Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Detailed Twang’s in need of an mp3-posting breather, so here’s an ordered list of 100 records to go out & get in the next five minutes. Astute readers will recognize similarities to the Agony Shorthand 100; since publication of that list, there’ve been a few reshufflings and a couple of substitutions near the bottom. The quality level remains!

1. FLESH EATERS – “A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die”
2. VELVET UNDERGROUND – “The Velvet Underground and Nico”
3. ROLLING STONES – “Exile on Main Street”
4. THE STOOGES – “Funhouse”
6. GUN CLUB – “Fire of Love”
“White Light/White Heat”
8. DREAM SYNDICATE – “The Days of Wine and Roses”
9. BIG STAR – “Radio City”
10. THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS – “Easter Everywhere”
11. COME – “Eleven : Eleven”
12. THE FALL – “Hex Enduction Hour”
13. ROLLING STONES – “Beggars’ Banquet”
14. PERE UBU – “The Modern Dance”
15. MODERN LOVERS – “Modern Lovers”
16. THE STOOGES – “The Stooges”
18. DIE KREUZEN – “Die Kreuzen”
19. WIRE – “Pink Flag”
20. FLESH EATERS – “Forever Came Today”
23. RED CROSS - "Born Innocent"
25. VELVET UNDERGROUND – “The Velvet Underground” (3rd)
27. THE FALL – “Slates”
28. THE CRAMPS – “Songs The Lord Taught Us”
29. NEIL YOUNG – “Zuma”
“Big Pine Boogie”
31. THE GERMS – “(GI)”
32. SYD BARRETT – “The Madcap Laughs”
33. SUPERCHARGER – “Goes Way Out!”
34. CIRCLE JERKS – “Group Sex”
“Hard Road to Follow”
“Let It Bleed”
38. NEW YORK DOLLS – “New York Dolls”
39. DINOSAUR – “You’re Living All Over Me”
40. MINUTEMEN – “Double Nickels on the Dime”
41. JOHN FAHEY – “The Legend Of Blind Joe Death”
“Marquee Moon”
43. PINK FLOYD – “Piper At The Gates of Dawn”
44. THE SONICS – “Here Are The Sonics”
45. FLESH EATERS – “No Questions Asked”
46. MC5 – “Kick Out The Jams”
“Tales of Terror”
48. WIRE – “Chairs Missing”
50. ROXY MUSIC – “Roxy Music”
51. THE STOOGES – “Raw Power”
“Eternally Yours”
54. RAMONES – “Leave Home”
56. NEIL YOUNG – “Tonight’s The Night”
57. X – “Aspirations”
58. MISSION OF BURMA – “Signals, Calls and Marches”
59. THE FALL – “Grostesque”
60. HAMPTON GREASE BAND – “Music To Eat”
61. ROXY MUSIC – “For Your Pleasure”
62. BIRTHDAY PARTY – “Junkyard”
63. CHEATER SLICKS – “Whiskey”
64. THE FALL –
“Perverted By Language”
65. THE AVENGERS – “The Avengers” (White Noise EP)
66. LOVE – “Forever Changes”
67. PATTI SMITH GROUP – “Radio Ethiopia”
68. CAN – “Tago Mago”
69. THE KINKS – “Something Else”
70. THE GORIES – “I Know You Fine, But How You Doin’”
72. MINUTEMEN – “The Punch Line”
73. JOHN FAHEY – “The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death”
74. THE DONNAS – “The Donnas”
75. GUIDED BY VOICES – “Alien Lanes”
76. GIANT SAND – “Glum”
77. ROXY MUSIC – “Country Life”
78. WORLD OF POOH – “The Land of Thirst”
79. THE SCIENTISTS – “Blood Red River”
80. VARIOUS ARTISTS – “Tooth and Nail”
81. THE CLEAN – “Boodle Boodle Boodle”
82. BRIAN ENO – “Here Come The Warm Jets”
83. NEIL YOUNG – “On The Beach”
84. YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS – “Colossal Youth”
85. SONIC YOUTH – “Sister”
86. CAN – “Soundtracks”
87. HUSKER DU – “Everything Falls Apart”
88. CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & THE MAGIC BAND – “Strictly Personal”
89. LAZY COWGIRLS - "Tapping The Source"
90. FAITH/VOID – “Faith/Void”
91. THE KINKS – “Arthur”
92. THE BANGLES – “The Bangles EP”
93. NIGHT KINGS – “Increasing Our High”
94. SWELL MAPS – “A Trip To Marineville”
95. PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. – “Metal Box”
96. THE FALL – “Room To Live”
97. CLAW HAMMER – “Claw Hammer”
98. HIGH RISE – “High Rise II”
99. NEIL YOUNG– “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere”
100. STEREOLAB – “Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements”

