Friday, October 31, 2008


A while back I posted some files from THE KENT 3 and got some pretty good feedback from the people on them. As mentioned before, this simple spaghetti-surf/garage punk/hard rock band are one the most simple & enjoyable bands in my “collection”, a band it’d be easy to ignore yet one I listen to all the time. I’m still partial to the “Spells” and “Stories of The New West” CDs, but this EP I’m posting for you today is the one that sorta woke folks up to what a great friggin’ band they’d become. See, they had this one LP from 1994 called “Screaming Youth Fantastic” that arrived with a thud, thanks to some too-rough, tuneless vocals and pretty uninspiring songs. I forgot they were even around until some Seattle friends clued me to “KENT 3 Mach II” around 1996, telling me that they were pretty much the best band in town, having ditched the vocalist and now rocking some of the strangest, funniest most obtuse lyrics around.

I bought the six-song double 45 they put out on Super Electro records in ’96 and was hooked. Moved to Seattle myself the next year, and they became my weekend live band. Saw them at The Break Room, the Sit-n-Spin, the Crocodile and elsewhere multiple times. I’m going to warn you on something, though – the first track on this one, “Basketball Medics”, is a little wacky and perhaps too cute/clever for its own good. I’d skip straight to “Satellite” and go from there, though completists always download them all. Enjoy.

Download THE KENT 3 – “Basketball Medics” (Side A)
Download THE KENT 3 – “Satellite” (Side B)
Download THE KENT 3 – “North End Bruisers” (Side C, Track 1)
Download THE KENT 3 – “Pinkland” (Side C, Track 2)
Download THE KENT 3 – “Shooting Stars” (Side D, Track 1)
Download THE KENT 3 – “North End Baby” (Side D, Track 2)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


(photo by James Stark)

Listen, I don’t know what’s going on with all the music I’ve been posting here the past couple years. Swear to Christ they told me they were taking it all down yesterday, but this morning, Tuesday 10/28/08, you can still go ahead and download full tracks from all the 45s and compilations I’ve shared here. We’ll see how long it lasts. I’ve got a backup plan in any case. Detailed Twang will continue, and indeed, persevere. We’ll either move the new files to a new server, or we’ll just go ahead and keep using the old one, and hope that the threat of removal was a nasty, nasty dream. So there it is. (late-breaking news - I have been locked out of for new files, so this track below can be played or downloaded from DivShare).

Next up on our cavalcade of lost hits is this total smoker from LA-by-way-of-San Francisco’s U.X.A., circa 1979. This eponymous track, “U.X.A”, was one of two thumpers from Chris D.’s 1979 compilation LP of LA bands, “TOOTH AND NAIL”, certainly one of the great compilations of that and any other era, boasting contributions from THE FLESH EATERS, THE GERMS, MIDDLE CLASS, CONTROLLERS and others. UXA have mostly been a punk rock footnote from that era, and perhaps deservedly so, though if all the songs were as ripping as the one I’m posting here I suspect singer DeDe Troit would be lionized and worshipped by many a “punter”. Her/their LP “Illusions of Grandeur” from 1980 is sort of a one-note mid-tempo bummer, but I will admit that when I saw the reformed UXA live in LA at Raji’s in 1990 (only 11 years after the real deal – just like seeing a 1997 band today, right?) they were great, and played louder-faster-shorter punk rock like they were back at The Masque, right down the street. And DeDe looked great, a total hot lipsticked punk banshee snarling in everyone’s face. That’s the band I choose to remember.

So the other night I went to this Target Video Night in Berkeley were they showed old clips from “back in the day” (no UXA, though), and someone in the crowd made a comment during the Q&A that DeDe Troit “went Christian” and that everyone needed to pitch in to “deprogram” her. A bit harsh perhaps, but hey, that’s a bitter old punk for ya. Anyone know the truth of the matter? Oh, and caught up in all this conjucture I forgot to remind you for the fourth time to please take a listen to “U.X.A.” by U.X.A. below!

