Thursday, November 27, 2008


Man, when these 1979 recordings came out illicitly in 1989, the hype-o-meter on CRIME was higher than Everest and off the charts; everyone I knew was just cottoning to “San Francisco’s first and only rock and roll band” because SONIC YOUTH had recently covered “Hot Wire My Heart”, and a bootleg compilation LP called “Year of the Rats” had just come out with that song and “Frustration”. That was the first place I heard those songs, and of course they blew my young mind. I knew that CRIME had only put out three 45s, and that the third one was no good – but I had visions of dresser-drawers full of old demos that would be every bit as savage & raw as their first two singles, and I totally wanted to hear ‘em.

Turns out that the band really didn’t have such material – or if they did, it still hasn’t been unearthed. Maybe on the long-rumored, don’t-hold-your-breath Revenant CRIME box set? What did come out in 1989 was a three-song bootleg 45 called “FIRST BLOOD” on the Punk Vault label, and when I saw it in the bins @ Zed Records in Long Beach, CA I tucked it inside my jacket and strode purposefully up to the counter, lest some budding KBD-punk enthusiast snatch it out of my hands. When I got it home and onto the turntable, I was – how you say – a little “meh”. It wasn’t quite the punk rock firestorm of “Frustration”, “Murder By Guitar” or “Baby Your So Repulsive”, but it was pretty good. This is a late 70s band I’d have wanted to see, but not the creators of two of the greatest rock and roll records of all time. Just listened to it again and I think I dig it now more than I did then – increasing age sometimes does that. Here’s what I dug up about “First Blood” on a Crime discography site:

Fifth release in this Forced Exposure/Byron Coley series which also featured releases by Bad Brains, Weirdos, Rocket from the Tombs and more. Three previously unreleased studio tracks from August 10th 1979, produced by Huey Lewis (pre Huey Lewis and the News fame) and Shaun Hooper. CRIME had 3 recording sessions at Different Fur, with known recordings surviving from 2 sessions. These are the only tracks to surface from these recordings.

So there’s two things I don’t know whether or not to believe: whether HUEY LEWIS was involved (definitely plausible, since he was part of the San Francisco “new wave” scene around that time and has been known to talk about the punk era with admiration), and whether or not Byron Coley was the guy behind the Punk Vault bootleg series. Years ago I would have been clued in to that sort of thing, but you know, life happened. Anyway, I thought you might be into hearing my newly-digitized “FIRST BLOOD” 45 – I don’t believe these recordings have ever been made available outside of this record. Take it away, Frankie & Johnny!

Play CRIME – “If Looks Could Kill”

Download CRIME – “If Looks Could Kill”
Download CRIME – “Rocking Weird”
Download CRIME – “Lost Souls”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


(Note - this is a re-post of a 45 we originally put up on 8/30/07)

This 45 from a late 70s New York group called the HAND GRENADES has been fooling “punters” for years who mistook it for a British DIY record from the same era, myself included. When I found out these dudes were from “the Apple” I was incredulous. I guess I still am. But here you go – a really great, lost-to-time stark and strange inepto-garage record from a band who have very pleasing elements of the Swell Maps, Wire and Steve Treatment. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008


So the other day my pal DP totally throws me the unexpected, and not entirely welcome, critical curveball: "What's your pick for album of the year?". Album of the year? How many albums have I heard this year? Could I actually muster up a "Top 10" or even a Top 5? It doesn't take much to fall out of touch with what the kids are doing, just some proactive curmudeonly ignorance, and a general line-in-the-sand intolerance for anything new. Now that I can do really well, and have been for some time - with exceptions (see here, here and here).

