Thursday, January 31, 2008


Through the first eight years of the 1990s, I published a print fanzine called SUPERDOPE, devoted 99.9% to the music of my twenties. Typically it was slanted toward garage punk, strange noise/DIY records and a little indie rock (to be perfectly frank). Writers beyond myself included Tom Lax, Grady Runyan, Doug Pearson, Tim Ellison & Jon Behar. I’ve received a couple of inquiries lately on these, so I went into the garage to see what I had left. I’d be happy to sell you my remaining copies if you’re interested – I take Paypal at jayhinman@hotmail, or if you want to send cash, just let me know and I’ll float you our mailing address.

SUPERDOPE #8 -- A digest-sized issue from 1998 with a very long, multi-page article called "FORTY-FIVE 45s THAT MOVED HEAVEN & EARTH", featuring my summations & opinions of what I considered the best 7" records of all time. Featured bands include PERE UBU, THE CRAMPS, MC5, ELECTRIC EELS, GERMS, BAGS, FLESH EATERS, PAGANS and more. There are also a large handful of reviews of records of the day. I'll let this go for $4 US, $5 US to Canada and $7 US to the rest of the world.

SUPERDOPE #6Last two copies just sold - THANKS!

SUPERDOPE #5 -- Another large issue from 1992, this one with interviews with the NIGHT KINGS, THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS and FLY ASHTRAY. Dozens and dozens and dozens of reviews and lots of alcohol talk. $6 US, $7 to Canada and $8 US to the rest of the world.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This 1958 barnburner came out as the A-side of a 45 in a long, looong string of 45s by THE CADILLACS, one of the more celebrated doo-wop/early R&B groups. What little I know about them and have heard from them hasn’t, to date, impressed me all that much – particularly when matched against this total screamer, which complements anything from LITTLE RICHARD, BUNKER HILL, SCREAMIN’ JOE NEAL and THE PINETOPPERS quite nicely. It’s available on a couple of Cadillacs comps out there, and I found mine on an old “Savage Kick” or “Desperate Rock And Roll” LP, I forget which now that I’ve sold it off. Here it is in its digitized glory – go to it!

Play or Download THE CADILLACS – “Holy Smoke Baby”

Monday, January 28, 2008


It's 2008 and a new batch of MESSTHETICS material is hitting the shelves. I couldn't be more pleased with the first one I've tackled, MESSTHETICS #104 - a collection of simple & sparse rock clatter from South Wales, circa 1977-81. I have this fixed image in my head of music from Wales being written & sung in their impenetrable native tongue, full of double-L’s and Gs. This likely stems from the first Welsh punk rock I ever heard, a track from LLYGOD FYRNING called “N.C.B.” on the first “Killed By Death”-esque comp I bought circa 1988, “Year Of The Rats”. Well how about this – turns out YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS were from Wales. That one guy JOHN CALE too.

In any event, MESSTHETICS #104 collects a large handful of lost 45s and compilation tracks from the southern part of the territory, and it’s certainly the digital debut for just about every last one of ‘em. I myself had heard of exactly two of the groups on here, THE JANET & JOHNS and the PURITAN GUITARS, the latter solely because of their appearance in an earlier “Messthetics” compilation. As always with this series, the results are stellar. This overview of the Welsh scene – and the liners definitely make it clear that it was a “scene” in the Maximum Rock-n-Roll sense of the word – glorifies the homemade, up-by-your-bootstraps approach to musicmaking that swept (often by necessity) the British Isles just after punk. Art students, adventurous punks, angry ex-hippies and experimental weirdos came together to form short-lived duos, trios and combos, often for one track or one 45. Often they struck total gold while barely trying. I am particularly taken by the opening tracks on this compilation by THE CZECHS, who were given exactly four minutes of space on a compilation record, and came up with the brilliant scattershot staccato punk of “Suffocation” in just over three. With 44 seconds to work with, they tacked on a strange space-filler called “44 Seconds”, just so they’d use up their full allotment (“you guys said”). The liners say they insisted they be re-released together, as god and nature intended.

HUGH VOLK, THE JANET & JOHNS and the PURITAN GUITARS also contribute wonderful aural bounties. I’m posting the latter’s “Making It” because it’s so representative of what I love about this era of musicmaking in England – dutuned, strangely out-of-focus, bass-heavy travel through space and time, and still “rocking” through and through. Run, don’t walk to pick up MESSTHETICS #104 – and check out a couple of its heavyweights right here.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Ooooh it was just so hard to be out of commission for a couple months and not be able to rank-order the best music I heard this year! So here, in late late January, are the “records of the year”, some of which weren’t even records. I’m refraining from any commentary on these out of consideration for your time.....I’m also not trying to go to 10 on each of these, as, to be honest, I didn’t hear every record/CD made during the year. As so often happens, sometimes my favorite records during any given year are heard way after the fact. If you can help speed along this process by letting me know what I missed in the comments section, that’d be righteous.