Play or Download U.X.A. – “U.X.A” (from 1979 compilation “Tooth & Nail”)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I have received word from, my mp3 hosting provider, that they’ve received multiple complaints that Detailed Twang is violating copyright by sharing some of the basement-level, pressing-of-400 punk rock, noise, and weird pop 45s we like to share here. Therefore, all of my files will be taken down by them on October 27th, 2008. Do what you need to do – there’s a lot of great music available. I started posting songs with the 1/27/07 post, and have been averaging 2 per week ever since then. I’m going to have to say goodbye for now as I figure out another way to bring you music, which typically is blessed ex-post-facto by the musical artists themselves. For any artists who’ve felt wronged by anything we’ve put up here, say the word and it will down in seconds (the sole time someone – METROPAK – complained, I had the song taken down immediately).

It’s not censorship, and it’s not something I have any right to complain about – the laws are the laws, but I reckoned we’d moved into a world where sites like mine were considered more of a flame-keeping blessing or “help” to the defunct artist than an actual hindrance to future royalties, real or imagined. As I understand it, there weren’t a lot of royalties associated with 45s by, say, the TIKI MEN, JOHANNA WENT or MONOSHOCK, to target my three most recent posts. But it is what it is. In the meantime, see you over at HEDONIST BEER JIVE and FIRST PRINCIPLES, two blogs of mine that violate no man’s laws, and perhaps only their sense of propriety.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Here’s a brief interlude into some early 80s wackness, a track called “Mosquito” by Los Angeles performance artist JOHANNA WENT that I discovered on one of the old “HOMEWORK” compilations, and which is more properly heard on Went’s 1982 EP “Hyena”. JOHANNA WENT is mostly known to me as a woman who opened some of the early punk/art shows in LA, doing strange pieces that involved music and pre-Karen Finlay stabs at attention vis-à-vis gross-out exploitation and general insanity. The photo of her with worms pouring out of her mouth and smeared all over her face is a classic image from the “HARDCORE CALIFORNIA” punk rock history, and is always the image that springs to mind with I think of the young lass. “Mosquito” is a great buzzing minute of caterwauling nonsense vocals, vaguely dub echoes and a frantic percussion that barely rides the rails until it just – poof – disappears. I don’t know if she performed stuff like this live, but I gotta say I like it. Another proof point in the case for Los Angeles 1978-82 being pretty much the greatest, most explosive & inventive scene in rock and roll history. Who’s with me?

Play or Download JOHANNA WENT – “Mosquito” (from 1982 “Hyena” EP)

Monday, October 13, 2008


In 1994 I learned about the low start-up & pressing costs associated with putting out 45rpm singles, then not entirely uncoincidently clogging up the bins at record stores worldwide, and being a man of limited vision - but with great imitative “follow-on” skills - I decided to start my own record label. WOMB Records is what I called it, after a derogatory but still somehow mildly comic term my insane, germ-phobic, liquid paper-huffing freshman dorm roommate had for the opposite gender. All I needed was a fantastic young band to document where I could get a jump on the competition, and thankfully that young band were good friends who lived in my town of San Francisco or across the bay in Oakland. MONOSHOCK granted Womb Records exclusive rights to their debut record, sealed over a beer (I don’t remember that actually happening, but I’m sure beer was involved somehow).

MONOSHOCK had recently reconstituted in the Bay Area after a few years in the rock and roll wilderness. They were a fantastic loud, fuzz-driven, psych-heavy “college band” circa 1988-89 in Isla Vista, CA, but in the subsequent four years had split off and lived in different locales, playing in various bands like LIQUOR BALL (Grady Runyan), EARLY MAN SITE (all of them, I think), and I forget who else. When they reformed in 1993, as great as they were before that, “in the eighties”, it was like a total 2.0 retransformation had occurred. I remember they played a party at Anthony Bedard’s house opening for Claw Hammer one Sunday afternoon, maybe their second or third gig back together, and they kicked off with a damaged sonic assault of an instrumental called “Nobody Recovery”, and my jaw hit the goddamn floor. For once, one of my friends’ bands was a real band, a band I needed to tell the world about. You know how that worked back in your twenties – you had all those "fun" bands your friends were in that you had to go see repeatedly because they were your pals, very few of whom you’d actually buy a record from or pay money to see if, say, they were from another locale. I was beside myself with how well these guys were playing & how many incredibly spaced-out & feedback-drenched monsters they were pumping out every couple of weeks around that time (1993).