I struggled to come up with an answer. Should I play it safe and give him the cool & self-promoting answer, the SIC ALPS' excellent "U.S. EZ" on Siltbreeze? Or the record I actually listened to the most? "By album of the year, what exactly do you mean? Do you really mean something from 2008?". Affirmative. "Do reissues count?". Negatory. "Well, if I told you that my favorite record this year was by a band I've never seen live, who apparently feature a tap dancer who keeps rhythm with her feet in place of a drummer, and who are probably the most overtly commercial indie-rock band I've ever liked in the entire 25+-year history of indie rock, would that still count as my favorite album of the year?". I was assured that it would. I took a deep breath, I gathered my courage, and I let the truth be revealed: "My favorite album of the year is called "O", and it is performed by an Omaha, Nebraska pop band called TILLY AND THE WALL. There, I said it".

The passage of weeks since my brave admission has done nothing to dull my enthusiasm for this CD called "O" by TILLY AND THE WALL. Nay, I totally love this album - even the songs that sound like THE CARS, even the opening ballad, even the ones with obvious tap dancing in lieu of drumming (which is to say: all of them). The band is at once polished, anarchic, loud, sweet, funny, strange and bouyant, and I'd call them a 21st century of the MAMAS & THE PAPAS gone totally day-glo, high-energy and new wave. The main singer channels the ghost of Michelle Phillips in her singing, and she's got a voice to die for. Every song is good-to-great, and I can't get my favorite ones ("Cacophony", "Jumbler", "Blood Flowers") out of my head, even when I impose a week-long moratorium on listening to this thing, just so I can hear other music for a change. I suspect that well over half my regular readers will totally hate it. I bet the ones that can tolerate it will come to know and to love as I have.

There you have it, punkers: album of the year: "O" by TILLY AND THE WALL, bringing the noise from Omaha to your PC.

Play TILLY AND THE WALL - "Cacophony"

Play TILLY AND THE WALL - "Jumbler"

Download TILLY AND THE WALL - "Cacophony"
Download TILLY AND THE WALL - "Jumbler"

Friday, November 21, 2008


This “Rat Bait” song from 1979 by the SWIMMING POOL Q’S is so gnarly I need to make sure as many good Americans & residents of the globe hear it as possible. It’s from this venerable band’s first 45, and a quick glance at their web site and at descriptions of their music is enough to assure you that they’re not quite making ‘em like “Rat Bait” anymore. Built around a wicked secret-agent spy riff & enough throbbing blues guitar to sink a pirated Saudi tanker off the coast of Somalia, the song was introduced to me as a freshman in college by my next-door dorm roommate. He had all sorts of weird American underground records, and in 1985 it was enough for me to propose that we both become college radio DJs together & host a wacky tag-team show. The pairing didn’t last long, but we played the smokin’ “Rat Bait” a lot. It’s subsequently been comped onto an early one of Hyped2Death’s “Homework” compilations, and it’s pretty much my favorite Dixie-fried bluesy spy punk song of all time.

Play Swimming Pool Q’s – “Rat Bait”

Download THE SWIMMING POOL Q’S – “Rat Bait” (from first 45)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Two new volumes of the life-affirming MESSTHETICS series of late 70s/early 80s English DIY series arrived in the mail not long ago, and boy were we psyched beyond belief. In this day & age of cheap music and supremely easy gratification, the CDs that Hyped2Death keep putting out give one reason to spend money again, and are the antidote to the download. The liner notes are meticulous and bursting with rare photos, flyers and lost information; the sound quality is amazing considering the source material; and of course the material itself can be jarring, perplexing and exhilirating from track to track. I've discovered some all-time favorite songs via these collections - collections that do for this scene what "Back From The Grave" and "Killed By Death" did for theirs.

The new ones are called "MESSTHETICS GREATEST HISS" (a comp of tracks from UK bedroom cassette-only releases that I'm still trying to adjust my radar to) and MESSTHETICS #106, an all-Manchester edition, circa 1977-1982. I am really taken with the Manchester edition. It’s comprised of compatriots of THE FALL and JOY DIVISION, and most of the 45s have almost never been heard outside of Northern England back in the day. Most art-leaning punks during those years and in that town aligned themselves with “the Manchester Musicians’ Collective”, a pseudo-communal collection of like-minded souls who put on shows together, released each others’ records and sometimes swapped members. As I said, the liner notes tell you just about everything you’d ever want to know about the scene and the era. I picked two tracks that are my faves so far to “represent”, as it were, from lost bands ARMED FORCE and GODS GIFT. Take a listen, and order the full CD here.

