfriend, but we need to be accurate here.

Now, here's a total girl-pop masterpiece where the hedonistic youth speeding through life with the throttle wide open does meet his maker. It's a 1964 single from British chanteuse TWINKLE called "Terry". It was a pretty decent-sized UK hit at the time, and its B-side "The Boy of My Dreams" is almost as good. I even found a magazine ad for you. If you want to see the review I wrote of a posthumous collection of her singles, and I know you do, click on over here.

Play Twinkle, "Terry"



Download TWINKLE - "Terry" (A-side)
Download TWINKLE - "The Boy Of My Dreams" (B-side)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

OH! THAT HACKAMORE BRICK ALBUM

Back in the 1980s and early 90s me and my pals Grady & Jon took an interest in discovering what one of us, I’m not sure whom, termed “Stigliano bands”. These were groups that, to us, only existed in the pages of this guy Chris Stigliano’s 80s fanzines PFUDD! and, later, BLACK TO COMM – mostly raw, guitar-heavy 70s groups like Simply Saucer, The Plastic People of the Universe, Kongress, Hackamore Brick and others. Really lost-to-time, proto-punk stuff, and while some of the chases for the vinyl inevitably led down a rathole of mediocrity, there were certainly multiple times (like hearing the 1971 HACKAMORE BRICK LP) where this one individual’s hyperbole totally delivered, and was all the more impressive since he seemed to be the only one who’d ever waved the flag for these bands.

Now I wasn’t always impressed with Stigliano’s written shtick back then and later, and said so in a (long-deleted) post on my old blog. This particular gentleman was less than pleased about it and made a bit of a stink about it back in ‘04 on his former blog. Not sure where he went after that, but in the meantime, the HACKAMORE BRICK album got reissued on CD, perhaps thanks to the years of cheerleading led from the PFUDD! pages. I don’t know why it took so friggin’ long. My guess is that aside from a recent UGLY THINGS piece on it there just hasn’t been enough recent fanfare for it, and I want to make sure you get a chance to hear some of it. “One Kiss Leads To Another” – the album’s title - is fantastic, redolent of all manner of heroic bands that were actually around when they were active - and afterward. I feel embarrassed drawing this comparison for the millionth time, but the fantastic “Oh! Those Sweet Bananas” sounds like - yes! – a hippie Velvet Underground circa the "Loaded" era, somewhat like if they'd plied their trade in Santa Cruz rather than Manhattan. It motors with that chugging, propulsive Velvets sound that has been intoxicating music freaks for years. “Zip Gun Woman" is another great, guitar-freakout number that closes the LP, and sounds like the Patti Smith Group fronted by Edgar Breau. Much of the rest is laid-back rock and roll with a distinct sense of aggro when it's time for the guitar break, as well as first-rate vocals unmarred by any Brooklyn-ese (these guys were/are from Brooklyn).

Members of the band are recording under the HACKAMORE BRICK name now, with live shows and everything. Get connected to the original 1971 good-time mojo (taken from the LP, not the reissued CD) by clicking on the links below.

Play Hackamore Brick, “Oh! Those Sweet Bananas”




Download HACKAMORE BRICK – “Oh! Those Sweet Bananas”
Download HACKAMORE BRICK – “Zip Gun Woman”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MO-DETTES “WHITE MICE / MASOCHISTIC OPPOSITE” 45

This is another bellwether 45 in my teenage musical education, and for a long time I felt like it was a record that only I knew about. While THE MO-DETTES’ 1980 “White Mice” single is fairly well-known now, I’d never met anyone in the 80s who’d heard it besides me and others who heard it played to death on KFJC in the early 1980s. It reached some ears when it came out on one of those Bomp Power Pop compilation CDs about 15 years ago; and when I saw the LONG BLONDES play live a few years ago I was floored when the between-band DJ played the song and people got up to dance to it en masse, like it was one of their well-known favorites. Who knows, in the UK this may have been a touchstone 45 for thousands of quote-unquote post-punk lovers, as it was for me.

“White Mice” arrives at the perfect intersection of rough English D.I.Y. and pure golden girl pop, and has one of the most lilting harmonies you’ll ever hear. Among the more charming aspects of the band were the garbled vocals of Ramona Carlier, she being of Swiss descent and a then-recent UK immigrant (which helps explains it). It’s hard to put a bead on exactly what she’s saying beyond the song’s chorus, which starts with the first-rate couplet, “Don’t be stupid, don’t be limp / No girl likes to love a wimp”, and contains a throbbing bassline that leads, rather than follows, everything else in the song. The guitarist is practically invisible throughout – her ineptitude in moving from chord to chord is part of what’s so special about “White Mice” and indeed, the small handful of other good tracks this band produced in their short life (like the B-side, “Masochistic Opposite”).

