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New Wave Twist – 1979-1981 was a KBD-style compilation that I made around 1997 with an eye towards exposing some of the more jittery, nervously voiced, artsy and/or cheesy independent wave-o rumblings from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. Obviously I (ahem) never got the cash together to actually press this glorious vision into vinyl, but since the Homework CD-R series from Hyped2Death rendered it largely obsolete only a few years later (with the internet taking up the slack shortly thereafter), it’s probably just as well.

My clear inspiration here was the ongoing spectacle of BOOTLEG MANIA which had been sweeping Record Collectorville for almost a decade. Killed by DeathBloodstains Across Wherever… comp after comp focused on crude-cum-destructo punk rock action (still commanding the vast majority (hey, get it?) of the record-collector lizard brain) had been emerging, but my beloved sci-fi flavored/ guitar-driven new wave remained shamefully ignored. Though it wasn’t always a simple aesthetic for me to articulate, I had long been a fan of the terse/ staccato/ synth and organ friendly waver scene that went down concurrently with late 70’s punk rock in the US, and since I’d amassed a fair amount of trash along those lines I figured I could pull off a decent enough replicant goofball KBD doppelganger LP. Right? Right?

For sure some of the songs that I wanted to share dated back to bargain-bin purchases I’d made in the early 80’s when I was around 11 or 12 (Hello, Vibrant Fiasco!), but far more came via a box of singles I’d been gifted by my friend Bill Rich. Bill had run a fanzine in Lawrence, KS called Talk Talk during the time period when these bands were active, and his PO Box was a regular destination for many of the promo lists of the day. Around 1991 he’d decided to sell his collection off, and any bands that merited a “who?” were generously handed over to my enthusiastic clutches. Handily enough as the decade progressed I was also regularly touring the US with my group the Weird Lovemakers, and this allowed me to do some coast-to-coast record shopping while scoring new wave tips from the like-minded folks we’d stay with along the way. Material started to pile up.

Once the comp notion took hold I quickly found that I’d amassed enough material for at least 2 or 3 imaginary volumes, but somehow my supersweet weekly take-home pay of $200 never quite accumulated the way I thought it might and the songs lay as dormant as ever. Oh sure, as time and technology progressed I would burn various CD-R drafts to give to people (maybe even YOU?) who seemed like they would “get it”, but before long far wiser and more capable souls were unearthing rarities at a volume and level well beyond my meager ambitions. And come on — even given all of the pals I had in the independent record community was I ever REALLY going to want to figure out distribution and mastering and all of that? No. No I was not. So the project essentially died on the vine with the world no worse for wear. Hooray!


Looking at this thing through 2010 eyes I find that there are more than a few tunes I probably could have (stylistically) left off, and plenty of other greats I really should have included. In retrospect I think I was simultaneously trying to Highlight Overlooked Gems, bring my version of Cool New Wave into focus (guitars, synths, stop-start rhythms, “scientific” themes — it was all over the place really), and yet still ensure that the whole thing never sunk too deeply into the perilous territory of Artsy Crap or Gloppy Wuss Pop. Whether I succeeded at this is debatable, but hey — in the spirit of Staying True To The Original Intentions I’ve kept the lineup (no matter how very, very available several of these tracks have gone on to become) the same as the originally proposed product. In my brain this playlist was likely to break down into two 30 minute LPs, with the mighty BOB kicking off Side One of each volume.

So there you have it — 60 minutes of retro futurism as filtered through a late 90’s bootleg mentality! Finally, right? Enjoy!

New Wave Twist – 1979-1981 (320 kbps, 130.2 MB, images included)

01. BOB (San Francisco, CA) – Thomas Edison (1980)
02. Vibrant Fiasco (Madison, WI) – Lizard Lips (1980)
03. The Front (Miami, FL) – It’s Over (1980)
04. The Bees (South Plainield,NJ) – Curcuit Breaker Boy (1979)
05. The Clones (St Louis, MO) – When You Called Me His Name (1980)
06. Adaptors (San Francisco, CA) – In The Slot (1979)
07. Dow Jones And The Industrials (Indianapolis, IN) – Ladies With Appliances (1981)
08. The Shades (Austin, TX) – Snowy Day (1980)
09. Zach Swagger (Arlington, VA) – Try To (1981)
10. The Frosties (Louisville, KY) – Since I Met You (1981)
11. Los Reactors (Tulsa, OK) – Laboratory Baby (1981)
12. Pink Section (San Francisco, CA) – Francine’s List (1980)
13. BOB (San Francisco, CA) – The Things That You Do (1980)
14. Skuddur (Omaha, NB) – Rehab Center (1980)
15. The Units (San Francisco, CA) – Work (1979)
16. TV Toy (Dover, NJ) – Spearhead (1981)
17. The Philosophic Collage (St Louis, MO) – Decline (1981)
18. The Judy’s (Peerland, TX) – Rerun (1981)
19. Open End (Lee Center, NY) – Video Games (1981)
20. Billy Clone and the Same (Tempe, AZ) – Asexual (1979)
21. E-in Brino (Indianapolis, IN) – Indianapolis (1981)
22. The Toasters (Los Angeles, CA) – Teenage Tease (1980)
23. The Tom and Marty Band (Richmond, VA) – New Wave Twist (1981)

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