Play ARMED FORCE - "Popstar"

Download GODS GIFT - "Discipline"
Download ARMED FORCE - "Popstar"

Monday, November 17, 2008


This is a re-post of a song I put up on 3/12/07....

I stumbled across this bootleg SCIENTISTS single many years ago & reckoned it was an official release, all the more so when I took it home and promptly christened it one of the top Scientists records ever, right up there with “Blood Red River” and “This Heart Doesn’t Run On Blood....”. “There’s a Monster in Me”, the song, is among this early/mid-80s Australian group’s high-water marks – total screeching swampland gutter blues – and why it never made it to an official release is a mystery for the ages & the sages. The B-side is a barely-different version of “You Only Live Twice”, but it wasn’t anything special so I’m refraining from posting it here. Friends who saw the Scientists last year in England at the All Tomorrow’s Parties fest reported that it was like a 1983 Perth punk rock picnic come to life, like 20-some-odd years hadn’t passed or nothin’. And what’s this I hear about the BEASTS OF BOURBON touring the US this year?Anyway – dig this squealing bit of god noise, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


CRÈME SODA were a Milwaukee-based band of proto-hippie punks who flitted around the edges of just about every sub-genre inherent within “rock and roll”, even those that hadn’t really been codified yet. Their 1974 single “(I’m Chewin’ Gum)” is a stone-cold masterpiece – a frantic, trashed-out slice of echo-slathered, goofball rockabilly that’s at least two-three years ahead of its time. I’m beside myself with the opportunity to present it to you today.

Here’s what I wrote about the band in 2005 not long after I’d heard this 45 for the first time, in the course of reviewing the band’s lone LP, “Tricky Zingers”:

“….I sure had never heard of this private-press proto-whatever LP until Ugly Things' "Primitive Shit Music" feature a few months back, and even then it was only trumpeting the 45 "(I'm) Chewin' Gum / Roses All Around". I searched around a little & found that single and a whole lot more -- which was this LP, the band's only contribution to the canon in their brief lifespan. First, let me second and third the dimwit majesty of the song "(I'm) Chewin' Gum" -- a manic, echophonic, hopped-up rockabilly number all methed up & ready for a greaser knife fight. 1975?!? Are you kidding me? It's immediately top of the charts for 2005 discoveries, and what's more, it's nearly 100% at odds with the rest of the record. The vocals tell me it's the same band, but jeez, I don't know.

CREME SODA's album has got some very pleasant psychedelia and laconic folk rock throughout, with good choruses and a laid back guitar hero ringing away in the background. Without knowing when the record was from, I'd have pegged it as a late 60s thing rather than pre-dating punk by a year. "Tonight", "Keep It Heavy" and "Give It Up (Man)" are the best tracks from that Creme Soda; the one that created "The Beat Song", a backward-looping, "Tomorrow Never Knows"-style droner are another beast entirely. So it's not hard to pass along kudos to such a virtuoso band of 1975 heshers & recommend this for those into the private-press US basement hippie psych navel-gazer sound. Moreover, you get "(I'm) Chewin' Gum", one for the goddamn ages!”

On the B-side of the 45 is “Roses All Around”, which might well have been recorded by an entirely different group. Such was the Jekyl/Hyde nature of CRÈME SODA. You can find a cool in-the-moment 1974 interview with the band here as well.

