It’s not easy curating a definitive selection of the best sub-underground, late 70s UK 45s and comp tracks from the heyday of do-it-yourself record making, but I’ve put together a start. I’ve culled my newest 8Tracks mix, “SUB-UNDERGROUND UK DIY” from multiple sources: the “Instant Pop Classics” comps, various internet downloads, “Messthetics” and my own collection. Just like the compilation I posted yesterday of female-fronted riot grrl/garage punk, it’s available right now to listen to on computers, smartphones and tablets. 

Outside of the fairly-well-known (such as it is) DIY pioneers like The Desperate Bicycles and Animals & Men, most acts on here are ultra-obscure and maybe only lasted for one 45 or a couple of compilation tracks, sometimes only on cassette. 23 tracks in all. Most given to that tinny, experimental, slipshod and faraway sound that characterizes the best of the best of this posthumously-defined genre.

Come listen to "SUB-UNDERGROUND UK DIY" here.


  1. DESPERATE BICYCLES – Smokescreen
  2. ANIMALS & MEN – Don’t Misbehave In The New Age
  3. MIDNIGHT CIRCUS – The Hedonist Jive
  4. I JOG & THE TRACKSUITS – Redbox
  5. DEVIL DYKES – Fruitless
  6. BEYOND THE IMPLODE – Lassitude
  7. STEVE TREATMENT – Danger Zone
  8. METROPAK – OK Let’s Go
  9. SCISSOR FITS – I Don’t Want To Work For British Airways
  10. BONA DISH – Mutation
  11. DESPERATE BICYCLES – The Medium Was Tedium
  12. ANOREXIA – I’m a Square
  13. DANNY & THE DRESSMAKERS – Don’t Make Another Bass Guitar Mr. Rickenbacker
  14. THE PETTICOATS – Normal
  15. REFLECTIONS – 4 Countries
  16. SCRITTI POLITTI – Is & Ought The Western World
  17. SUBVERSE – Chance Romance
  18. TRONICS – Shark Fucks
  19. BEARZ – She’s My Girl
  20. ANOREXIA – Pets
  21. BASE – One Way Girl
  22. GERRY & THE HOLOGRAMS – Gerry & The Holograms
  23. WAVIS O’SHAVE – Mauve Shoes Are Awful

I put this out there several years ago – thought I’d re-blog it here in case you’re interested.


I ordered the excellent “Singles – But They’re Not Really Singles, I Just Sent Them to the Screen and Said They Were Singles” CD by Mark Wynn and got it in the mail this week, along with this personal letter from Mr. Wynn himself.

You may have enjoyed his track “Rip Off The Fall” on Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio #81, perhaps. There’s more where that came from.

I believe the Lee Marvin reference is with regard to “Point Blank”, the excellent 1967 film that has several of its key scenes in San Francisco, where I live.



Happy to have miraculously kept the faith and to have come back a mere 2-3 weeks after the last episode. FINAL SOUNDS RADIO shall henceforth be a thing.

This hour-long episode hues closely to our mission of being about underground folk, American Primitive, acoustic, experimental and outsider music. New stuff is played from MYRIAM GENDRON, WILLIAM CSORBA, ALLYSEN CALLERY & BOB KENDALL, ANDY McLEOD and others – plus a couple of massive tracks from Tompkins Square’s new “Imaginational Anthem, Vol. 8 – The Private Press” compilation of never-heards.

Download it, stream it, and come learn more about what we do at finalsounds.org if you’d like.

Download or stream Final Sounds Radio #6 on Soundcloud.

Stream Final Sounds #6 on Mixcloud.

Track listing:

  1. PERRY LEDERMAN – One Kind Favor
  2. WILLIAM CSORBA – Diablo Canyon
  3. JOSEPHINE FOSTER – Little Life
  5. JIM ED BROWN – Angel’s Sunday
  6. JACK ROSE – Kensington Blues
  7. MYRIAM GENDORN – Au Coeur de ma Delire
  8. SIMON JOYNER – Montgomery
  9. MATT SOWELL – Minnesota
  10. C JOYNES – Georgie
  12. ANDY McLEOD – There Is No Time For That Now
  14. MARIE CELESTE – Prisoner

This is the other podcast I’m working on these days. Take a listen if you’re up for some strings.



Final Sounds Radio is being re-imagined and reconfigured.

This is the first podcast I’ve done in 2016, and I’m now prepared to pump them out with regularity from this point forward. Final Sounds is heretofore devoted to underground folk, American Primitive, 78rpm, acoustic, experimental and outsider music. The show’s patron saints are John Fahey, Sibylle Baier, Lee Hazlewood, Daniel Bachman, Robbie Basho and Vashti Bunyan.

