[Post-Punk] – ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ – Complete and Expanded Edition


Continuing on from the collected ‘1981’ mixes and the collected ‘Sensory Replication Series,’ this is the third in a series of Musicophilia collections that gather together musically connected mixes into one download.  This time we have what is probably the second most popular series after ‘1981,’ ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook,’ but with a special twist: eight years after the original three volumes, I’ve put together a brand-new Volume 4 mix!  To quote the original 2009 posts describing the impetus and purpose of the mixes:  “[the Handbook mixes serve] as an introduction to what is arguably the least male-centric, most maleable and voraciously all-encompasing form rock and roll has ever taken: post-punk of the late 70s and early 80s.  I generally view post-punk an extension of the artistic sensibilities of outre music of the late 60s and 70s (from the Velvet Underground and the Stooges to Can and Faust to Kraftwerk and Roxy Music, but also infused with heady funk, dub, Afrobeat and even musique concret); but even these predecessors tended to work in male-dominated idioms (though giving us major post-punk fore-mothers like Nico, Yoko Ono and Brigitte Fontaine).  One could argue for both a political and artistic “feminine/feminist” quality in post-punk (as made by women, but also by many men); and music on these mixes could be cited as evidence of newly heard female qualities brought to an interpretation of rock in these years.  But what’s interesting to me is that the women of post-punk seem to have felt completely free to express their feminine and masculine and simply human qualities freely. Few female musicians of post-punk seem to be “playing a man’s game,” nor presenting a “version” of the main channel, nor catering to male expectations of the “Rock Chick” (certainly not in an unproblematized, unironic way).  These figures stand as central to my understanding of this sort of music as any men.  And I feel they’re recognized broadly as pillars of the music.

Accompanying the original three volumes, the new Volume 4 adds another 14 tracks, tending toward the moodier, more rhythmic side of post-punk, but as you would expect with an underlying wit and playfulness.  The artists on the new volume tend toward the less well-known–but I think you’ll recognize a beloved Icelandic goddess here at a very young age and yet with trademark vocal styling already forming.  I feel the new volume is easily the equal of the originals.  Combined with the other three volumes, the collected ‘Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ serves as an excellent introduction to the full post-punk, from the serious to the zany; from the political to the personal to the personal-as-political; from bombastic to barely-there bedroom wispiness; from the technically proficient to the exuberantly untrained; from the moody to the unabashedly funky; arty, angular, pretty, dubby, electronic, martial, silly, irreverent, optimistic, angry, poppy, elitist: and often many of these things simultaneously.  Women were at the fore shaping every quality of these far-reaching sounds, more ethos and agency than “scene”.

With the addition of ‘Volume 4,’ the ‘Handbook’ now includes 55 artists/tracks, at just over three hours.  The full tracklist is included with the mixes, but artists and groups represented include: Laurie Anderson, Delta 5, The Go-Go’s, Raincoats, X, Flying Lizards, Jane Hudson, Crass, Blondie, Sonic Youth, Selecter, Marine Girls, Lizzy Mercier-Descloux, Weekend, Family Fodder, Au Pairs, Chris & Cosey, Plastics, Pylon, The Slits, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The B-52’s, Swamp Children, Y Pants, Antena, Vivien Goldman, Cocteau Twins, Thick Pigeon, Creatures, Eurythmics, Phew, E.S.G., Maximum Joy, Los Microwaves, Ludus, Crash Course in Science, Grace Jones, Lydia Lunch, Marilyn & The Movie Stars, Young Marble Giants, The Pretenders, Bush Tetras, Cha Cha Guitri, Malaria, Dog Eat Dog, The Glove, Noh Mercy, KUKL, The Lo Yo Yo, Tracy Thorn, Fall of Saigon, Krisma, Ut, Rip Rig & Panic, and This Mortal Coil.

In an era of Trump that recalls the puffed-chested macho-frailty of the Reagan/Thatcher years, the Swiss-army-knife resistance of post-punk seems as relevant as ever, and post-punk made by women perhaps even more so.  Parallel to contemporaneous funk/boogie/post-disco world, post-punk was never willing to become just po-faced militancy and stricture: rather, it resisted by being all-encompassing, open-minded and open-eared, holding to the core belief that art is why humanity is worth bothering with, and worth fighting idiots and fascists to preserve.

Below you can download the Complete and Expanded Collection of ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ in one 220MB download–as with the other collections, likely available for a limited time. Enjoy, say hello if you’d like, and please feel free to share this post with people who would enjoy this music. As always, I ask that you please purchase the music you enjoy, to help make sure these kinds of adventurous sounds remain available to be discovered.

Download the Complete and Expanded ‘Handbook’ Mixes

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16 thoughts on “[Post-Punk] – ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ – Complete and Expanded Edition

  1. Excellent collection of songs! I have a good portion of them spread over compilations and LPs however it’s nice to have digital recordings that I can load onto my iPod. Keep up the great work!

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  3. First of all, LOVE your mixes… really fantastic work and a great resource for anyone wanting to delve into and explore the areas you’ve covered (as I am certainly doing as I make my way through them). One thing though – any reason for the omission of any Kleenex/Lilliput from the above? There is a really fantastic collection called “First Songs” put out by Kill Rock Stars/Mississippi Records in 2016 covering most of their work… I think they’d fit in quite well with this collection. Still great stuff though!

  4. NT, I definitely love Kleenex and Liliput, and tried culling tracks both originally and when I did the 4th volume, but I guess I never found one that fit the mixes : \ Maybe if I ever do a 5th volume? Thabk you so much for checking out the mixes, and for saying hello!

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