[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 2′


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/

Volume Two of ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ continues an exploration of some of the contributions of women to post-punk sounds and culture begun with Volume One, and which will be continued in a third volume.  As I stated previously, women don’t seem to be outside of or secondary to the main artistic and cultural thrust of the post-punk milieu, and so this mix is just as much an introduction to post-punk’s variety and energy as it is any sort of sub-story.  That said, several tracks on this mix can be heard as a feminine/feminist perspective on a number of the central ideological concerns of post-punk: questioning of the centrality of binary romantic love to life and society; gender inequality and its parallels to racial and economic inequality; and an ambivalent relationship with notions of hipness and “cool,” among other themes.  The titles might suggest a politicised or satirical reading: “It’s Obvious,” “Love und Romance,” “52 Girls,” “Boy,” “That’s The Way Boys Are,” “But I’m Not;” and they will likely reward such a listening.  But the post-punks were focused on the artistic, the musical, the visceral at least as much as the political and the polemical: they’d learned the lesson Fela, Bob Marley, or James Brown taught: that the message goes down best with a groove (even if that groove tended to be a little bent, with the post-punks).  If this is political music, it certainly isn’t po-faced politics.

Over a 45-minute mix, you’ll find Family Fodder, one of my top five post-punk bands who rarely fail to excite new listeners; Chris & Cosey (with the only track repeated from the ‘1981’ set); Japan’s goofy-fun Plastics; Georgia’s Pylon and the B-52’s; The Slits, the Au Pairs, Vivien Goldman and less-heard post-No Wavers Y Pants with wickedly subversive skewerings of traditional gender expectations and concepts of romance (as well as of the traditional electrified masculinity of Rock); the slinky Swamp Children; the earliest, maddest Cocteau Twins; the smooth bossa-post-punk of Antena; and electro-tinged tracks from Siouxsie & The Banshees and Thick PigeonBe sure to grab Volume One if you have not already, and be sure to grab Volume Three in the near future.  Full tracklist and download link after the “more…” link.

Various – The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Volume 2  (1979-1983)

01  [00:00]  Family Fodder – “Savoir Faire” (Monkey Banana Kitchen, 1980)
02  [02:23]  Au Pairs – “It’s Obvious” (Playing With a Different Sex, 1981)
03  [08:43]  Chris & Cosey – “This Is Me” (Heartbeat, 1981)
04  [11:42]  Plastics – “Back to Wigtown” (Origato Plastico, 1980)
05  [14:20]  Pylon – “Cool” (Cool/Dub 7″, 1979)
06  [17:18]  The Slits – “Love und Romance” (Cut, 1979)
07  [19:46]  Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Lunar Camel” (Kaleidoscope, 1980)
08  [22:43]  The B-52’s – “52 Girls” (The B-52’s, 1979)
09  [26:19]  Swamp Children – “Boy” (Little Voices EP, 1981)
10  [29:36]  Y Pants – “That’s The Way Boys Are” (Beat It Down, 1982)
11  [32:30]  Antena – “Camino Del Sol” (Camino Del Sol, 1982)
12  [36:15]  Vivien Goldman – “Launderette” (Launderette 7″, 1981)
13  [39:14]  Cocteau Twins – “But I’m Not” (Garlands, 1982)
14  [41:55]  Thick Pigeon – “Jess + Bart (Mix)” (Unreleased [Miranda Dali bonus], 1983)

[Total Time: 45:10]

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6 thoughts on “[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 2′

  1. Family Fodder are definitely top 5 post-punk bands all-time for me. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was discovering them around 2002 that catalysed my long-standing interest in/awareness of mostly “big name” post-punk bands (Talking Heads, Go4, Wire, B-52s, et al) into the realisation that something much, much broader, deeper, bigger and more coherent had happened in the late 70s/early 80s–and most importantly, that it had been a lot of fun! So perhaps they’re why I can tend to be a crank about “Post-Punk doesn’t mean Joy Division and grey overcoats and Marxist agit-prop!”. They have artistic integrity, they’re not just being silly–but like they say best, “when you make music, you play!”. If you’re just discovering them–oh man, I envy you.

    Douglas Wolk did everyone a service with his single-disc compilation on Dark Beloved Cloud (although even through about 2004 you could get copies of almost every original LP/single direct from Jungle Records)–but I’m really disappointed that when DBC’s license on the material expired, Jungle decided to release another best-of comp–a 2CD job! 2CDs could easily fit the complete ‘Monkey Banana Kitchen’ (their essential LP), the ‘Sunday Girls’ and ‘Schizophrenia’ EPs, and all their singles, with room to spare for a couple unreleased tracks. And all that stuff deserves to be heard, in full.

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