Episode #5 is the first of many such 90-minute episodes. You can set your watch to it.

Stream or download Final Sounds Radio #5 on Soundcloud.

Stream Final Sounds Radio #5 on Mixcloud.

Coming to iTunes soon.

Track listing: ARTIST – song (album, year)

ABRAHAM CHAPMAN – Deerfield River Blues (Nothing To Leave Behind, 2016 – orig. 1978)
JOANNE ROBERTSON – Rest (Wildflower, 2016)
TANGELA TRICOLI – Jet Lady (Jet Lady, 1982)
ANDY McLEOD – Oh The Sorrow (Ghosts in Virginia, 2016)
FJ McMAHON – Sister Brother (Spirit of the Golden Juice, 1969)
DRY HEART – Meeting By The Moonlight Mill (Dry Heart, 1970)
NATHAN BOWLES – Gadarene Fugue (Whole & Cloven, 2016)
JOHN FAHEY – The Red Pony (God, Time & Causality, 1989)
LEE HAZLEWOOD – Easy and Me (Cowboy in Sweden, 1970)
BIG BLOOD – No Gravity Blues (The Grove, 2008)
DANIEL BACHMAN – Funny How Plans Change (Daniel Bachman, 2014)
ALEX ARCHIBALD – Stray Cats of Commercial Drive (Pink Slippers For East Van, 2016)
ALLYSEN CALLERY – Shoot Me (The Song The Songbird Sings, 2016)
CARTER THORNTON – The Field (Mapping The Ghost Vol. 1 – The Dirt Path to the Field, 2015)
PETER LANG – Bituminous Nightmare (The Thing at the Nursery Room Window, 1973)
ROBBIE BASHO – Seal of the Blue Lotus (The Seal of the Blue Lotus, 1965)
JACK ROSE – White Mule Pt. II (Red Horse White Mule, 2002)

This is my other podcast – take a listen if this might be your bag. “Big things” afoot at Final Sounds – new podcast, new fanzine, new look, new attitude, new format, new way to waste time.


I was a bit of a “wet blanket” when it came to the overwrought noise bands of the 2003-2006 era. I had a really good time savaging some of them on my then-blog Agony Shorthand.

Time and distance has actually proven me to be a little too much of a wilting violet when it came to some of this stuff, and there’s no reason, other than “fun”, to have taken the proverbial piss out of it as much as I did. So let’s just call it fun, and leave it at that – although I still think this stuff is horrific.

Here are 3 reviews from 2003-06:


Just found out over the weekend that this is the best band in San Francisco, according to one SF Bay Guardian tastemaker. God help us all. The sort of all-shlock/no action noise BURMESE and their pals must think is pretty far out & dangerous is the same numbskull, junior league hate rock that Peter Davis was flogging in Your Flesh aeons ago.

Any nihilistic nitwit can string together the words “cunt”, “rape” and “ass” and scream about it over an unthinking din, but it takes the least bit of soul or subtlety to make it even remotely interesting. Burmese have neither – it’s just pummel, pummel, pummel, and that godawful high-pitched, muffled male screaming that was passe & played out 20-some-odd years ago. I’d rather go on a weeklong road trip with a busload of Christian kids than be forced to watch these dangerous alterna-rockers grimace, mug & writhe all over a tiny stage. Who’s really falling for this shit? Not you?


Give Ben at Load Records credit. Despite my having savaged a couple of his bands on this very site (while effusing mightily about some others), he keeps sending me young noisemaking lambs to bring to slaughter. He pointedly said in an e-mail, “I’m going to be sending you some new CDs – some of it barely even music”.

Load are at the forefront of this sort of thing: heavy, shape-shifting noise rock, weirdo improvisational searching, bleeping & chirping laptop punk, and a dash of bombastic ST. VITUS-style metal thrown in for shits & giggles. Before NAUTICAL ALMANAC, it was the HAIR POLICE that struck me as Load’s most pointless act, but I think even the HP are blitzkrieging rock and roll stormtroopers compared to the inane Nautical Almanac. (and keep in mind, this is a record label I admire, what with Lightning Bolt, Viki, Noxagt and Sightings all on the roster). “Barely even music”? Way too kind.

I’ve said my piece before about the new hippy dip trip, but these guys are the living embodiment of what happens when kids weaned on punk and indie music get bored and look backward to make mistakes even worse than their parents. Go to their website and check out their deliberately spelling-challenged manifestos, you’ll see what I’m talking about. They’re not quite on the level of a Genesis P-Orridge verbal blubbering, but they’re trying so hard. It’s sooooo cute!

