[Post-Punk] – ‘Post-Punk For Kids’ (1978-1984)


Stream the mixes while you read; download at the bottom of this post.

Musicophilia has tackled some very big Post-Punk collections over the years, like the nine-mix, 400+ artist ‘1981‘ box set that started it all, or the not-much-smaller ‘1979‘ and ‘2007/2017‘ sequels, along with the slightly smaller ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook‘ collection and the 3LP ‘No Heroes‘ covers set.  Well this time, we’re going for something a little. . . littler, pun intended.  This time, we present: ‘Post-Punk for Kids‘.  Because as we all know, it’s never too early to get your kids wearing all black and sulk-shuffling to Joy Division, or sharpening their revolutionary politics with Gang of Four.  Well, no, that’s not exactly what we’re going for.  Post-Punk, as I’ve argued, unfortunately stands in the shadows of its dourest proponents (much as I love them, too, at their best, like good ol’ JD).  This is particularly unfortunate in my opinion because most of what makes Post-Punk so great is that it’s not one aesthetic or mood, but rather a musical outlook essentially defined by a voracious appetite for musical adventure, tempered with some tendencies toward DIY restraint and artful taste.  And so the severely underrated, but completely essential qualities of Post-Punk are: playfulness, fun, even occasional joyfulness and silliness.  That’s what we’re going for here.  As 49 Americans say on “It’s Time,” “happy music doesn’t have to be dumb,” and that’s how Post-Punk does happy.

I made a version of this mix years ago for friends whose kids were at the time in the under-ten set.  Such young ones are opportunistically preyed upon by the Barneys the Purple Dinosaurs, the Kidz Bops, the Disneys of the world, who drill into nascent minds with their ruthless earworms, demanding total fealty to a very few tunes from minds that otherwise are prone to flit hither and yon with adventurous abandon.  More painfully, parents are dragged with their indoctrinated children into these cults of ‘Frozen’ or (at best) ‘Moana,’ hearing the tunes so relentlessly they nearly displace a prior lifetime worth of beloved music, and they find themselves singing them even in the shower in those few moments of solitude.  I admit: I don’t have kids.  And so these three short mixes, themed for “Wake-Up Time,” “Playtime,” and “Sleepytime,” are probably created out of total naivete.  (I’ve babysat nephews and niece for only a couple days at a time, and I’ll concede I didn’t make great inroads awakening them to the wide world of human creativity beyond ‘Boss Baby‘ and ‘Minecraft‘).  But still: I offer these three <32 minute mixes up to you parents of musical taste, in the slim hopes that your kiddos will mistake these buoyant, catchy Post-Punk tunes for the next big ugly thing from Dreamworks, and start to demand to hear The Cramps’ “Don’t Eat Stuff Off the Sidewalk” or 49 Americans “It’s Time” or or XTC’s “Helicopter” or Young Marble Giants’ “Salad Days,” and finally let go of *%&#@* “Let It Go” after its 4,973rd encore.  And if you don’t have kids–well, you could do worse for a Post-Punk booster shot.

Please, spend your kids’ college funds buying records and supporting these artists.  A university education will cost roughly $675,000 by the time they’re ready, anyway, so you’re better off building a music collection that they can inherit one day–and if you get them going early enough with these tunes, maybe they’ll even thank you for it. (A note on lyrical content: a lot of the music is sing-along safe, but I can guarantee no curses, and the rest is buffeted by traditional rock-lyrics inanity such that anything that even hints at grown-up stuff (love, pain, existential ennui, Feminist-Marxist philosophy) will be obscured by lyrical inscrutability and, more importantly, musical fun.)

Various – ‘Post-Punk For Kids
1. Wake-Up Time

01 [0:00:00] 49 Americans – “It’s Time” (‘We Know Nonsense’, 1982)
02 [0:02:35] XTC – “Helicopter” (‘Drums & Wires’, 1979)
03 [0:06:25] Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough” (‘Speak & Spell’, 1981)
04 [0:09:55] The Feelies – “Fa Ci-La” (‘Crazy Rhythms’, 1980)
05 [0:11:55] Liquid Liquid – “Optimo” (‘Optimo’ single, 1983)
06 [0:14:30] Stick Men – “Mystery Party” (‘This Is The Master Brew’, 1982)
07 [0:16:05] The Raincoats – “No Side to Fall In” (‘The Raincoats’, 1979)
08 [0:17:50] Talking Heads – “Thank You For Sending Me an Angel” (‘More Songs…’, 1978)
09 [0:20:00] Wire – “Outdoor Miner” (‘Chairs Missing’, 1978)
10 [0:21:40] Plastics – “Robot” (‘Plastics’, 1981)
11 [0:24:35] Wipers – “Misfit” (‘Is This Real?” outtake, 1979)
12 [0:26:10] Lizzy Mercier-Descloux – “Mission Impossible” (‘Fire’ single, 1979)
13 [0:28:35] Family Fodder – “Film Music” (‘Film Music’ single, 1981)

[Total Time: 0:32:35]
2. Playtime

01 [0:00:00] The B-52s – “52 Girls” (‘The B-52s’, 1979)
02 [0:03:35] Bow Wow Wow – “Golly Golly Go Buddy” (‘See Jungle!…’, 1981)
03 [0:06:05] The Cramps – “Don’t Eat Stuff Off the Sidewalk” (‘Psychedelic Jungle’, 1981)
04 [0:07:55] Swell Maps – “Full moon In My Pocket” (‘A Trip To Marineville’, 1979)
05 [0:09:25] Devo – “Snowball” (‘Freedom Of Choice’, 1980)
06 [0:11:50] Half-Japanese – “Rave On” (‘1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts’, 1980)
07 [0:13:30] Chris & Cosey – “This Is Me” (‘Heartbeat’, 1981)
08 [0:16:25] The Slits – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (‘Typical Girls’, 1979)
09 [0:20:20] Jonathan Richman – “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” (‘Back In Your Life’, 1979)
10 [0:22:15] Trio – “Da Da Da” (‘Da Da Da…’ single, 1982)
11 [0:25:35] Twinkeyz – “Moonbabies” (‘Aliens In Our Midst’ compilation, 1979)
12 [0:28:10] The Cure – “The Caterpillar” (‘The Top’, 1984)

[Total Time: 0:31:50]
3. Sleepytime

01 [0:00:00] Arthur Russsell – “A Little Lost” (‘Another Thought’ compilation, 1982)
02 [0:03:15] Durutti Column – “Sketch for Summer” (‘The Return of The Durutti Column’, 1980)
03 [0:06:10] New Musik – “This World of Walter” (‘Anywhere’, 1981)
04 [0:09:00] Gary Numan – “Stories” (‘Dance’, 1981)
05 [0:12:05] Antena – “Noella a Hawaii” (‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ compilation, 1982)
06 [0:15:10] Scritti Politti – “The Sweetest Girl” (‘Songs to Remember’, 1982)
07 [0:21:15] Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Souvenir” (‘Architecture & Morality’, 1981)
08 [0:24:45] Young Marble Giants – “Salad Days” (‘Colossal Youth’, 1980)
09 [0:26:40] Essendon Airport – “Wallpaper Music” (‘Sonic Investigations of the Trivial’ EP, 1980)

[Total Time: 0:32:10]

Download ‘Post-Punk for Kids (1978-1984)’ Here (136 MB)

Stream here:


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