Thursday, March 02, 2006


"WeirdPunk L.A": an album's worth of "weird-punk" from the Los Angeles underground.

Though hardcore, the fast, furious, guitar-driven form of punk, and it's attendant spikey-haired stage-diving audience, has been extensivly chronicled, and commercial radio-friendly New Wave acts live on in '80s club nights and hit compilations, another side of the late '70s-early '80s scene has largely been overlooked: the intelligent, intellectual, experimentalists. They're sometimes called "art-punk" and, yes, many of these groups had art school backgrounds, or played galleries as often as clubs, but really, isn't all music art? "Synth-punk" is another common term, but not all these groups used synths. The common thread was that they were, whether naturally or by design, weird.

Herky-jerky rhythms! Synth squiggles! Sarcasm! Featuring out-of-print (or never-in-print) classics from The Screamers, Wall of Voodoo, Oingo Boingo, The Suburban Lawns, and lots of great bands you never heard of.

UPDATE 8-6-12: Back on line here!

1. The Screamers: "Veritgo"
2. Wall of Voodoo "Red Light"
3. Suburban Lawns "Flavor Crystals"
4. Slow Children "Spring In Fialta"
5. Oingo Boingo "I'm Afraid'
6. Food And Shelter "Changing My Mind"
7. Nervous Gender "Fat Cow"
8. Rick Potts Band "Platform Swimfins"
9. Fibonaccis "Slow Beautiful Sex"
10. Bob & Bob "We Know You're Alone"
11. Karen Lawrence & The Pinz "March Of The Pins"
12. Abecedarians "Benway's Carnival"
13. Red Wedding "Drums"
14. Man Child "Mad Dream"
15. Bakersfield Boogie Boys "I Get Around"
16. Monitor "Beak"
17. Susan Rhee & The Orientals " I Love You I Hate You"
18. Irritators "Whack The Dolphin"
19. Din "Respond To My Thoughts Only"
20. Chuck Wagon [of The Dickies]: "Rock and Roll Won't Go Away"
21. Humanoids on Parade "Humanoids on Parade"
22. Bad Religion "...You Give Up"


jon manyjars said...

Very cool compilation ...was "Platform Swimfins" from the Darker Skratcher LP? The cover model looks like Pat Smear!

Mr Fab said...

You are correct, sir, about "Platform Swimfins". There's a 10-CD box set of LA Free Music Society stuff and nothing from "Darker Skratcher" is included.

I remember Rodney on the Roq used to play 45 Grave's contribution to that album, "...Polyunsaturated Blood," which I do believe is available on some 45 Grave comps. Otherwise, don't think anything else from it is in print.

Don't know if that's Mr. Smear, but if it was I certainly wouldn't be surprised!

Michelle Klein-Hass said...

Thank you.

I'm totally stoked. Some of this stuff I haven't heard in over 20 years. You rule.

Anonymous said...

Hi I was wondering do you know where I can find any Kill Bill or Kill Bill 2 soundtrack MP3?

Mike K said...

Wall of Voodoo, Oingo Boingo, and Bad Religion ("Huh? Bad Relgion??? Oh wait, this is from that 'prog rock' album they let fall out of print out of embarrassment that I'd read about somewhere, so it sort of makes sense") are the only ones I know much of anything about, so this was a pretty educational listen. I like how there's kind of a big range from slightly-mutated synth-pop (Susan Rhee, Food And Shelter) to what I could only describe as the tribe from the Residents' Eskimo album trying to write a hardcore song (Monitor).

Mr Fab said...

"the tribe from the Residents' Eskimo album trying to write a hardcore song (Monitor)" Ha ha!

Yep, that hopelessly out-of-print LP is variously described as "psych," "prog," or just plain "sell-out." With all due respect to my Valley homeboys BR who apparently hate this album, I think that tune's quite awesome.

April 20 said...

LOVE this site, and I support the idea fully and without hesitation!
We need more sites like this. I have a good friend that is a total Brian Wilson freak, and he really appreciated Adult Child.I love this one, in particular, as so much of the one-shot punk era was thought lost. Any hope of a Slide Guitar retrospective?

Dada said...

Suburban Lawns! OMG. Sue Tissue, I had such a crush on her.

Nervous Gender. One of the loudest shows I have ever been to. Are they still alive? Didnt Gerardo die back in the 80's? And the others? I know Pranc is still Folking around.

Fibonaccis - loved to hate them. Wall of Voodoo - great. Alot of other LA originals. You dint include "the Bags". ;-)

I miss the Brave Dog and On Club!
See, I really was there.

Max said...

If your looking for some more stuff from the 80's (not mainstream) I could probably help you out. I have been doing the same thing you guys are doing for some time now. I thought I was the only one who had a Din album...drop me a line and my people will talk to your people.

Anonymous said...

I apparently missed the boat by at least a few months on the "Moog Breakbeats" mp3s. Is there anyone out there gracious enough to send them to me? I'll share what I have, though not official releases. Thanks in advance! My email is

Anonymous said...

Please repost this. The links don't seem to be working, I've downloaded "Weirdpunk" before but deleted the files!

Please Please Please

Mr Fab said...

I hope to get both "Moog Breakbeats" and this one up one fine day...

Anonymous said...

nervous gender have a myspace

Antonello said...

Very cool... Thanks

bstefans said...

I just discovered this page/blog. Are you aware of my ongoing LA post punk project? I still have another 5 or so to go... I'd love to see what's in your collection. Can you repost or send me the tracklist?

Mr Fab said...

Ive received a number of repost requests for this and other things that I will try to get to his week.
Bstefans- I discovered your blog and added it to my "Music Blogs" links section a month or so ago!