[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 1’


Update April 2017: The complete ‘Handbook’ series is now available for download–with a brand-new fourth mix–as a collection here:  https://musicophilia.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/post-punk-collected-young-ladys-post-punk-handbook-expanded-edition/

The first mix of a three-part series, Volume 1 of ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ is Musicophilia’s first mix-by-request, based on a 2-disc set I put together several years ago [here are ‘Volume Two‘ and ‘Volume Three‘].  Yet another reason I view “post-punk” as both distinct from and superior to “punk” is that it has little need for the traditional machismo of hard/arena/punk rock; indeed, it might be argued that a degree of political feminism and personal androgyny were prized or even required qualities of the ideal post-punk artist.  While I’m sure the ideal was rarely achieved, it would be hard to deny that seldom in its history has the Boys Club of Rock and Roll been more infiltrated by women as equal participants.  In a way, it seems slightly odd to explore “the role of women in post-punk” because I don’t want to ghettoise or marginalise it–women were so central that there is none of the feeling of searching for exceptions to the rule here: many of the artists featured are Big Names, who’d make any top-40 list of Most Important Post-Punk Bands.  However, singling women out only illustrates their centrality: you could play these mixes for a post-punk neophyte, and they would come away with a good sense of the breadth and depth of the fertile era/ethos; but they might not even notice, if you didn’t point it out, that the mix focuses on women.   So listen with your Gender Studies and Subaltern Political History caps on if you want–but you certainly won’t have to.  As long as you’re enjoying the music–and there’s no shortage of top-shelf tracks here–you’re getting what is important about the shifts post-punk brought to art-rock music.

‘Volume 1’ features performance artists, No-Wave inheritors, gentle proto-indie singer-songwriters, ska revivalists, dance-funk-disco popularizers, artsy weirdos, west-coast pop-punks, agit-prop art-punks, and more from between 1978 and 1983.  You’ll find Laurie Anderson; Delta 5; The Go-Go’s revealing a more pensive side; Raincoats deconstructing rock; X; Flying Lizards; Jane Hudson; Crass; Blondie; very early Sonic Youth; Selecter; Marine Girls; Lizzy Mercier-Descloux; and the lovely post-Young Marble Giants project Weekend.  Further volumes feature Family Fodder, Au Pairs, Pylon, The Slits, B-52s, Y Pants, Cocteau Twins, E.S.G., Lydia Lunch, The Pretenders and others.  These mixes make a nice companion to the ‘1981′ series, and I’ve avoided any track overlap with that or other post-punk mixes.  Download link and full tracklist (along with an update on upcoming mixes) after the “more…” link.  [Update: and here is ‘Volume Two‘ and ‘Volume Three‘]

Upcoming Mixes Update

Keep on the lookout for two further volumes of ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ to follow in the next few weeks.  You might want to subscribe to Musicophilia if you haven’t already, as I’ve got quite a few mixes either complete or nearing completion that will be coming up in the next couple months: the final three discs from the ‘1981′ box set along with a ‘1981’ addendum focusing on Deutsche Neu Welle; three more ‘Les Miniatures‘ “10-inch LPs” and other Miniatures Series mixes; a new Musique du Monde series focusing on early abstract electronics, musique concrete, and early electronic pop; two more mixes from the deep-listening ‘Sensory Replication Series;’ a mix or two of Post-Punk covers of Classic Rock & Pop; more ‘Le Tour du Monde‘ volumes from the mid-to-late-70s; and a follow-up to the ‘Post Post-Punk‘ mix.  Last but far from least in my opinion, a number of guest-mixes and blog-swaps, including a mix I’m really proud of called ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris,’ to be featured at the Gris-Gris on Your Doorstep blog.  Finally, I’d like to invite you to join in the conversation going on at the recent “Ethicophilia” post, on the ethics and practical considerations surrounding the nascent culture of mp3 blogging, mixing, downloading, music-making and music-buying.  Readers have presented some really interesting and thought-provoking ideas, and if nobody protests that I shouldn’t, I might try starting a few more “talking only” posts every month or two.