Play Creme Soda - "(I'm) Chewin' Gum"

Download CRÈME SODA – “(I’m) Chewin’ Gum” (A-side)
Download CRÈME SODA – “Roses All Around” (B-side)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I not only had never heard Nottingham, England's FAT TULIPS (1987-1994) until this year, I'd never even heard of 'em. Those aforementioned years were likely my most musical-obsessed, and I vainly & snobbily prided myself during this time for knowing everything about everything. But not this excellent pop band, who were a mix of stumbling, fey twee-garage and overamped feedback & whine. It was like they turned on one persona or the other from record to record, depending on moods, or new equipment, rain or shine, or whatever. It's not like they were ever a particularly "challenging" band in any way - though you may find the rush of "Deadhead Baby" a bit of an ear-bleeder at first - but they were certainly an act I should've known something about. Tim Hinely should have told me, and he didn't.

I've been making my way through all of their material now that I found out about them, and I have to say that most of it's great, with a few plodding exceptions (the final LP/CD "Starfish" is the latter; most of their ten 45s, the ones I've heard, are the former). The Fat Tulips released an EP in 1992 called "Nostalgia" that's my favorite by far, and no, not just because it's the loudest one (I'd next recommend the "Where's Clare Grogan Now?" 45 from 1989). All 5 songs are aces, with highest marks to the sucrose rush of "Last To Know" and the whooshing "Deadhead Baby". If you can't dig these, dad, then you've got no soul. No soul at all. I've decided to present the whole thing to you here, since I'm pretty sure it's gonna make your week. Meet the FAT TULIPS, folks. British pop from the 90s. You know you love it.

Play "Deadhead Baby":

"Nostalgia" EP

Download FAT TULIPS - "Nostalgia"
Download FAT TULIPS - "Deadhead Baby"
Download FAT TULIPS - "Last To Know"
Download FAT TULIPS - "Into Space"
Download FAT TULIPS - "Copper"

Monday, November 10, 2008


This is a re-post of the Mike Rep & The Quotas posthumous 45 that Detailed Twang wrote about on 3/2/07.....

I plopped this on the turntable this past weekend and was again blown to friggin’ kingdom come by its glory. These 1975-76 recordings from original recipe proto-punk space teleporters MIKE REP & THE QUOTAS were lost to the wilds of history until Jacob Olausson's Sverige Age Records in Sweden brought them to life again in 2002 – and you know what? These two tracks are every bit as raw, wild & grimy as Rep’s original legit 45 “Rocket To Nowhere” – and if you know that one, you know it’s an all-time freak-rock knockout. Both of these tracks are mono, shit-fi productions before there was any cachet in such a thing, but Rep pretty much wrote the book on making ends greatly exceed the means, starting here. So when you listen to “Mama...” you hear drums that are every bit as heavy and echoing as Bonzo’s – and louder. The force of a thousand amps projecting simple, screaming chords into space is as alive as any other punk, pre-punk or proto-punk whatsis of the 70s. I guess the real true heavy metalloid music of the era was being created in places like Hamilton, Ontario; Chickasaw, Oklahoma and REP's Columbus, Ohio - not NY, SF and LA.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


This is a pretty short post, but I’m so enamored with this sole spastic art-punker from Massachusetts’ TWO BY FOURS (aka the 2x4’s) from 1980 called “Zipperheads” that I wanted you to hear it. Last March we posted their one and only legit 45 along with a bonus track, and due to the recent purge of my files, those are no longer available. Don’t worry, I’ll give them to you another time. That’s actually one where we got a congratulatory thanks from a guy in the band – John Horvorka, who was the prime mover behind this lyrically & musically inventive/crazed/artastic band. Wish I could have seen them. “Zipperheads” is from their unreleased LP that Horvorka has now released. It’s excellent. You’ll see what I mean in a second.

Download THE 2x4'S - "Zipperheads"

Monday, November 03, 2008


“Lost” might be a bit of a misnomer, since both finally turned up on the “KEATS RIDES A HARLEY” reissue CD a couple of years ago, but hey, until then these were l-o-s-t, baby. You wanted ‘em, you had to come into my room, or you had to buy an original “Keats” LP and an original “Life Is Ugly, So Why Not Kill Yourself?” compilation LP. 100 FLOWERS, as you may know, were the URINALS after the Urinals decided to take it up a notch – or down, depending on one’s point of view. They existed from 1981-1984, and nearly everything they ever recorded, I think save these two songs, was packaged on a great CD called “100 YEARS OF PULCHRITUDE” that you can still find.

