Behold an absolutely monstrous compilation of female fronted punk bands from all over the world from the mid to late ‘70s to the mid 80s (and a little beyond). Some of the artists you’ve heard of (Blondie, Crass, The Avengers, Josie Cotton, Kleenex, Honey Bane, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Rezillos, Slits, Malaria!, etc.) but others, trust me on this, there’s just no way you could have heard of all of them. The fellow who compiled this beast is a master. An expert’s expert! A maven’s maven!
This gargantuan set represents a deep education in an exciting, but for the most part never really respected sub-genre of punk. It would be overstating the case to say it has aspirations of being a Harry Smith-type collection of punk and obscure hardcore bands, but some of this stuff I don’t think I’d ever come across if given two lifetimes. Apparently some of these songs come from cassettes, probably copied one at a time. Obviously plenty of the tracks were taken from vinyl 45 RPM records. And the stuff from the Eastern Bloc countries…. I mean, where did he get this stuff?
What a maniac! It must have been really hard to collect all of these songs, even in this day and age. Without a deep knowledge of the subject, it would be difficult to even search for some of these records on Google. Like I say, it’s damned impressive.
From the Kangknave blog (where you will find all of the download the links and a track listing):
This is a pretty insane project put together by my pal Vince B. from San Francisco a few years back. As the title indicates, this is a homemade 12 x CD-R (!) compilation of punk bands fronted by female vocalists from 1977 to 1989. More like a giant mixtape than a compilation, as he only made 36 copies which he sent to friends and people who submitted material. You may notice that some of the bands didn’t have a steady female vocalist (The Lewd, etc.) but he still included songs that were sung by another member of the band. This is as international as it gets, with stuff ranging from world famous Blondie or Crass to the most obscure Eastern European cassette compilation veterans. The boxset came packaged in a hand-numbered fancy translucent lunchbox enclosing all 12 CD-Rs, a stack of full-colored cards featuring comprehensive tracklist and artwork/info, as well as a manga pin-up figure! Talk about a labor of love.
New York, 1999: Blondie’s first show in their home city for 17-years.
Having split-up in November 1982, Blondie’s started reform as a band in 1996, when Debbie Harry and Chris Stein contacted original members Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, and Gary Valentine. This tentative re-grouping led to a tour and eventually a mixed-bag of an album No Exit, which was recorded without Valentine, who was once again out of the band by 1997. No Exit gave Blondie, their first UK number single, “Maria,” in 20-years.
Blondie: Live in New York 1999 mixes old favorites, with new songs from No Exit. The show was originally recorded for VH1, and a longer version was later released on DVD.
02. “Hanging On The Telephone”
03. “Screaming Skin”
04. “Forgive And Forget”
06. “Union City Blue”
07. “Sunday Girl”
09. “Call Me”
10. “Boom Boom In The Zoom Zoom Room”
Blondie are currently on tour, playing the Isle of Wight Festival next weekend, details here.
In my book, Debbie Harry can do no wrong. Whether with Blondie or as a solo artiste, Ms. Harry has made this little planet of ours a much better place—even if it is for just for 3 minutes of pop heaven at a time. Here the talented and iconic singer gives an excellent interview to Annie Nightingale—who is no slouch herself, and was the British first female DJ on BBC radio 1. Interviewed for the series One to One while promoting her album Def, Dumb & Blonde, Ms. Harry allows access to all areas of her career, and gives Nightingale some very honest and revealing answers.
I miss Tony Wilson. I miss the idea of Tony Wilson. Someone who had an enquiring mind and was full of intelligent enthusiasms, like Tony Wilson. And who also didn’t mind making a prat of himself when he got things wrong. Or, even right.
I met him in 2005 for a TV interview. He arrived on a summer’s day at a small studio in West London. He wore a linen suit, sandals, carried a briefcase, and his toenails were painted a rich plum color - his wife had painted them the night before, he said.
Wilson was clever, inspired and passionate about music. He talked about his latest signing, a rap band, and his plans for In the City music festival before we moved onto the Q&A in front of a camera. He could talk for England, but he was always interested in what other people were doing, what they thought, and was always always encouraging others to be their best. That’s what I miss.
You get more than an idea of that Tony Wilson in this compilation of the best of his regional tea-time TV series So It Goes. Wilson (along with Janet Street-Porter) championed Punk Rock on TV, and here he picks a Premier Division of talent:
Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks, John Cooper Clarke, Iggy Pop, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Penetration, Blondie, Fall, Jam, Jordan, Devo, Tom Robinson Band, Johnny Thunder, Elvis Costello, XTC, Jonathan Richman, Nick Lowe, Siouxie & the Banshees, Cherry Vanilla & Magazine….. The tape fails there!
