LISTEN UP #1
A nine track mix featuring some of our favorite 80s ladies. Read about it below!
1. “Earn It” - ESG
ESG, standing for “Emerald, Sapphire, and Gold” was formed in 1978 by a group of four sisters from the Bronx, the Scroggins. Valerie played drums, Deborah played bass, Marie played congas and sang vocals with Renee. They were accompanied by their friend Tito Libran who played congas and sang, as well.
ESG is often described as a part of the New York post-punk and no wave movement of the time, but Renee says she doesn’t like labels. She would just call it dance music, according to an interview with the Detroit Metro Times. Valerie said she would describe their music as funky, in an interview with Tom Tom Mag.
ESG is cited as one of the most sampled groups by hip-hop artists and DJs. This track, “Earn It”, comes from their debut self-titled EP released in 1981. To date, ESG has released five studio albums and continues performing.
2. “Eating Noddemix” - Young Marble Giants
In 1978, Welsh brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham joined vocalist Alison Statton and their cousin Peter Joyce to create Young Marble Giants. Peter was an electronics wiz who built his own synth and drum machine. The band played with taped recordings from the drum machine since they had no desire to have an actual drummer. Alisons vocals have been described as cool and dispassionate, ghostly and fragile.
Their style was less aggressive than other punk music at the time but just as simple which strongly influenced indie pop music to come. During the two years that they played together they released one album titled Colossal Youth. When Young Marble Giants split up in 1980 Alison formed the jazz-influenced band Weekend with Simon Emmerson and Spike Williams and in the late 80’s she released two recordings with the guitarist from Ludus, Ian Devine. Now she works as a chiropractor.
Young Marble Giants has played several reunion shows since they disbanded but they announced that their very show was in London in August of 2015.
3. “Shift The Blame” - Model Citizens
Model Citizens was formed in 1979. “Shift The Blame” comes from their only release, a 7” EP of the same name which features only four songs. The EP was released on Spy Records and produced by John Cale of the Velvet Underground. Around the same time Cale was also producing for Patti Smith, The Modern Lovers, The Stooges, and many more.
Model Citizens were based in New York, and many of the members also played in no wave band The Dance and new wave band Polyrock. There are some great live videos of Model Citizens floating around on the web that I would recommend checking out!
4. “Anger” - Pink, Plastic, and Panties
Pink, Plastic, and Panties were an all-girl band born in the Netherlands. This song was released with “Bla Bla” in 1980 on the bands only pressing. There is practically no information about them online and all of their identities are a mystery.
5. “Banana” - 3F=C
The two members of 3F=C, Noriko and Sumiko, played Bass and guitar respectively. They both sang. Sumiko also fronted the punk band Kyah! Their songs are minimal and quick, and sound full even without drums. This track come from their only release, a six song flexi disc from 1984.
6. “Konsumier Mich” - Plastix
The Austrian new wave band, Plastix formed in 1980 in Vienna. The title of this song translates to “Consume Me”. Legend has it the band was named after someone’s dad who owned a plastic company, but don’t ask me where I got that information.
The band was composed of Andrea, Christian, Martin, Paul and Peter and while they were only together for a year they released an LP and a 7 inch and recently, in 2014, they were released on the French record label, Danger 3.
7. “My Boyfriend” - Suburban Lawns
Suburban Lawns began in 1978 Long Beach, California, across the country from the New York no wave scene. “My Boyfriend” comes from their debut 7”, Gidget Goes to Hell. They followed up with two more seven inches and one full length self-titled album.
The members of the band used pseudonyms during their time together, Frankie Ennui and John Gleur played guitar, Chuck Roast played drums, and Vex Billingsgate played bass. Suburban Lawns was fronted by the iconic Su Tissue, who is known for her stoic stage presence. In 1982, Su Tissue went on to study at Berklee College of Music to study piano and later release a solo album, while Frankie Ennui and Vex Billingsgate formed a short-lived band The Lawns.
8. “Shopping” - Pink Section
Pink Section, was an art punk band in San Francisco during 1979. The four members Mr. Todd, Judy, Stephen and Carol were all multi-instrumentalists and they released a self titled EP on Modern Records in 1980. However this song, “Shopping”, was released the year before on the bands only 7” along with the track “Tour of China”.
The band has been praised for the humor and emotion their music brings. After the band broke up, Judy and Carol went on to form Inflatable Boy Clams with their friends Jojo and Genieve. They released a sweet 7” that I recommend checking out!
9. “Mind Your Own Business” - Delta 5
English post-punk band Delta 5 existed for only a short while from 1979-1981. The band includes two bassists, Ros Allen and Bethan Peters, as well as multiple vocalists.
Their lyrics have hints of snark and sarcasm. The band was politically charged with feminist messages and involved with the Rock Against Racism movement of the time.
They’ve since been covered by numerous artists including R. Stevie Moore, Dum Dum Girls, and 1980’s band Shonen Knife. In 2006 Kill Rock Stars released a Delta 5 cd compilation.