Here’s what I wrote about it a few years ago:

“….I still marvel at the clean break this band made from their original sputtering, spastic sound simply by changing their name. I'm speaking, of course, of the immediate 180-degree transformation from the URINALS (1978-81) into 100 FLOWERS (1981-84), with all 3 original members still in tow. I'm sure I once knew why they made the switch; probably a rejection of the punk rock rootz in favor of the more wink-nod cultural revolution moniker 100 FLOWERS. And not like The Urinals had a real high profile when they were around, but my sources tell me 100 Flowers barely registered in and around LA the three years they were existent, despite high-profile comp appearances on punker collections "Hell Comes To Your House" and "Keats Rides a Harley". When this near-compleat compilation came out almost 15 years ago in the early days of CDs, somehow it ended up remaindered and priced to move in a hurry, so my cousin gobbled up a couple dozen of them and handed them out like aspirin to anyone who'd take one. I took one. Though it is certainly not without its meandering moments and some misfired art-funk overreach, "100 Years of Pulchritude" is one of those great lost essential CDs that needs to be added to your collection ASAP.

100 Flowers were a real unique & strange animal. Three UCLA grad students/professors, who were sworn to punk brevity and form but were also quite resistant to all its manifest trappings. They created a minimalist stew of buzzing chop-chop-chop guitar, way upfront funk bass and a skittering percussion that kept the beat and took it off course as well. If they weren't "post-punk" I'm not sure who were. Their M.O. was likely to keep it as real as possible, which meant pleasing themselves foremost & hoping a few others might get wise to their charms. Their debut LP featured one member, John Talley-Jones I believe, lounging completely nude, dangling his participle for all the world to comment on (only the Don Bolles weenie-wagging on that VOX POP EP comes close). If I had to pick a favorite of these 28 kinetic, wildly different set of tunes, it would have to be the bonzai "Motorboat to Hell" from their one and only LP, as well as that record's closer "California's Falling Into The Ocean". Both have the crazed, attacking drive of the second two Urinals 45s, but add a dollop of breaks and quick jumps that show not only more instrumental proficiency, but a real attempt to branch out and paint with a new artful & brainy pallatte. By the time they put out their final EP "Drawing Fire", they were headed in a more atmospheric & dense direction ("Triage" and "Contributions") that was getting mighty boring mighty fast, which might be why they scattered & went on to new projects. Still, those tracks (and the omission of the fantastic "Salmonella" from "Keats Rides a Harley") don't mar anything -- the CD is one of those overviews that duly unwraps a band's hidden charms, and gives them their due way past what they likely reckoned to be their shelf life at the time. Track this down if your interest is at all piqued; at the least it might be a kick trying to locate a CD that's been unavailable for years, right? (Or you can order it right now
directly from the artist -- not quite as fun but so much more spiritually fulfilling)….”

Get that, get these, and call it a day, why don’t ya?

Download 100 FLOWERS – “Salmonella” (from 1981 “Keats Rides a Harley” compilation)
Download 100 FLOWERS – “Sensible Virgin” (from 1982 “Life Is Ugly…” compilation)


All of the mp3 files that were posted prior to last Tuesday’s UXA post have officially been taken down by my former hosting provider,, due to complaints of a vague nature. I can’t stress enough that if you’re an artist whose songs somehow make it onto this site & you’re wanting them taken down, all you need to do is send an email to jayhinman-at-hotmail-dotcom and let me know.

Meanwhile, those folks who’re emailing asking me for various files that you missed out on, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to institute a “second chance” program for some of these gems, and will be intermittently reposting some of the better ones in the weeks and months to come. Stay patient, come back often, and when something goes up, I want you to strike like a coiled & hissing cobra if you can. Who knows who’s gonna get angry and make me take them down. It is what it is, and even I’m not too bent out of shape about it. More new mp3s coming later this week as well.