Friday, September 21, 2007


This one just floored me when I first heard it, which occurred the same month or so that I bought THE DWARVES’ “Toolin’ for A Warm Teabag”, an EP that to this day rivals the first RED CROSS 12” for over-and-done punk rock godhead. I was just getting over the first show of theirs I’d seen in late 1988, which I’ll recount for you in a second, but when I got their ‘88 “Lick It / Nothing” single (a UK-only thing on Ubik records), I knew the DWARVES had been total superstars for at least a year following their loud-psych period (represented in the LPs “Horror Stories” and the earlier SUBURBAN NIGHTMARE record). I may not have been present at the creation, but I hooked on early & rode the violent wave for dear life. This single in particular still totally rules. That the band is still alive more than two decades after their birth is a musical abomination, though I certainly understand payin’ the bills.

Here’s what I wrote about the band and this era a few years ago:

Among the top 10 rock moments of my life was the first time I saw THE DWARVES in 1988 at San Francisco’s Covered Wagon Saloon. The band was in full bloom from their transition from horror-splashed 60s-inspired garage band to raging hardcore-inspired 30-seconds-flat punk rock band, but I didn’t know that yet. Expecting a heavy dose of angry, keyboard-driven psychedelia, I instead got a ballistic six song, five minute set with so much crazed misanthropic energy that the small crowd was driven into the nether regions of the club, fleeing singer Blag Jesus with a mixture of terror and shit-eating glee. Jesus would announce the song title (“This one’s called “Motherfucker”, or “This one’s called “Fuckhead”), and it was 1,2,3, panic for the next forty-five seconds. The whole band was totally nuts, but from this day forward my favorite Dwarve – nay, my favorite rock and roller – was bassist Salt Peter, who affected the most ridiculous bad-ass leather-jacketed rock poses you could imagine, a combination of the exceptionally effeminate and the Hell’s Angel-style ugly. I can’t do it justice in words, but the memories are strong. Needless to say, I was more than hooked, and I proceeded to attend pretty much every show they played in SF up until about 1991 or so, when they had convincingly passed into mediocrity and self-parody.

The band’s whole blood/sex/violence shtick was, I maintain, just that: a shtick. Sure, they might have been violent, hateful losers in real life as well, but there was a real tongue-in-cheek spirit and hidden intelligence there that was hard to locate on the surface. When I wrote the band a fan letter the next month, politely enquiring as to where I could find their “Lucifer’s Crank” cassette, I received a very friendly, conversational handwritten note back from Blag, patiently explaining their discography and thanking me profusely for my fandom. He then signed off with a “PS – Go Fuck Yourself”. The next year that amazing “Toolin’ For a Warm Teabag” 12”EP came out, still an absolute high-water mark for screaming, socket-bursting, in the red punk rock music. It approximates that first live show I saw quite well: 6 tracks, about 6 minutes, and every last one of them a killer. Soon thereafter the rest of the world began to find out. When Mudhoney came to town in 1990, a drunken Mark Arm couldn’t stop shouting “The Dwarves! The Dwarves! Fuck you up and get high!” to the crowd throughout his own band’s set – seems The Dwarves had made their Seattle debut a few days earlier, and secured their Sub Pop deal in the process. They also were playing their best new song since “Let’s Get Pregnant” or “Sit On My Face” – the masterwerk, the uber-genius, the supremely rarified “Fuck You Up and Get High”. Unlike so many of the fake-“dangerous” bands of the era (COWS, HELMET, HOLE, BASTARDS etc.), the 1987-1991 Dwarves stand up tall even today. I’ll advance the proposition that they successfully took punk rock as far as it had been taken up to that point, and subsequent blaze-punk bands like the Zodiac Killers are only basking in the mid-period Dwarves’ considerable shadow (good as they are). For reference, I wholeheartedly suggest the 39-track “Free Cocaine” retrospective CD; the out of print “Toolin’ For Lucifer’s Crank” CD, and the incredible (and incredibly rare) “Lick It / Nothing” 45, a thrilling encapsulation of their psych-to-punk transition that finds them right smack in the middle of the operation.

