Playing with a Different Sex – Au Pairs (1981)


“Pointed, biting and sharp without collapsing into either heavy-handed sloganeering or vitriolic gnashing; the sexual and gender disparity and displeasure that form the back-bone of Playing with a Different Sex’ intention are as dexterous as they are striking. Faced with both a lack of recognition during their tenure, and the fact that these lyrics are as depressively on-topic today as they were in 1981, the LP becomes a sort of self-enclosed watershed, an intimate catharsis for a woman made as infuriated, discouraged and tired as a being can get. Most every erotic and political aspect that plagues modern co-existence gets a nod here – open relationships forged under false pretenses, erotic sojourners posing as prime fetishists, domestic abuse, emotional manipulation, the cult of dieting, sex turned into little more than another suburban chore and on and on, all of which reaches a boiling point on the unflinching and jagged ‘Armagh,’ with the lead singer Lesley Woods chanting ‘We don’t torture!’ as she dives headlong into the rumours of rape and debasement that swirled around Northern Irish political women’s prisons, an issue raised and re-raised that ultimately gained no worldwide exposure. The track, made insidiously catchy by an elastic bass-line that flings itself around searing guitar salvos is a shuddering marvel, earworm writing and grimly meaningful subject matter pulsing away in obscene apposition. …”
Sputnik Music
W – Playing with a Different Sex
Genius
YouTube: Set Up – OGWT (Live), Come Again
YouTube: Playing with a Different Sex (Full Vinyl)

OP Magazine


Wikipedia – “OP Magazine, based in Olympia, Washington, was a music fanzine published by John Foster and the Lost Music Network (leading to the title, which extends the abbreviation LMN to LMNOP) from 1979 to 1984. It was known for its diverse scope and the role it played in providing publicity to DIY musicians in the midst of the cassette culture. The magazine was co-founded by Foster, Toni Holm, Dana Squires, and David Rauh. An emphasis of the magazine was ‘articles about music written by musicians’, and regular contributors included Victoria Glavin (Victoria Barreca), Peter Garland, Eugene Chadbourne, and Larry Polansky. When Foster ended OP after only twenty-six issues, (labeled A-Z, with topics within beginning with that issue’s letter), he held a conference, offering the magazine’s resources to parties interested in carrying on; two magazines became the dual successors to OP’s legacy: attendant journalist David Ciaffardini went on to start Sound Choice, which published until 1992, while Scott Becker, alongside Richie Unterberger, founded Option, lasting until 1998.”
Wikipedia
The Handmade Tale: by Kathleen McConnell
Tape OP

Cut – The Slits (1979)


“Here are some things you might already know about Cut, even if you haven’t heard one note of the Slits’ music: This is the first time the album’s been released domestically in the U.S. on CD (with the obligatory bonus tracks). The album cover features three members of the group wearing nothing but mud and loincloths. When the group first formed, they couldn’t play their instruments for shit. The songs on the album offer an amalgam of punk’s abrasive DIY WTF-ness and the spacious relaxed rhythms of dub reggae. This album is a keystone for any and all punk-based grrrl movements. And– though it goes without saying, it’s often said anyway– this album is terribly, terribly important in the history of the rock music and the grand scheme of canonical flippity floo flap. Funny thing is, for all its import, Cut is actually a lot of fun. Fun in the way Ari Up trills and coos and yelps across the songs like a precocious schoolgirl taunting all the boys and teachers. Fun in the way Viv Albertine scratches and waxes her guitar. Fun in the way Tessa’s bass and Budgie’s drums slip in and out of grooves like lovers test-driving the Kama Sutra. …”
Pitchfork
Guardian – Mud, music and mayhem: why the Slits’ Cut is still up for a fight
allmusic (Audio)
W – Cut
YouTube: Cut 32:01

