Wednesday, June 7, 2017


I'm currently reading David Byrne's How Music Works, his tome on everything music, from making it, to selling it, hearing it, making a scene, succeeding in the music biz and so on. It's like a fucking text book. It can get dry at times, but is pulled up, peppered with humorous references and great insights every time it seems to lull. If you're a serious musician or a total eggheead that likes music, both of which Byrne is, it should be considered required reading. I'm nearing the end and I've reached the chapter titled "Amateurs!" and there was this gem: "The 'don't give a shit' attitude of the amateur is another precious commodity." and then this "Amateurism, or at least the lack of pretension associated with it, can be liberating." Amen, egghead brother!

So, how do you pull on the heart strings of some cynical "I know what I like but really know what I hate" blogging asshat? The equation is something like this: take one part Hasil Atkins, one part Cramps, one part Flat Duo Jets, and a small town locale, and subtract finesse, budget, and the fucks that they (the band) do not give. You end up with Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands. Waylon Thornton plays guitar, and the Heavy Hands are just that, two hands belonging to his wife, who plays the drums, which are just that, two drums. Their music is simple, loose, spirited,  are completely devoid of pretension. And not only is there a lot of it (and yes, there are some misses), it's hard to buy it. You have to want to buy it. The bulk of it is either at Bandcamp as a "name your price" download, or at the Free Music Archive.

I've posted Thornton's stuff before, a couple years ago. The reason I'm posting his stuff again is not because I'm too lazy to think of something else. It's just that, in reading Byrne's book, every few pages I found myself thinking about Thornton and his wife, in some room someplace, making music because that's what they do (did). Not just in the book's chapter about amateurs. When Byrne starts to go into the business of music, you start to realize that it's all math and money, accounting. Who wants to think about that? That's time away from rocking out, time away from making music. Wayne Thornton and the Heavy Hands appear less concerned about selling their music than making it. It remains pure. Unheard by the vast majority of even the most fiendish of fiends. But you want to know if it's listenable. If you dig, for instance, the Adkins/Cramps/Flat Duo Jets ersatz trinity of trash, you'll probably dig them. I know some of you may think that their stuff is just total slop, total crap. I'd better not hear that from anyone who worships at the alter of Pussy Galore's cover of the Exile on Main St. That is total crap, total slop, but we all dig the idea right? If you do know that one, ask yourself, is the Pussy Galore Exile folly a bit pretentious? Self conscious "don't give a shit"-ist? Something to think about.

This just in: All of my previous attempts to find Thornton's music as a physical product (45, LP or other) were fruitless, but tonight I did find a 45 for sale, from 2015, him playing in another two piece, Strange Lords, with some other dude (not his wife). There were only 200 pressed. Get it while you can here.

Waylon Thornton - Human Worm mp3 at Gimme Tinnitus Phew!
Waylon Thornton – Four mp3
at Augasm
At Free Music Archive:

NOTE: Click on the downward pointing arrows, to the right of the song titles.

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