The uploader ConcreteBarge has left in the adverts “for historical reference” that include - “TSB, Once, Cluster, Coke is it, Roger Daltery in American Express, Ulay, Swan, Our Price, Gastrils, Cluster & Prestige”.
So, let’s get in the time machine and travel back for an hour of TV fun.
Blondie: One Way or Another (2006) is a terrific BBC documentary full of energy and groovy interviews from the likes of Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson, Tommy Ramone, Roberta Bayley, Mike Chapman and Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads.
Blondie’s self-titled debut album never left my turntable for the first few weeks that it was released (1976). I was living in a hotel and had very few possessions. The Blondie album along with The Ramones and Patti Smith’s first lps were among the handful of stuff I owned - vinyl treasures that were soon joined by Television and Mink DeVille.
Spend a pleasurable 71 minutes with some of New York’s finest alumni of CBGB: Debbie, Chris, Jimmy and Clem.
Little-known are the two music videos directed by Oscar-winning Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger for Debbie Harry’s 1981 solo album KooKoo (for which Giger also did the now iconic cover art).
“Now I Know You Know” was written by Harry and Chris Stein and produced by Chic’s resident geniuses, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. At the time of KooKoo‘s recording, sick of being “Blondie” and taking a year off from the band, Harry had dyed her signature two-tone bleached-blonde hair brunette and was pictured on the album cover with four spikes going through her head and neck (something inspired by Giger’s visit to his acupuncturist).
The video was shot in H.R. Giger’s studio in Switzerland, in it Harry cavorts around in a sexy black wig, with make-up and a body-hugging catsuit painted by Giger.
Another video was shot by Giger—and he’s in it, too, judging from the hairstyle of the masked male “magician” character—for KooKoo‘s first single, “Backfired,” but it’s pretty weak, actually.
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein interviewed by the very nearly hip Pierre Salinger, former press secretary for President Kennedy, on TV show 20/20 in March of 1980.
This is surprisingly good for network TV. Some cool live footage. Chris discusses his nervous breakdown after binging on LSD.
Among the many interesting aspects of Pierre Salinger’s career was the fact that he stuck to his guns after declaring “If Bush wins, I’m going to leave the country.” George W. won and Salinger moved to France.
Age may weary and death may claim, but the ears will not condemn this fine selection of essential listening from Blondie, Joe Strummer, Ian Dury, Sonic Youth, David Bowie, Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen taken from Later with Jools Holland.
01. Blondie - “Heart of Glass” from 1998
02. Joe Strummer - “London Calling” from 2000
03. Ian Dury - “Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” from 1998
04. Sonic Youth- “Sacred Trickster” from 2009
05. David Bowie - “Ashes to Ashes” from 1999
06. Johnny Cash - “Folsom Prison Blues” from 1994
07. Leonard Cohen - “Dance me to the End of Love” from 1993
This Dutch TV documentary from 1977 captures some brilliant performances by The Stranglers, Blondie and The Sex Pistols. The bands are firing on all cylinders as they perform in Amsterdam.
In 1977, this is what was moving my world. I had just arrived in New York City and I felt like a sail in a hurricane. Slept all day and hit the clubs at night to see a rock revolution in the making.
The Stranglers at the Second Avenue Theater were particularly awe-inspiring. Unsung heroes of rock and roll, which is probably as it should be - no more heroes. Though, I have my share.
The Stranglers - No More Heroes, Something Better Change
Blondie - Detroit 442, Love at the Pier
Sex Pistols - E.M.I., Pretty Vacant, Anarchy in the UK
The video quality is pretty rough, which seems appropriate - like an underground transmission from the distant past. It’s also in Dutch without English substitles, but it hardly matters. The music speaks for itself.
This Channel 4 UK program from the mid-80s compiles some incredible performances culled from Tony Wilson’s late 70s Granada TV series, So It Goes. Includes the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop (with horsetail sticking out of his ass and saying “fucking” on 70s TV), The Fall, The Jam, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Penetration, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Tom Robinson, Magazine, John Cooper Clarke, XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sham 69 and ending with the classic clip of Joy Division performing “Shadow Play.” Many of the groups represented here were making their TV debuts on So It Goes, a regional tea-time program.