Play or Download THE DWARVES – “Lick It” (Side A)
Play or Download THE DWARVES – “Nothing” (Side B)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Anyone who’s heard THE BRENTWOODS’ 1994 LP “Fun In South City” – and there aren’t many of us, unfortunately – is still trying to get that ringing sound out of their ears & get that leg to stop twitching. I figured it was high time that I posted a few tracks from that album; no full LP from us – what do you think we are, some sorta illegal Rapidsharing site? I wrote a little bit about this on my old blog – so here’s what was said:

THREE CHEERS FOR THE LOST 1990s “OLDIES” SCENE!....Anyone out there remember a San Francisco Bay Area 1950s teen-sound combo called THE BRENTWOODS, who were active just over a half-decade ago? Their profile was so low, despite an impressive pedigree (Darin and Karen, ex-SUPERCHARGER + an ex-TRASHWOMEN & more), that even those of us who were living here pretty much missed them (I had to order their wildly underpressed LP “Fun In South City” directly from the band, who lived about 8 miles from my house). I just digitized their entire 1994-98 ouevre minus one single I could never find, and the whole package is quite a hoot. Comprised of five 45s and an LP, the Brentwoods' work is not for the audiophile nor for the easily annoyed. Their m.o. was flat-out, full-contact dance party rock, with a heavy tilt toward a mongrelized farfisa-drenched garage punk/good-time oldies mix, all recorded more or less live and on cheap equipment to boot. Lots of screams, yelps and hollers, and you certainly have to love the chutzpah of a band that puts its woefully inept female singer (who sounds like she might be about 15) front and center, and then encourages her to yell herself raw.

The band had an inexplicable attachment to their hometown of South San Francisco, a blue-collar suburb with a decaying bowling alley from which the band took their name. A good two thirds of the songs have references that only an upper Peninsula maven could figure out, including many that mention the cryptic “Buri Buri”, which I believe is a So. SF neighborhood & which The Brentwoods have made into a teen dance of their own. Listening to each stomping, screaming 90 second track, it’s clear there’s really not a lot to figure out here – The Brentwoods were an oldies band, they thoroughly enjoyed going to parties, and they planned to take the USA by storm with dances like “The Bug” and “The Doofus Stomp”. Another key draw here are the frequent vague jabs made at thin-skinned ex-Supercharger guitarist Greg Lowry and his then-band the RIP OFFS. The LP’s cover art alone is one long cartoon about how the Brentwoods and their fans could easily beat up the Rip Offs (cleverly cloaked as “The Riff-Raffs” here) in a street fight. If you loved the calculated no-talent genius of SUPERCHARGER, and it would be hard not to, you just might be able to handle this. Now the trick is getting
Radio X (Darin’s label) to get back in business, put it together and push it out to the kids. Good luck!


BRENTWOODS : “GO LITTLE SPUTNIK / SOUTH CITY SHINGLE & SHAKE” 45....I professed my undying devotion to
this near-mystery mid-90s rave-up party band last year in the pages of Agony Shorthand, and included a veiled whine about the 45 of theirs I was missing. Well what do you know, vocalist Patty up & sent me the one I was missing (autographed!), this after I called her a “woefully inept” singer “who sounds like she’s 15”, She knows and you know I meant it in the very best sense of “woefully inept”. The 45 that escaped me is as pepped-up bonkers & go-go-go as their other ones – quick, bursting with energy and teen screams, and recorded so on the cheap that I’ll bet the session’s donut run cost more than the "studio time". It also includes the band’s usual array of unfunny but nonetheless charming skits and spoken tomfoolery bookending the two songs. I’ll take it! Hats off to Patty and her crrrrrrazy 90s shenanigans!

Play or Download THE BRENTWOODS – “Buri Buri Bash” (from “Fun In South City” LP)
Play or Download THE BRENTWOODS – “Little Barfy Bobby” (from “Fun In South City” LP)
Play or Download THE BRENTWOODS – “Go Go Shingle & Shake” (from “Fun In South City” LP)
Play or Download THE BRENTWOODS – “Chow Fun San Mateo” (from “Fun In South City” LP)

Monday, September 17, 2007


If you visit frequently enough, and download every infrequent dub track I post here (at the rate of about two tracks every three months), then sometime late into 2008 you’re gonna have yourself one hell of a compilation CD. For the first two editions of the Brain-Erasing Dub series, please click here and here. They represent the finest in drop-out, shimmering, echo-filled 70s Jamaican dub. This round I’ve got one from BLACKBEARD’S ALL-STARS that I procured from the “Trojan Dub Rarities” 3xCD box set. The only information I can glean on the web about this here gem is that it can be found on said box set – that’s it. Blackbeard, are you out there? Come home and tell us about yourself. The other is a killer from MORWELL UNLIMITED & KING TUBBY, from the excellent “Dub Me” CD on Blood & Fire. Track one, even! The whole CD’s great. More for you in November.