And instead of long stoned guitar jams, Nautical Almanac create the sort of random plugged-in oscillator sounds that anyone drunkenly tripping over the same set of electronics would make as their legs got violently tangled in the wiring & stands. No sir, it’s not even close to music. You simply cannot convince me that there are people who will sit and listen to this at home without full knowledge that they’re being ironic in doing so. Even with a 5-foot bong propped in the middle of the room. Even with a pile of hallucinogenics on the coffee table. Even if they were already hopped up on goofballs. It ain’t happening, folks.

What gets me is that in pitching a fake fit of apoplexy about the band, I’m playing right into their brazen modern hippie challenge. These guys want to throw down the gauntlet and start the revolution, the one after which Nautical Almanac “will take these reclaimed bones and build upon our new communities and traditions”. OK, you’re on. Rockers vs. heads, let’s bring the war home!


First off, HAIR POLICE is an outstanding name for a band. Now that that’s out of the way, there’s this ridiculous “noise shit as genius” 45, which is essentially a bunch of electronic oscillator farting, out of synch drumming and formless, haphazard sound. It’s really, really difficult for me to get my head around the fact that people discuss, trade, collect and treasure this stuff.

Around the time Bananafish and Opprobrium magazines began peaking with the chattering classes (roughly the mid 1990s), it finally hit home to me: the actual records produced by the boutique noise collector underground, pretty much to a disc, just flat-out blow. At least until someone plays me one that doesn’t! I imagine the scene continues to be propped up by disaffected punk rockers and former indie nerds in search of the most collectable and homemade records imaginable. I can even understand the draw somewhat, but the thought of an intelligent human being, possessed with free will, actually playing a Hair Police or a Merzbow 45 repeatedly – spinning it for friends, putting it on compilation CD-Rs for potential girlfriends, that sort of thing – just boggles the proverbial mind.

The chasm between true, inventive noise-shapers like LIGHTNING BOLT and farting charlatans like the Hair Police is vast, but you’d never know it by the unqualified raves
given to anyone who glues wood chips to their pressing-of-50 boutique
noise 45 and craps onto a mic for 3 minutes.

Bananafish magazine
probably did more to further this mindset than anyone, by virtue of
Seymour Glass’ excellent writing skills & sense of humor, luring
many of the disaffected into smug noise collecting with the siren song
of obscurity and insider cred. I think I really lost my faith in the
noise fanzine nation when I saw bands like LIQUOR BALL garner waves of
euphoria and hype from this crew, when the band’s m.o. was to never
practice and to get supremely baked and/or loaded before recording a
batch of drunken, poorly-mixed improv (and no slight on those guys
personally – they knew and maintained all along that it was all a total

Yet because it was so mysterious, so weird (no song titles!
Limited pressings! Bizarre drawings on the sleeves!), you’d have thought
from some reviews that people actually listened to it more than once.
No one would really do that, right? Is it way too late to sound the
alarm? Almost definitely. I should have spoken up sooner!! Sorry that
the Hair Police, they of the cool band name, had to be my guinea pigs
for this unformed but deeply-felt rant.


The Godawful Nymphs

I’m currently reading Keith Morris’ highly entertaining memoir “MY DAMAGE”. He’s a legendary gadfly and roustabout who sang for Black Flag, Circle Jerks and a variety of lesser lights, and he’s been a man on the quote-unquote scene in Los Angeles for four decades.

I’ve just finished the part that takes place in the late 80s, in which Morris gets sober and tries his hand at “managing” a couple of LA soon-to-be buzz bands, The Hangmen and The Nymphs. Ah yes, The Nymphs.

What a train wreck. I saw them play at the Anti-Club in LA around 1988 or ‘89, opening for someone I’d come to see whom I’ve now forgotten, and was sort of excited to check them out because Manfred Hofer of The Leaving Trains was in the band.

Their frontwoman was an instantly unlikable – if gorgeous – prima donna named Inger Lorre. She’s popped up in rock scene tell-alls of various sorts since then, starring in her own depraved 90s passion play of LA sleaze, drug abuse and reputation-chasing. She and the band were less than zero at the time, not even a buzz band yet, and yet she strutted & preened & vamped her way through a couple of songs before everything totally imploded.

She started screaming at the guys in her band, for what transgression I don’t know – and then stomped off the stage. They coaxed her back, and they started another song, and then in the middle she just lost it, and went off on the band again. Dropped the mic, screamed herself hoarse, and then completely left the club. The band thought it was hilarious.

Mind you, it was wasn’t the heshers and hair farmers she’d later recruit to be in her dumb band. These were regular fellas like Mr. Hofer of the ‘Trains. They giggled to themselves – clearly, they’d seen this before – and waited for her to return. When she didn’t, they ripped out a short version of “Interstellar Overdrive”. She didn’t come back, so they stopped.

That was my experience with the godawful Nymphs. Thanks to Mr. Morris for reminding me that they’d existed.