Babylon Rockers #3 • Special guest Ganja Tree • DJ Set • Le Mellotron


“Leroy smart, Dennis Brown, Carl dawkins, Althea + Donna, Toyan and more.  Le Mellotron is all about people and music. In the beginning it was a blog that quickly takes the shape of a webradio gathering a growing community of music curators and lovers. Located in a bar just steps from Place de la Republique, in the heart of Paris, Le Mellotron beats day after day to the rhythm of the city, its people and streets. We strongly believe in a an emerging parisian musical scene, moved by its curiosity, able to capture and transform its worldwide influences. LeMellotron will be its amplifier.”
YouTube: Babylon Rockers #3 • Special guest Ganja Tree
Mixcloud (Audio)

Why the Clash Matter


“‘The only band that matters.’ There is charismatic hubris in this phrase, a declaration of radical faith. Fuck the past, the future is here and everything in music will be ruthlessly revamped in its wake. And when the description was applied to the Clash, it was easy to believe. Today, though, it’s easy to scoff at. Since the death of front-man Joe Strummer in 2002, the Clash have ascended into rock-and-roll mythos. No fewer than thirty books have been released on the band or on Strummer. Some of them are wonderful. Others are shallow and sloppy hagiographies. Their music has been used to hawk everything from boots to smartphones. Centrists in progressive clothing like Beto O’Rourke receive high praise for quoting ‘The Clampdown’ to Ted Cruz. Separating what’s commodity and spectacle from the band’s actual contribution is getting harder. The latest in the growing list of biographical material is ‘Stay Free: The Story of the Clash.’ Produced by Spotify in collaboration with the BBC and narrated by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, it’s the first podcast dedicated to the band’s history. It is an excellent piece of work, both in terms of substance and style. Social and cultural context play a prominent role in telling the story of the band’s evolution. Strikes, riots, movements, political explosions and implosions clearly inform their philosophy and musical practices as global capitalism reconstitutes itself in the 1970s and 1980s. …”
Jacobin

Visit John Ashbery’s Nest, Virtually


“Over the past few years, there has been a lot of attention paid to John Ashbery’s unusual and beautiful house in Hudson, New York, and its relationship to his poetry and aesthetics.  I’ve written about this before on a number of occasions, including about the concept behind ‘The Ashbery Home School’ writers retreat (which at least originally involved a visit to the Ashbery home), a recent gallery exhibit devoted to Ashbery as collector, and a gathering of critical essays on Ashbery’s ‘created spaces’ in Rain Taxi. If you aren’t one of the lucky few to be able to visit Ashbery’s home in person, rest easy: you can now visit this remarkable house virtually, thanks to ‘John Ashbery’s Nest,’ a stunning new project produced by Karin Roffman (who has just published a biography of Ashbery’s early years), in conjunction with the Yale Digital Humanities Lab. …”
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
John Ashbery’s Nest

Double Nickels on the Dime – Minutemen (1984)


Double Nickels on the Dime is the third album by American punk trio Minutemen, released on the California independent record label SST Records in 1984. A double album containing 45 songs, Double Nickels on the Dime combines elements of punk rock, funk, country, spoken word and jazz, and references a variety of themes, from the Vietnam War and racism in America, to working-class experience and linguistics. After recording new material, each band member selected songs for different sides of the double album, with the fourth side named ‘Chaff’. Several songs on Double Nickels on the Dime were outsourced to or inspired by contemporaries, such as Black Flag‘s Henry Rollins and Jack Brewer of Saccharine Trust. Double Nickels on the Dime is seen not only as Minutemen’s crowning achievement, but, according to critic Mark Deming, ‘one of the very best American rock albums of the 1980s’. … Minutemen were formed by guitarist D. Boon and bassist Mike Watt, both from San Pedro, California, in 1980.[5] After their previous band, The Reactionaries, disbanded in 1979, the pair continued to write new material and formed the band with drummer Frank Tonche a year later. Minutemen signed to the Californian independent record label SST Records following their second gig. George Hurley, the former drummer of The Reactionaries, replaced Tonche as drummer soon afterwards. The Minutemen were noted in the California punk scene for a philosophy of ‘jamming econo’; a sense of thriftiness reflected in their touring and presentation. …”
Wikipedia
Pitchfork
Graded on a Curve: Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
allmusic (Audio)
YouTube: Double Nickels On The Dime LP 1:22:49