Various – The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Volume 1 (1978-1983)

01  [00:00]  Laurie Anderson – “Example #22” (‘Big Science,’ 1982)
02  [02:48]  Delta 5 – “Innocenti” (‘See the Whirl,’ 1981)
03  [04:54]  The Go-Go’s – “Automatic” (‘Beauty & The Beat,’ 1981)
04  [07:40]  Raincoats – “Red Shoes” (‘Odyshape,’ 1981)
05  [10:28]  X – “The Once Over Twice” (‘Wild Gift,’ 1981)
06  [13:01]  Flying Lizards – “Her Story” (‘Flying Lizards,’ 1979)
07  [17:17]  Jane Hudson – “Mystery Chant” (‘Flesh,’ 1983)
08  [21:00]  Crass – “Smother Love” (‘Penis Envy,’ 1981)
09  [22:46]  Blondie – “Heart of Glass” (‘Parallel Lines,’ 1978)
10  [27:17]  Sonic Youth – “I Dreamed I Dream” (‘Sonic Youth’ EP, 1982)
11  [31:55]  Selecter – “On My Radio” (‘Too Much Pressure,’ 1980)
12  [34:54]  Marine Girls – “A Place in the Sun” (‘Lazy Ways,’ 1983)
13  [37:26]  Lizzy Mercier-Descloux – “Funky Stuff” (‘Mambo Nassau,’ 1981)
14  [41:34]  Weekend – “Nostalgia” (‘La Varieté,’ 1982)

[Total Time: 45:18]

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24 thoughts on “[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 1’

  1. There should never be any passwords for any mixes associated with my blog. If you’re seeing a request for one, I can’t imagine why. Sorry : \

  2. Thanks, Tristan–and thanks for continuing to link to the music, I really appreciate it.

  3. Is the mix supposed to be one 45 minute track? No individual tracks? That’s what I got up in my iTunes…

  4. Yep–they’re done as mixes, partly as a means of not “pirating” individual recordings, and partly so hopefully people will listen like a mix-tape back in the day. There’s a time-code with the tracklist that shows when each track starts. Hope you enjoy the music–and seek out more, if you do : )

  5. Yup, the fileshare site (or someone) added a password to it. Could someone please upload it again, maybe to a better site like Rapidshare, or even to a personal Dropbox? That would be righteous, this music needs to be heard.

  6. I think your download may have been corrupted–I’ve test-downloaded it now and had no problems. Are you using your OS’s in-built .zip file extraction, or a dedicated extraction program? The mix has been downloaded nearly 700 times, and others more than 1400, so I’ve found Mediafire to be fairly reliable. . .

    I hope you find the music worth your trouble! Sorry for the problems.

  7. Awesome. But, alas, I am no longer young, but I wouldn’t be who I am without these artists that changed my life’s course 30 years ago. I would add Nina Hagen, Pearl Harbour, and Lilliput/Kleenex to this list, as well as the New Age Steppers, Patti Smith, (not technically post modern, but hey, she’s da bomb), Black Uhuru, and X Ray Spex. Sad that we’ve lost Ari Up and Puma, and elated to see the Au Pairs, YMG, Raincoats, and Delta 5 finally searchable on the internet after typing them into search engines and getting nothing until the last couple of years! I have no close (local) friends except my husband to share and enjoy these wonderful songs and the associated memories with. It’s nice to see others on my wavelength out there!!

  8. Hey, I saw this via Dangerous Minds website–thanks for posting these mixes, they’re wonderful!

  9. Well very odd… I too ran into the problem with Winzip asking for a password. So I used 7-zip and that appeared to successfully unzip it, or at least I now have a folder with 4 files, the relevant mp3 file being 50 MB in size. However it won’t even open with winamp (Invalid file!?) or VLC.

    Again very odd. However my system is overdue for a rebuild, I suspect it possibly has been infected with some of that DRM shyte. Been relatively unstable as of late. Will try some other things…

    That said, thanks for this series anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing them! :)

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