Fragmented thoughts on rock, reading and other delights.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I just checked my blogroll for the first time all day and saw the bad news, posted by Brian at This Ain't the Summer of Love, that Poly Styrene just passed away due to complications from cancer. Poly (born Marianne Elliott-Said) was one of the great women of punk with a wonderful air raid siren of a voice. She was the lead singer for one of the most creative bands to emerge from the British punk scene of the late '70s, X-Ray Spex, and she wrote some of the most trenchant lyrics of any punk songwriter, questioning the daily rituals of consumerism that give us all a sense that our identities have been manufactured for us by some large impersonal system. Anyone reading this who has not heard the X-Ray Spex album Germfree Adolescents, stop reading and go find a copy to listen to now. You won't regret it.
Meanwhile, in memory, here's a rockin' video performance of the band playing their pivotal first single, "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" An anthem for female rockers everywhere...
Axman is Steve Waksman, a professor of music and American Studies at Smith College, author of Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience and a new book on heavy metal and punk.