So a little less than a year later, Monoshock’s “Primitive Zippo / Change That Riff / Nobody Recovery” EP became WOMB 001. The band were kind enough to let me pick the tracks to put on the record, so I picked what I thought were the three hottest from their demo at the time – and I worked closely with Rubin Fiberglass, the band’s drummer and occasional singer (lead duties on the verses of “Primitive Zippo” and all of “Change That Riff”), to choose the ridiculous bears-playing-hockey back cover and Gary Usher insert from his collection of saved images (the latter came from a high school yearbook someone found). The front cover is a painting of Fiberglass enjoying some healthy intake from a trusted friend, rendered directly from a photograph by Somis, CA renderer Craig Borrell. Lettering by Kelly Richardson. I’m reprinting all of the images – front and back cover, plus both sides of the insert, here.
The single came out in an edition of 1,000, which seemed like about 400 too many until Julian Cope went bonkers for the band a few years ago and COMETS ON FIRE started namechecking Monoshock as a major influence. I remember throwing a couple of them on eBay in the early oughts and getting zero bids; last year I plopped one of the remaining few up there and nailed $25 after a frenzied bidding war. I think the entire pressing cost $600, plus another $200 for materials – which, when you could wholesale them for $1.50 each or more, meant profit for sure if you kept your pressing at the right level. Anyway, as mentioned before, there were more than enough people putting out 45s at the time, and I figured that any truly great music would eventually get heard without me having to pay for it. WOMB only pressed one more record, and that was a co-release of the DEMOLITION DOLL RODS’ debut EP with Anthony Bedard’s PAST IT records, which we posted in mp3 form in its entirety here, and which Past It generated not one but two full represses of on their own.

MONOSHOCK went on to put out two more outstanding singles and one full-length platter called “Walk To the Fire”. Their entire remaining non-LP discography was cleaned up, remastered, and comped into a CD called “Runnin’ Backwards From The Ape-Like Superman”, which I wrote about on my old Agony Shorthand blog here. It sounds amazing, and it contains the debut EP we’re posting for you here, just cleaned up a bit. I’ll admit it sounds better on the CD, but it you like ‘em raw, here’s Monoshock’s debut EP from 1994, ripped straight from the original vinyl.

Play or Download MONOSHOCK – “Primitive Zippo” (A-side)
Play or Download MONOSHOCK – “Change That Riff” (B-side, Track 1)
Play or Download MONOSHOCK – “Nobody Recovery” (B-side, Track 2)

Friday, October 10, 2008


Posting the CLAW HAMMER early 1990s discography has been one of my raisons de etre, if you will, since I started putting up mp3s on this site a couple years ago. We've taken their masterwerks and unleashed them to you in order, starting with their earliest compilation tracks, into their first 45 "Poor Robert", through the second single "Sick Fish Belly Up" and up until the 3rd 45, "Candle Opera". Now we come to this Los Angeles band's fourth single, a fantastic slab of white-hot molten grease called "Brother Bricks Says" b/w "Don't Walk Away (live)". The former track showed up in a (very) slightly different version on the band's debut LP in 1990, and pretty much everyone agrees it was one of their finest scorchers, a tribute to an older and more rambunctious brother of singer/guitarist Jon Wahl's, and a track that made just about every set list back in the day.