Play or Download BLACKBEARD’S ALL-STARS – Bridgeport Dub

Thursday, September 13, 2007


There was this compilation that came out, jeez, I don’t know, I want to say 1987 (?), called “IT CAME FROM THE GARAGE II”. It was a bunch of Detroit-area garage bands, most of them extremely raw & quite more fulfilling than anyone else at the time who sought to connect 60’s raunch with CRAMPS-style lurch-n-roll. Even THE GORIES made their debut there, and they, along with ART PHAG, were the ones that made the most immediate impression. (I seem to remember an ode to porn stars by SNAKE-OUT that started with the line, “Hey Ginger Lynn / What’s on your chin?”, as well as a hideously racist song by someone going by the nom de plume of JERRY VILE. Classy!). ART PHAG’s contribution was equally distressing – a two-minute, bottom-feeding sludge-o-rama of the most guttural garage sounds imaginable called “Golf”, interrupted by occasional angry rants from a guy yelling at his girlfriend for messing with his golf clubs, followed by the sound of her screaming in sheer terror as he goes on a rampage. Like I said, tre classy.

So a couple years later the ART PHAG album comes out. It’s got a spray painted cover, each one handmade – you know the way every Tom Dick & Harry noise band does it this century. Kinda cool back then. “Golf” is on it, and all the politically incorrect DJs at my college radio station rush to be the first one to play it. But hidden in its grooves are other songs – much better songs, I thought – that proved that ART PHAG weren’t a one-trick pony, and that they engaged in a primitive level of subdued raunch as well as anyone else going - sounding very CRAMPSian for sure but also with nods to the Panther Burns and 60s punkers of all stripes. I’m posting two of the best from the LP – oh yeah, and “Golf” – as testament to a band undoubtedly lost to time if not for the Interweb.

Play or Download ART PHAG – “A Boy And His Gun”
Play or Download ART PHAG – “Molly & Bobby”
Play or Download ART PHAG – “Golf”

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Here's a fantastic recent track from a double 3"CD (!) from Vancouver's SHEARING PINX, one of the better debuts I've heard in a great long while. At times abstract noise, the grande majority of the release finds the band pummeling a tight-ass riff into the ground, with lots of skittering, creepy noises making the nature scene around it. Take for instance my favorite, the opening, "New Gospel". You're gonna get glimpses of funkier early 80s acts like Pylon, The Pop Group, PiL and Gang of Four here, whereas a good chunk of the rest of the discs veers off into avant-noise territory of recent vintage. I say it's all good - and this one's the best.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Perhaps one of the most “developmentally delayed” - and yet paradoxically miles ahead of the pack - releases of the go-go late 70s would be the three tracks from THE PRATS that made it to the EARCOM 1 record on the Fast Product label. These Scots helped redefine shambling, spasmodic, inepto-rock. Their primitiveness to me almost comes off as a bit forced at times (“Inverness”), but damn me if I still don’t totally dig listening to their joyous mess when I get the gumption. It defines the learning-to-play-on-the-job ethos of late 70s Britain, and a period that generated some of finest 45s of any era. The EARCOM 1 12” compilation was a collection of “up and coming” bands from the British Isles, and also included the BLANK STUDENTS, the much-underrated FLOWERS and others. EARCOM 2 came out a year or so later, and had legendary eardrum rippers from Americans like the MIDDLE CLASS and NOH MERCY.

Well, I’m hoping to help kick up a cloud of PRATS mania, since it turns out there’s a new compilation of their compleat works now out called “Now That’s What I Call Prats Music”. One of their songs even turned up in the remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” that no one saw. Lots more to learn & do over at their site, but in the meantime, here’s those Earcom 1 tracks.

Play or Download THE PRATS – “Prats 2”
Play or Download THE PRATS – “Inverness”
Play or Download THE PRATS – “Bored”

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


One of my top 2007 finds (and perhaps yours as well - the word is most definitely out) is a young band from Huntsville, AL called THOMAS FUNCTION. Reminscient in so many ways of a stripped-down, keyboard-augmented, less grandeur-bound TELEVISION, two of their three 45s are among the finest & most deceptively catchy records of our aging decade so far. (I say 2 of the 3 because I haven't heard the new one yet - the label says it's "in the mail"). I think the main guy's vocals come off as so much more real than others looking to recreate a pre-punk history for a post-punk world, and THOMAS FUNCTION are the sort of band that's going to appeal equally aging record dorks like myself and the new gaggle of teenage hipsters. Apparently the garage punk congnescenti dig 'em too. See you what you think by downloading two of their best so far.

Play or Download THOMAS FUNCTION - "Conspiracy of Praise" (from "The Insignificants" 7"EP)
Play or Download THOMAS FUNCTION - "Vanity Lights" (from self-titled 1st 7"EP)