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Published on Aug 3, 2007

The women of early 80's PostPunk!
(See also the video: "X-RAY SPEX -DAY THE WORLD TURNED DAY-GLO (1978)" ) The spirit of Punk was to try anything without restraint. As soon as it became a recognizable formula -as in Sid- the media rushed to pronounce it dead after two years. But in truth it had already mutated past them. Worldwide, a new attitude virused: challenge everything, try it from another angle, go to next. The word PostPunk is a loose term used to describe the eclectic electric that ensued from 1978 to around 1982. Punk wasn't supplanted, it was the planter of the seeds that grew into most cutting edge music made since. The holy trinity of 'Joy Division/Wire/Gang Of Four', bands from the dawn of the 80's, are the obvious blueprint for modern disciples like Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, She Wants Revenge, Radio 4, The Killers, and Elefant; the bounding deadpan-yet-funky pulse, the polyrhymic crack of drums, the sheets-of-noise guitar, and the wired automaton vocals. But PostPunk was more than that trio. It encompassed world musics and Dub, Punk-Funk, Death Disco, No Wave noise, Mutant Disco, proto-Industrial, Goth, HipHop hybrids, skronky jazz fusion and Harmolodics, and more. And most importantly, there were more women in this revolution than any time before in Rock history.

The following women are the mothers of most rocker grrrls today. All of this music was too intense for the times and ignored, but now is the soundtrack of the current generation. Whether they know it or not. From these pioneers we get The Breeders, Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Hole, Elastica, Cibo Matto, Garbage, Sleater-Kinney, Ladytron, Chicks On Speed, Lesbians On Ecstasy, Erase Errata, Boyskout, Peaches, Electrocute, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Metric.

The architects: LENE LOVICH (US/UK) and NINA HAGEN (Germany), updating Yma Sumac for the new wave; ARI UP and THE SLITS, exploring the wilds of world dub (UK); LiLiPUT, the best PostPunk band you've never heard of and equal to any (Switzerland); FATAL MICROBES, a teen band featuring two kids of Vi Subversa from the Poison Girls (UK); STINKY TOYS, who played the first all-Punk show ever with the Pistols and newcomer 'Suzie and the Banshees' (France); the minimalist robot synth of FLYING LIZARDS, featuring PATTI PALLADIN of Snatch(NY/UK); TINA WEYMOUTH and the TALKING HEADS, the fountainhead for indie dress, PunkFunk, and more styles than we've caught up with (New York); the collective PULSALLAMA, with Wendy Wild and Ann Magnuson, bringing polyrhthmic fun (NY); THE BLOODS with funky punk; LIZZY MERCIER DESCLOUX making dissonant guitar clang danceable (France/NY); THE MODETTES modeling impossibly catchy pop with reggae bounce (NY); JILL KROESEN with rhythmic skronk and chant (NY); The BUSH TETRAS, a funky punk band whose influence covers Romeo Void to Kim Gordan (NY); the brilliant spartan funk of E.S.G. by the Scroggins sisters (South Bronx); Her Mercurial Majesty of Goth and so much more, SIOUXSIE SIOUX (UK); the stripped edge of Young Marble Giants, whose 'Credit In the Straight World' was covered by Hole (Wales); Y PANTS forecast the bratty casualism of Bratmobile (NY); UT rode tribal drums and fuzzy chords through alien synths (NY); TINA WEYMOUTH and Chris Frantz of TOM TOM CLUB spun the NY scene's punkfunk through hiphop and reggae to conquer the world with 'Genius Of Love' (NY); ...while KIM GORDAN and SONIC YOUTH channeled the scene's No Wave noise into a startling career (US); the punkfunk priests GANG OF FOUR converted bassist SARA LEE to the cause in their second revolution (UK/US); VANESSA BRISCOE emitted the bent transmissions of PYLON (Georgia); Throbbing Gristle had split nicely into the fresh folds of CHRIS & COSEY, with conceptual and sexual artist COSI FANNI TUTTI (UK); The SELECTER sure picked it right with lead singer PAULINE BLACK kicking tough ska (UK); EDITH NYLON made the synth pop and kick (France); ALICE BAG of the Bags now crusaded with the CAMBRIDGE APOSTLES (L.A.); SU TISSUE cut an askew swath through SUBURBAN LAWNS (L.A.); Native American DEBORAH IYALL serenaded in the ROMEO VOID (San Fran); DOMINATRIX predated Lords of Acid and Peaches with sexual dance music (NY); and LAURIE ANDERSON made the avant-garde fun and grooving (NY).

About LiLiPUT: This Swiss punk band started as Kleenex but got sued. As LiLiPUT, their flexible punk now flourished through ever fluid line-ups. At the center always were guitarist Marlene Marder and bassist Klaudia Schiff. Their vocals and restless spirit were the pulse that propelled a winding course; tough punk, kraut rock redux, loping pop, angular beauty. All of the work of both bands has been compiled by the Kill Rock Stars label on the affordable double-CD, "LiLiPUT" (KRS 373; 2001). Expand your world with the sonic peers of The Slits and the Raincoats!

Also, these CDs:
NEW YORK NOISE 1, 2, & 3
NAO WAVE (Brazil postpunk)
"RIP IT UP & START AGAIN", by Simon Reynolds

Check out these web resources:
-Women In Punk:
-Alice Bag's great site on Women of L.A. Punk:

(All rights reserved. Fan-made video to promote awareness of the artists.)

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