Tuesday, January 27, 2009

last december, during a bout of finals-time blues, i staggered into cheapo and stumbled upon the coolest find of my record-buying life: a copy of twin/tone's 1978 comp "big hits from mid-america volume 3". the title's a nod to two previous volumes put out in the sixties by twin cities label soma.

twin/tone, sadly defunct, was one of the great american indie labels. the label gained its modicum of fame in the eighties, putting out lps by the the replacements and soul asylum, but the 14 bands and 22 songs on "big hits" suggest twin/tone got off to a rip-roaring start as well (the comp was the label's ninth release).

the compilation is essentially a document of the late seventies twin cities scene (well, part of it; an equally strong minneapolis r&b scene would produce a certain lavender-loving lothario, among others), an angry, sinewy amalgamation of summer of hate punk, new wave-ish sounds and good old fashioned garage rock. the quality of the double lp—every song is good—is a testament to how inspiring punk was, how solid and adaptable its formula is, and the awesomeness of the mpls/stp scene.

a few favorites from the album (the mp3s are kinda quiet, so you'll want to turn your speakers up):

uruguay 1983--nnb
complicated fun--the commandos
swan lake, mn--the swan lake six
paper girl--the jets


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