I also love the sleeve for this single, which is so awful I could have doodled it during a particularly boring Powerpoint presentation. Glad the single has reached so many ears the past couple of decades – I’d like to bring it to another 200 or so ears if I may.

Play The Mo-Dettes, “White Mice”



Download THE MO-DETTES – “White Mice” (A-side)
Download THE MO-DETTES – “Masochistic Opposite” (B-side)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BILL DIREEN & THE BILDERS : “ALIEN” 45

(Note: this is a re-post from 2007. The song had disappeared when my old hosting provider did, and I want to make sure you hear it.)

I once knew a woman in the early 90s named Sharon McKenzie who had just come off a college stint as a “disc jockey”, as had I (she at KDVS in Davis, CA; me at KCSB in Santa Barbara, CA and KFJC in Los Altos Hills, CA). She went to every show I did – and at that time we were averaging 2-3 per week – and when she told me she was starting a record label, I thought that was pretty cool. She stumped me with her first artist, though, telling me it was something by BILL DIREEN & THE BILDERS, and then getting a little annoyed when I didn’t know who that was. She was all, “You don’t know who that is?”, and I was all, “No”. So she goes, “He’s a New Zealand outsider pop legend”, and then I go, “Oh, well I haven’t heard of him”. So she’s all, “later”. Of course I bought Direen's “Alien/Skulls” 45 that came out a few months later on Sharon’s HECUBA RECORDS, and became a BILL DIREEN convert shortly thereafter.

His story is arguably the most unsung of the great New Zealand 1980s outsiders (I say arguably because there’s also THE KIWI ANIMAL and SHOES THIS HIGH, not to mention THE GORDONS), and you’d be well advised to pick up the FLYING NUN series of CDs that came out in the mid-90s that collected his early works. Direen still records music to this day and is a published poet of much renown; Hecuba folded up shop very quickly after this single; and I haven’t seen Sharon in a coon’s age (you can still say “coon’s age”, can’t ya?). I’m posting “Alien” because it’s my favorite of Direen’s many eerie, organ-heavy loner pop records, which always seem to be uplifting in their way but are full of strange stumbles down dark musical alleys. This particular version is a later (1990?) run-through one of his earliest songs, originally from 1981. It’s a good one, and you will like it.

Play Bill Direen & The Bilders, "Alien"



Download BILL DIREEN & THE BILDERS - "Alien" (A-side of 45)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HOW LIVES ARE CHANGED: THE LAZY COWGIRLS

This post is seriously cribbed from a review of THE LAZY COWGIRLS' masterpiece "Tapping The Source" that I wrote for my old blog, Agony Shorthand, back in 2003. The band - and this record - were seriously developmental stepping stones for me personally, and I believe that its profile is way too low in the world today. Therefore I'm going to post several tracks from it so you'll have no choice but to purchase the full CD or LP if you can find it. Here's what I said six years ago:

"You know how some people are always asking couples how they met? For these kindly inquisitors, all romantic beginnings set the full context for everything that followed (never mind what really happened as the couple came to truly know each other). I'm kind of the same way when it comes to music. It's mildly exhilarating to learn of individuals' discovery processes; those happenstance instances where their musical tastes experienced a tectonic shift, or when they were introduced to a band or genre that ended up setting their standards for years to come. You know; the older brother who played you the Velvet Underground for the first time; the time you stumbled into the Minutemen show; the Skip James track you downloaded because someone said you might like it. I love that shit.

I was very recently presented with a crisp compact disc version of the LAZY COWGIRLS' "Tapping The Source", the popularly-recognized best record from a truly formative rock and roll band for me. My over-involvement with them led to a real love for raw garage-oriented rock; the deep discovery of bands such as the MC5, NY DOLLS, RADIO BIRDMAN and even the SHIT DOGS; and a period in which I bought more 45s of this "sound" than anyone would consider healthy. Listening to it again inspired a torrent of insular words. The Lazy Cowgirls showed up at the right time in my life, when I was 18 years old and ready for a home-town band to rally around. In 1986 these newly-minted Los Angelinos played a bill in Santa Barbara, California with AGENT ORANGE, the MENTORS (yes! The Mentors!), AGGRESSION and at least 1 or 2 other horrid hardcore bands. I attended with hopes of hearing Agent Orange play "Bloodstains", but it was the Lazy Cowgirls who blew me clean away.