"Don't Walk Away" is a bit of a rarity - a live song with guitarist Chris Bagarozzi pressed into rare vocal duties, and you can listen & learn as the young man screams his friggin' lungs out. Wahl comes in and rescues the proceedings about halfway through, but the aural damage has been done by that point. Seriously, this has all the hallmarks of the classic CLAW HAMMER sounds - extremely amped guitar, weird Beefheartian riffs, power chords straight off of "Kick Out The Jams" and a supreme dose of righteous boogie.

Play or Download CLAW HAMMER - "Brother Brick Says" (A-side)
Play or Download CLAW HAMMER - "Don't Walk Away (live)" (B-side)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Seems every time when I buy my umpteenth 1960s girl-group LP or CD, and go through it to pick out the invariable small number of winners, I become frustrated and I go back to the compilations that got me into this sound to begin with – “EARLY GIRLS”; “WHERE THE GIRLS ARE”; “ULTRA CHICKS” etc. Even those are fully packed with duds, leading one to conclude that this vaunted boom-ch-boom, thumping aural candy was really the provenance of a very select group of producers and singers. I think it’s possible, though not likely, that I’ve already heard every great girl-group song of the 1960s. I certainly hope to stand corrected.

Want to hear two of the very best? I thought that you might. JOEY HEATHERTON was an American actress and singer that I seem to remember from really bad TV in the 1970s; her Wikipedia page seems to confirm my suspicions. However this young lass cut the ultimate big-time booming slice of sugar-coated wall of sound in “Live And Learn”, the B-side of her 1966 single, “When I Call You Baby”. This song is just about perfect…..almost as perfect as “Wishing Well” by the SHANGRI-LA’S, who need little or no introduction. I’m pretty much positive that this is the finest of many fine Shangri-La’s numbers, though I do welcome dissent. The A-side of their very first 45, released in 1964. More from other long-ago girls in the near future.

Play or Download JOEY HEATHERTON - "Live and Learn"
Play or Download THE SHANGRI-LA'S - "Wishing Well"

Monday, October 06, 2008


This next track came from the great “CHUNKS” compilation that LA’s New Alliance records put out in 1981, featuring The Minutemen, Black Flag, The Chiefs and a bunch of the other usual suspects in the SST/New Alliance/New Underground orbit. First time I heard this snarling VOX POP track, “You’re My Favorite”, I was all, “hey, that’s 45 GRAVE”. Well, it sort of was, given that Dinah Cancer was on vocals, Don Bolles on drums and Paul B. Cutler on guitar – just like 45 GRAVE. Jeff Dahl was also involved, and if you read this great recap of the band, you’ll get a lot more information that I could ever provide. It’s probably important to note that the band lineup was never really “fixed”, so the band that made the great “Cab Driver/Just Like Your Mom” 45, with Dahl on vocals, sounds not a whole lot like the band doing “You’re My Favorite”, outside of the vaguely metal tendencies. As you can see from the aforementioned link, there’s a spectacular 12”EP on Mystic Records (!), spectacular not because the music’s any great shakes (it’s not), but because of the audacity of the cover photo of Don Bolles dangling his participle for all the world to see. Still the last taboo when it comes to album art, and probably the one thing that pops into peoples’ heads when they think of VOX POP. I just listened to “You’re My Favorite” the other day, though, registered its rulingness, and decided that you needed to hear it.

Play or Download
VOX POP – “You’re My Favorite” (from 1981 “Chunks” compilation LP)

Friday, October 03, 2008


One of the most unhinged pieces of vinyl from the go-go early 1980s is the “Audio Suicide” EP from SHEER SMEGMA, released at the dawn of the Reagan era in 1980. I’d like to post a song from it for you here called “I Owe It To The Girls”. It’s a beautiful aural cancer, destined to drive you to drink or worse. Here’s something I wrote about the band and this song on an old blog a few years ago:

I’ve touted this ear-bleeding band of low class 1980 Florida freaks for a few years on the basis on the two trailer trash tracks of theirs I’d heard: “Club Night” and “I Owe It To The Girls”. Both came from their only EP “Audio Suicide”, a record that’s achieved semi-legendary status as one of more retarded noisy shrieks of the punk/D.I.Y. era. Very soon after its release, the band quickly switched their name to the far more refined TEDDY AND THE FRAT GIRLS (as in Florida mass murderer Ted Bundy). Danger has always lurked in my mind knowing that Jello Biafra put out the 12”EP version by the new group in 1982 (same exact songs), and now that I’ve heard the band’s dumb poop song (“Alophen Baby”) and their dumb fake-German genderbender song (“I Wanna Be a Man”), I can certainly guess which half Jello probably fell for. But those other two, the ones available on compilations (KBD #5 and one of the HOMEWORKs, respectively), are just destroyed.

If it’s true that the band were really sun-baked junkies, you’ll have no problem believing it in a country minute when you hear the gasping cries of terror and withdrawal at the end of “I Owe It To The Girls”. The woman who “sings” sounds about 16, and wise to the evil ways of the world far beyond her years. Her potty mouth and reckless disregard for taste & style is now the stuff of legend, and the music is this barely-registering herk-and-jerk minimalist guitar fuzz and bass. Totally weird and out of step with all that's right and true. Outside of maybe the first HALF JAPANESE record, I can’t think of a really good 45 that would piss off parents, neighbors and your alternajerk friends more then this one.

Subsequent to that post, my Agony Shorthand blog received this comment from one "Jonny 5":

club nite and i owe it to the girls were both written by my mom Sarah P. aka Fish who wrote for the now truly legendary Mouth Of Rat fanzine (1st of its kind in SoFla + eventual record label to beastie boys) before forming this all girl band with a 16 year old singer (bingo!) a 20+ ex-debutante turned punkette and the wife of Eat gttrst Eddie O'Brien. My uncle Mike Allen who lived next door and cleaned pools at Centuy Village w/my mom snuck them into the CenVil club house to shoot the "piano/cello stage shot... the front shot was done in our dining room with a roll of backgroud color and xeroxed at their work fer free. I was 13/14 at the time and co-wrote alophen baby and iwanna be a man with Cookie and my 7 year old sister Lona. Cookie & Spam want to Cali and sold the rights to the tapes to Jello without Fish's consent. The woman who wrote "I Owe It To The Girls" & "Club Nite" has never been addressed for her contribution to the venture... jonny 5

Play or Download SHEER SMEGMA/TEDDY & THE FRAT GIRLS – “I Owe It To The Girls” (from 1980 7”EP)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


You know how you hear early demos of a band after you’ve heard the official versions, and they most often sound like hollow, shell versions of the song you’ve come to love? That’s why they’re demos – they’re generally forged as the band is learning to play, recorded as a way to get gigs or document existence, with little thought to making records. Often these early recordings are doled out after the fact for free to folks who’re putting out compilations, rather than recorded expressly for the compilations themselves. I’m not sure what the real story was with the LEAVING TRAINS and the “Keats Rides A Harley” compilation of LA bands in 1981, but their track “Virginia City” ended up being the most raw, frantic and alive thing they ever did.

The subsequent recording of the track on their first record blunted its sharp edges and just made it into an average keyboard punker. Likewise with a lot of the band’s material after this. Sure, I dug the Leaving Trains in college – we all did – but you couldn’t pay me to listen to “Kill Tunes” or “F*ck” all the way through now, let alone anything they did after that, when singer/leader/guitarist Falling James began prancing around in a dress and drinking/using drugs to near-oblivion. Actually I never actually saw him use mind-altering drugs, so never mind – just talked to him on at least two occasions as he licked his lips, scanned the room nervously, and spouted non-sequiters.

Anyway, this version of “Virginia City” was the LEAVING TRAINS’ first vinyl appearance, and it sounds even louder and hotter ripped straight off on my vinyl copy of “Keats” than it did on CD when the comp was digitized and released a couple of years ago. Hope you agree.

Play or Download THE LEAVING TRAINS – “Virginia City” (from 1981 compilation LP, “Keats Rides a Harley”)