Friday, March 12, 2010

D.I.Y. - We're Desperate: The L.A. Scene (1976-1979)

We're Desperate divides much of it's playing time between radio-ready L.A. power-pop like the Motels, The Pop, The Quick and The Zippers, and punishing punk rock like The Dils, The Weirdos, The Germs.

While a strong entry to the series, especially when it adds crucial bands like The Plugz (who who would briefly, gloriously back-up Bob Dylan), The Zeros, X, and The Dickies it does feels a bit diffused, as if we're jerking into the early hardcore era (which Rhino would do with Faster, Louder) documented in Penelope Spheeris' The Decline of Western Civilization.

MRML Readers: What's best about the L.A. scene the power-pop or the punk bands? Leave us a comment!

D.I.Y. - We're Desperate: The L.A. Scene link is in the comments

No Thanks: The Seventies
Punk Rebellion available at Amazon



  2. Enjoyed your posting of this D.I.Y. series!

  3. LA punk scene is my favourite. But this comp coulda used some Geza. I mean he probably produced some of these tracks. And where is Avengers eh? I think an omission of any Dangerhouse band makes LA comps irrelevant.

  4. Forgot to thank you for posting the comp. So thank you!
    After listening I realized they mislabeled the Eyes song "Topological Lies" which was the b-side to TAQN.

  5. This and The Boston Scene are my two faves from the DIY series...probably cuz I lived in both areas in the late 70s/early 80s and got to see a lot of these bands live. Alley Cats were an awful live band, by the way.
    Also, is it just me or has ANYBODY ever noticed the similarity between the intros to both The Weirdos 'We Got The Neutron Bomb' and Paul Collins' Beat 'Walking Out On Love'????
    Avengers were from San Fran.

  6. Johnny
    So much more to come - save some room!

    I think Rhino did a two volume series on Dangerhouse by itself. And yeah I'm always for more Geza - "We Need More Power!" (And thanks for the eyes correction!)

    You are a lucky man and The Alley cats away seemed a little 2nd string to me so I can imagine them not being the best live band.
    Now I gotta go listen to the Weirdos and the Beat right after each other!

  7. This whole series has been fascinating for me because being in the UK we had similar scenes but with a whole pile of different bands... the only bands of yours we heard were the ones the record-company pluggers sent to radio-stations over here, and pretty much by definition where punk is concerned they're not going to be the 'best' acts, merely the safest and easiest to sell like 'The Ramones' etc who were barely punks at all by our standards, they were way too civilised...

    Of course this meant the LA scene was completely under our radar at the time - although a few of us were already online then there was no viable way to share music given the bandwidth available then!

    Thank you very much indeed for a valuable history-lesson.


  8. Richard
    While there was a lot of low-level interaction between the English and (North) American scenes of this time it's unbelievable now to remember how separate these two very similar cultures were.

  9. I didn't even know there was a Boston Scene of this series.

    I'll have to look it up. I wonder if anything can come close to the Real Kids?

  10. Anon
    Hard to beat The real Kids anywhere - great band with so little recognition.

  11. Thank you very much!

  12. Would LOVE a re-upload of this!! I bought the American Power Pop comps in this series and they're so great! Been on the lookout for this one, the Boston Scene one and NY scene one too, thanks!


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