1. TIMES NEW VIKING – “Presents The Paisley Reich”
2. MARISSA NADLER – “Songs III – Bird On The Water”
3. TYVEK – “Fast Metabolism”
4. FABIENNE DELSOL – “Between You & Me”
5. THE BAD TRIPS – “The Bad Trips”
6. THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS – “The Cherry Blossoms”
7. LITTLE CLAW - "Spit & Squalor Swallow The Snow"
8. BLACK LIPS – “Good Bad Not Evil”
10. CORTNEY TIDWELL – “Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up”


1. SPIDER – “Witch Cookie / Charlie”
2. NOTHING PEOPLE – “In The City / Really Good Time”
3. MAGNETIX – “Hell On Wheels / Motard”
4. THOMAS FUNCTION – “Relentless Machines/Blasphemer’s Union”
5. CHEVEU – “My Answer Is Yes! / Lola Langusta”
6. THE LAMPS – “Fred Astaire” 7”EP


1. THE BRISTOLS – “The Best of Fabienne DelSol and The Bristols” CD
5. FIGURES OF LIGHT - "It's Lame / I Jes Wanna Go To Bed" 45
6. VASHTI BUNYAN – “Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind” CD

To see our best of 2006, 2005 and 2004, just click on the years.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


If it hadn’t been for Tim Warren and the CRYPT label I might never have heard THE PINETOPPERS until the mp3 era, but thanks to an amazing late 80s compilation LP series of 50s/60s rockabilly, early rock & raunch called “SIN ALLEY”, I was introduced to the outright amazing “Shout Bamalama” – one of two songs cut on a single 45 under the PINETOPPERS name. By now the story is far better known that the band was OTIS REDDING’s first “garage band” stop in a career of R&B/soul hitmaking, but it seems to me that the two cuts – “Shout Bamalama” and its flip side, “Fat Gal” – still need to be better-heard than they’ve been to date. I personally think they’re as wild & raw as anything from the 50s up til now, and get a load of Redding’s voice. If you think he was an amazing shouter on his well-known stuff (and he was), listen to him belt out, “I’m goin’ out back to get ten or ‘leven more!” or the way he screams the one-syllable word “I” at the start of “Fat Gal”. Wow! It doesn’t get much more “desperate” than this – fantastic stuff.

Play or Download THE PINETOPPERS – “Shout Bamalama” (A-side)
Play or Download THE PINETOPPERS – “Fat Gal” (B-side)

Friday, January 18, 2008


I was introduced to this band by the form-defining music blog CRUD CRUD several years ago, and I rank his posting of THE BETTER BEATLES’ 1980s single “Penny Lane/I’m Down” as one of my favorite web discoveries ever, a find that almost instantly validated the technology used to “acquire” it. The record itself was so unknown, so forgotten and uncherished – but nearly overnight (overnight meaning about three years) a campaign evolved to unearth this strange, short-lived Omaha band. With the recent release of “Mercy Beat”, an LP containing the 45 and all the other songs from the same session, THE BETTER BEATLES have officially arrived, 28 years later. I was even asked to write the liner notes, which I was happy to do:

Historians, record nerds and armchair musicologists are just now extensively excavating the dark crannies of American do-it-yourself whatsis that emerged from the bloom of punk in the late seventies and early eighties. Some of the treasures found in mildewing crates and from deceased moms’ closets speak volumes about the energy and inventiveness of the USA’s bored youth at the time, giving rise to a sub-subculture that found its calling in twisted, art-infused noise & jagged-edge rock, not in “punk” per se - all original, all cleanly cleaved from the past, and often capturing a strange zeitgeist that popular media reckonings of the era seemed to have missed.

Then there was Omaha, Nebraska’s Better Beatles. They sported no originals – just savagely wacked, detuned, deadpan readings of Beatles material in a manner than no one save The Residents could have imagined in 1980. Sure, bands all over the US and the UK were making oddball 45s out of analog synthesizers, primitive recording techniques and decidedly arty leanings at the time, but few approached the deconstructivist beauty of The Better Beatles’ one and only single, the self-released “Penny Lane/I’m Down”. To hear this glorious single in the 21st century, as an increasing number of partisans have (a number sure to blossom with the release of the disc you’re holding), is to still stand agog that a group could go to such unforced, random-sounding lengths and not come off in the least as some dumb-ass, Dr. Demento-lite yuk band. The Better Beatles single isn’t even “funny”. It’s dark and at times transcendent, and it simultaneously lifts the Beatles’ unparalleled songcraft to new and even better heights, while destroying the mythos around the band just the same, in as snotty & underhanded a manner as the rottenest rotten punk you can conjure.

And to think – there was a whole tape’s worth of weirdo recordings of this ilk just sitting around all this time! You’ll probably be the best judge of whether the Beatles’ legacy can survive these covers intact, because different aural cavities are going to hear these unique sounds in all sorts of funny and ultimately polarizing ways.

Here are two tracks from the album, which you can buy here.

Play or Download THE BETTER BEATLES – “Penny Lane”
Play or Download THE BETTER BEATLES – “Paperback Writer"


Hey, did I really say I was going to shut down Detailed Twang? After promising to post this and other gems? Well it’s time to right that wrong – we’re back, and from now on when we need to go off and “find ourselves” we promise to do so without makin’ a big old show of it. So I’m presenting an EP here from the early BANGLES – newly shorn of their former name THE BANGS, newly signed to IRS records, and featuring a wonderful Merseybeat/girl-pop/garage sound that they totally jettisoned after this record. This EP was a big hit on college radio, and I remember it well from my high school days. That I’d still dig it now as much as I did then speaks to its quality, for I went through many musical phases after this one where I either listened solely to punk & garage or to freaked-out psych & proto-punk rarities, strange DIY sounds from the 70s and 80s etc etc. THE BANGLES, in all their purity and naiveté, remain, and I’m proud to spread the good word here and in so doing, herald the sheepish return of Detailed Twang.

Please pay special attention to the scorching cover of 60s New Zealand punkers THE LA-DE-DAS’ “How Is The Air Up There”, and fantastic originals “Mary Street” and “The Real World”. This was, at one time, a fantastic band, and I wish I'd seen 'em circa 1981-83. If you want to hear previous posts from the early band that we put up last year, please click here and here.

Play or Download THE BANGLES – “Real World”
Play or Download THE BANGLES – “I’m In Line”
Play or Download THE BANGLES – “Want You”
Play or Download THE BANGLES – “Mary Street”
Play or Download THE BANGLES – “How Is The Air Up There”