These guys were the most incongruous garage-based punk band imaginable; total Indiana hicks with farm boy accents as deep as you can imagine; a balding, slightly overweight frontman who was MC5-style energy personified; and a total steamroller approach to the "live event". This approach boiled down to revving up the audience to religious levels, bashing it out for 45 minutes, then wrecking everything on the stage after an 8-minute scream through "You're Gonna Miss Me"; (always, always the set closer). Before that show I knew of the band from their debut LP "The Lazy Cowgirls", which was mostly notable because it was produced by Chris D. of the FLESH EATERS, who were a godhead band for some of my influential peers at the college radio station I was DJ-ing at (and who at this time were in the process of becoming my "favorite all-time band").

After that "tectonic shift" of a show, I saw the Lazy Cowgirls, no kidding, at least 25-30 times; every time they played in Los Angeles from 1986-1989, I and a posse of similarly-oriented drinkers with fake IDs would head down to the Anti-Club or Raji's to watch them deliver. I think there were at least two caravans up to San Francisco/Berkeley to see full weekends of shows there as well. Sick! I'd tell anyone who asked that they were my favorite current band. New records came out, the lineup changed a bunch, the band soldiered (and continues to soldier) on, and I more or less forgot about them around 1995 or so. I hear they're now a "bar rock" band a la the Stones or Divine Horsemen. Might be worth checking out one of these days for shits & giggles, right?

So I listened to "Tapping the Source"; again this week, this time attempting to hear it with the ears of a man unencumbered by all the baggage collected in the previous paragraph. I have to say it still holds up! No, not in the sense that it's a life-changer, but it is still a drop-dead raw and searing 4-track punk rock record, with every single track cranked out in glorious shit-fi. "Goddamn Bottle" was the "hit", but this record also has the longtime show opener "Can't You Do Anything Right?", "Mr. Screwdriver", and my fave, "Bullshit Summer Song". If I was hearing it for the first time I'd probably call it a real good record, and would maybe pull it out for a spin every year or so. Subsequent four-on-the-floor bands such as the New Bomb Turks owe a huge debt to these guys, as it was the Cowgirls who did the Ramones/Stooges/Dolls hybrd first and certainly the best. It (strangely) sounds fantastic on CD, as well."

Play The Lazy Cowgirls, "Bullshit Summer Song"

Monday, July 20, 2009

BEAT HER WITH A RAKE AND MAKE HER PAY FOR HER MISTAKE

(Note - this is a re-post "by request" of a song we put up here back in 2007)

This is a very classy proto-punk, metal-tinged scorcher from 1978 – an act called THE WEASELS set off all sorts of alarms with this number, the immortal “Beat Her With A Rake”. Word has it that they were 1977 contemporaries with & pals of both the nascent LA post-glam, pre-punk bands of the day (RUNAWAYS, IMPERIAL DOGS, BERLIN BRATS etc) and with VAN HALEN, who played the LA club circuit as openers for The Weasels on more than one occasion. It got a lot of airplay on KROQ, pretty much America’s first commercial station to play real punk rock, and caused a lot of (deserved) hemming & hawing. There’s no question that it indeed “rocks”, and I’ve long called it a favorite, though I'm not really certain why since it borders on doofus metal and has lyrics I’d hate for my mommy to hear. I can’t even remember the B-side. I’m not sure anyone does.

Play The Weasels, "Beat Her With A Rake"

Download THE WEASELS – “Beat Her With A Rake” (A-side of 1978 single)

Friday, July 17, 2009

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE FRENCH GIRLS

Two more 1960s “ye-ye” tracks for you today, both as pretty as a poodle. “Le Chevalier” from JIJI is all raw, twinkling guitar and come-hither vocals, and I gotta admit it’s pretty irresistible as a slice of bold, vintage, innocent-girl pop music. JIJI only put out a lone four-song 7”EP in her brief career, this one from 1966. Her teammate in this edition of the ‘Twang is ANOUK, and the much louder “Jimmy Est Parti”. It’s a stellar thumper from 1965, with an ear-bleeding harmonica trailing across every slurred, sexy verse. I promised you I’d unload a bunch of these swinging mademoiselles on you, and I’ll try and throw some more up in a couple weeks.

Play Jiji, “Le Chevalier”


Download JIJI – “Le Chevalier”
Download ANOUK – “Jimmy est Parti”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

THREE SLEAZOID ZONKERS FROM L.A. DRUGS

(This is a re-post from early 2007)

I missed the one and only LP from Boston's L.A. DRUGS when it came out in 2003 – it existed first as a CD-R and later was put out as a one-sided affair on Twisted Village. It has the potential to both anger and dazzle all comers, given that it’s simultaneously one of the most annoying and yet most crazed and unhinged, dirty, noisy, lo-fidelity records I’ve ever heard. I think they were around for less than a year, tops.

