Saturday, November 3, 2007

'Twang Thang

Checking the traps today, I saw a post from Jay Hinman over at Detailed Twang announcing the sad news that, a little over a year in, he's decided to call it quits and hang up the 'Twang. (For the record, he's still writing, just with a narrowed focus. You can find him getting "all judgemental & excited about craft beer" on his Hedonist Beer Jive blog; I'll spare you any "crying in my beer" cracks.)

The first thing I remember reading by Jay was a 2001 piece he wrote for Perfect Sound Forever on The Flesh Eaters (the longtime musical vehicle for New Texture's own Chris D.). That led me eventually to his all-music Agony Shorthand blog, then breathing its last after an unrivaled three year run of street-level music criticism and journalism (also, thankfully, still archived online).

Detailed Twang started as a kind of catch-all forum for thoughts on movies, politics and (naturally) music. But it eventually mutated into a treasured oasis among MP3 blogs, dedicated to sharing some of the wildest and most obscure music ever released. If Agony Shorthand was dedicated to covering the groups no one else was writing about, Detailed Twang's mission seemed to be letting you hear the music no one else even seemed to know about.

For those who never visited Detailed Twang, you've got enough catching up to do with the last year's worth of posts that you likely won't feel its loss right away; you've still got a lot of music to hear (and a lot of secret history to learn). But for those of us who have been following the posts hot off the upload, it's hard to not feel the weeks are going to pass a little bit more slowly, and there'll be a little less of the thrill of discovery about them.

It's an old and bittersweet irony that you have to go away to be missed. But the short life of Detailed Twang and the short lives of most of the groups it showcased have at least one small tragedy in common: too few know enough to miss them.