Record of the Day: Teenage Dance Party With King Uszniewicz And His Uszniewicztones

I recently discovered King Uszniewicz And His Uszniewicztones’ Teenage Dance Party (Norton, 1989) in our record collection, and it made my week. Every online write-up on King Uszniewicz and His Uszniewicztones is pretty much identical, and they all start with words such as out-of-tune, crude, inept, and end by calling the group a cult classic, or in one case, a “minor cult classic.” I don’t know about any of those words, I’m just going to say that the band is one of those things where either you get it or you don’t.

YouTube player

The group formed in Detroit in the 70s, playing nightly gigs at a bowling alley, which is where they were discovered by Cub Koda (Brownsville Station). He said the band was one of the worst he’s ever heard, but clearly he was so affected by what they were doing, he decided to record them and produce a record for them. His choice proves that ok, maybe these kids didn’t know how to play their instruments so well, and sure, they probably performed drunk and/or stoned, but clearly they were putting out a vibe that he felt the need to capture. Like an autograph page in a high school yearbook, what’s left is a time capsule of 1970s Detroit bowling alley rock, and who can say no to that?

YouTube player

King Uszniewicz And His Uszniewicztones were a party band. If I were a Detroit teen back in the day, I’d happily hit up any shindig where they were playing. No matter how “inept” they were at their instruments, you can’t deny that seeing them play just had to be a good time. And while I’m sure there’s a time and place to sit and calmly listen to an expert five-minute guitar solo or whatever, personally I’d rather be drunk and/or stoned and bopping around to a few young fellas churning out grimy and earnest covers of classic rock n roll hits.

YouTube player

Norton, the coolest record label, has released three compilations of U-Tones recordings, and after realizing we only own one of them, I quickly added the other two to my wishlist. Because I like a good time, and I think I’m not the only one.

YouTube player

About author View all posts


Dacia lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes, drinks & listens to records.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.