Obviously they found a lot of comedic value in early 80s LA punk (as we all do), given that the album is bookended with verbal clips from “The Decline of Western Civilization” (“I swear, I hate cops to the MAX”) and the Germs’ final show (“We’ll see you all at Oki Dog”). The singer has a bratty, whining tweener voice that she uses to fine effect on tracks like the ones I’m posting for you today – sorta like what one might have called a quote-unquote “riot girl” fifteen years ago, but even more annoying. The band exudes learning-to-play confidence, utilizing cheapo keyboards, fucked-up guitars, and all manner of crashing & bashing to get their point across. It sounds like a goddamn lights-out teenage pajama party with peanut butter smeared all over the floor and pharmaceuticals piled high in punchbowls. See what you think by clicking the links below.

Play LA Drugs, "High School"


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

STATE OF THE KIDS, JULY 2009

It’s time for a rare look at the present tense here at Detailed Twang, as part of our ongoing series of tastemaking we call “State of the Kids”. Great 45s, LPs, CDs and one-off downloads keep coming out by the crateful, and I’m trying to keep up as best I can. As usual the most exciting stuff to my ears is happening in the rough-edged garage, pop & post-punk influenced worlds, but of course I’d say that. That’s what I’m seeking out online and elsewhere. First up today is the song of the friggin’ year, “Stick To The Formula” by EAT SKULL, kicking off their latest CD on Siltbreeze. Now we never really cottoned to these guys before this particular record, but when their new one came out I kept reading all these comparisons to The Clean and to scattershot lo-fi pop bands I luv & respect, and I said, “that doesn’t sound like the bucket of noise puke these guys have been coughing up to date”. And it isn’t. “Wild & Inside” is a strong record all the way through, particularly in its first one-third or so. This particular track is a total standout, and we sincerely hope you agree.

GRASS WIDOW (pictured) are a new all-female San Francisco band who skirt early UK angular, reverb-drenched pop music like they’ve been playing it together since 1981. Their new self-titled LP just came out and it’s going to be huge; so huge, in fact, it’s already sold out. We told you about THE BLANK-ITS a few months ago; they’re still bringing a robotic, uber-distorted chromium punk to the people from the Great Northwest; this is the A-side of their most recent single. WOUNDED LION are a Los Angeles five-piece who have their one and only 45 on the excellent S-S Records. The A-side “Carol Cloud” is total Archies/1910 Fruitgum Co. bubblegum dross for meathead garage dork nation. Try to keep your fingers from snappin’ during this one. Finally, just in under the wire is the new CD from TY SEGALL, a fellow San Franciscan who records for both the Traditional Fools and The Sic Alps. His new record “Lemons” is on Goner Records, and this 80s-style noise punk crack up called “It #1” is something pretty special. See, the good stuff is all out there – you just need to find a chair to park your tuchus in to figure it all out.

Play Eat Skull, “Stick To The Formula”



Download EAT SKULL – “Stick To The Formula”
Download GRASS WIDOW – “To Where”
Download THE BLANK-ITS – “Windows Are Dirty”
Download WOUNDED LION – “Carol Cloud”
Download TY SEGALL – “It #1”

Friday, July 10, 2009

YOU KNOW HOW WE DO TWO OTHER BLOGS?

Well, maybe you don’t – or more likely, you could care less. I rarely do any “cross-promotion”, but maybe once a year is OK, right? So these two blogs are called HEDONIST BEER JIVE and FIRST PRINCIPLES. The first one is updated with passion 4-5 times per week, and has been going nearly three and a half years now. It delves into the, uh, fascinating world of craft beer in all its forms. Not content to simply drink good beer, I’m aiming to foster the same level of beer dorkitude that I myself possess. It covers Belgian beer, American micros, and the places and locales where people – mostly me – drink them. This one gets about 100 visitors per day and has its own little ecosystem of readers going, which is awesome.

The second blog, FIRST PRINCIPLES – well, yeah. I posted my final post there today. Apparently beer and music writing is easy, but coming up with engaging political rants isn’t. It’s not the first time I’ve killed off a blog of mine – other past efforts include AGONY SHORTHAND and CELLULOID HUT – and it probably won’t be the last. But take a look at the final post and the archives if you get a second. I gave it a good thirteen months. If you need to grow a set of first principles of your own, you’re welcome to borrow mine.