[TypicalGirls] must-have list (final edit)

Dina Hornreich dina.hornreich at gmail.com
Mon Jun 18 13:21:47 EDT 2007

Dear friends,

I am submitting the final edit of the TG recommendations for the "Rock Camp for Girls" for your perusal. It has already been submitted. So please do not ask me to make any more changes.

We pared it down to some basic items that collectively seemed to give a decent *snapshot* of the essence of the music discussed on the TG listserv. (It is not a reflection of my personal tastes, but something more collective.) No, it's not representative of everything discussed all the time! Remember: You are not the target audience, the rock campers are! 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion. I gave careful consideration to every idea mentioned (even though the final product may not appear to be all inclusive). If I decide to revisit this project again in the future, I am certainly willing to explore other avenues and approaches (e.g. downloadable formats, etc.). 



The Typical Girls Listserv Presents: Must-Have CDs for Girl Rockers!
Compiled by the List Moderator, Dina Hornreich
With editing help from long-time List Member, Kevin John Bozelka

Bush Tetras: "Boom in the Night" collection of demos and EPs 1980-83 (ROIR)
"Boom in the Night" and "Too Many Creeps" come to mind almost every time I 
walk home in the middle of the night by myself, pondering the ideas of 
walking home alone with gross dudes yelling at me from their cars, and why I 
leave the house if I know it'll end with this. All of the Bush Tetras' 
lyrics veer towards repeated phrases that run from political to personal to 
nonsensical and their music borrows elements of punk, funk, art, and life at 
night to make something exotic, aloof, and a sound track to sing-a-long 
dance parties. (Marissa Magic)

Delta 5: "Singles and Sessions 1979-81" (Kill Rock Stars)
A funky, feminist-minded group.With two bass players and songs like the 
often-covered "Mind Your Own Business" and "You", Delta 5 stand out as one 
of the best from a scene that featured several female-friendly bands. (Bob 

Essential Logic: "Fanfare in the Garden" 2CD retrospective (Kill Rock Stars)
Early tracks like "Aerosol Burns" and "Popcorn Boy" feature neckbreaking 
changes in tempo and mood, with Lora Logic's self-assured vocals and 
presence making it all seem easy.  It's the sound of a recent high-school 
graduate wondering if her entire childhood and teenage life was a sham. 
Later tracks went for a more straight-ahead dance beat and a more spiritual 
approach, but are no less fascinating.  Sounds like nothing before or since. 
(Mike Appelstein)

ESG: "A South Bronx Story" retrospective (Universal Sound)
The Scroggins sisters often speak of their childhoods in the 1970s Bronx 
housing projects where they'd hear James Brown and the earliest rap records 
wafting through the air at neighborhood block parties.  Their own music 
mixed the most elemental rhythms of funk (some songs are just bass and 
drums) with hopscotch chants and adventurous production from Ed Bahlman and 
Joy Division producer Martin Hannett.  A huge influence on everyone from 
hip-hop producers to The Gossip whose "Standing In The Way of Control" 
features huge chunks of the ESG sound.  When Renee Scroggins invites you to 
"Dance" or "Come Away," you really have no choice in the matter.  (Mike 

LiLiPUT: (formerly named Kleenex) self-titled 2CD complete collection (Kill 
Rock Stars)
This two-disc set covers the 1978-83 oeuvre of LiLiPUT, Swiss riot 
godmothers who began life as Kleenex before a lawsuit occasioned a name 
change. Rather than blindly speeding forward, Kleenex/LiLiPUT pasted 
together sections of energy rush for some of the wildest sound collages of 
all-time. A battalion of squeaky toys, whistles, and non-words brought them 
closer to punk's supposed roots in the early 20th century anti-art movement 
Dada than any other band of the era. This was punk not as an opportunity for 
expression but as a strange new world to take up residency in. And many 
have - the original import from Switzerland is the album I have taped most 
often for seekers of great music. Pick to click: the several-songs-in-one 
disorder of 1981's eternal "Eisiger Wind." (Kevin John Bozelka)

The Raincoats: self-titled 1979 debut album reissue (Rough Trade)
The Raincoats' 1979 debut found the perfect ground between the Slits and 
[the Velevet Underground's] "White Light/White Heat" with its John Cale-ish 
violin, discordant but oddly gorgeous vocals, clattering 
stream-of-consciousness percussion and cachet of unpredictable songs. It 
still sounds like absolutely nothing else; in fact, its forthright and often 
witty approach to gender politics (including a killer cover of the Kinks' 
"Lola") makes it feel utterly contemporary. (Mike Appelstein)

The Runaways:  self-titled1976 debut album import reissue (Cherry Red UK)
This all female band could very well be considered the bridge between glam 
and the festering underground of the punk scene. Their songs are all about 
being a teenage bad girl and many a band was influenced by them (including 
later LA bands like the Germs).  The band proved to be much more than just a 
rockin' teen girl band; they also launched the solo careers of Joan Jett and 
Lita Ford. (Theresa Meire)

Selecter: "Too Much Pressure" classic 1980 debut album reissue + singles 
(Captain Oi!)
And out of the 2-Tone 1980s ska revival comes Selecter from Coventry.  Led 
by Pauline Black and armed with a driving backbeat, The Selecter, along with 
English Beat and the Specials, are considered one of the trademark bands of 
the 2-Tone era.  Although the rock influence is inescapable, Selecter's feet 
are firmly planted on the original ska/rocksteady/reggae music of the 1960s 
originators as evidenced by the cover tunes they choose.  Fast and upbeat 
music to make you jump and shout! (Theresa Meire)

Siouxsie & The Banshees: "Once Upon A Time/The Singles" (PVC)
Sioxusie Sioux rose to prominence as a Sex Pistols groupie and indeed her 
early songs rode the first wave of British punk. But soon she slowed the 
tempos down, swirled the guitars up, and became what few would deny today - 
The Queen of Goth. This best of was released before such undeniable later 
classics as "Cities in Dust" and "Peek-A-Boo." But it's a perfect 
introduction nonetheless, each song like a room in a haunted house 
investigated with creepy, childlike curiosity. And that first wave punk 
blitz is still very much present in burners like "Love in a Void" and 
"Spellbound." (Kevin John Bozelka)

The Slits: "Cut" 1979 debut album reissue (Island)
Taking an overt cue from dub rhythms, the Slits harnessed their raw feminine 
energy to create a unique essence of "girl punk" (before there was such a 
thing). Their lyrics mock everything society dictates you need to be female 
(like going shopping just to "satisfy this empty feeling" in "Spend, Spend, 
Spend"). This can be best experienced when listening to (the song that our 
listserv borrows its name from) "Typical Girls," which says it all when it 
asks, "Who invented the typical girl?" As they defied conventional gender 
stereotypes, the Slits embraced their own inner spirits. And, in doing so, 
liberated females everywhere. (Dina Hornreich)

Tom Tom Club: self-titled 1981 debut album reissue (Sire)
Too long have they been considered a novelty side-project from some [members 
of] Talking Heads. Centered around the bass and vocals of Tina Weymouth, 
they were pioneering in mixing New Wave, Funk and Hip-Hop, had a few chart 
hits, and created several all-time dance floor classics like the Mariah 
sampled "Genius of Love," and "Wordy Rappinghood" which was recently covered 
by Chicks on Speed. Also worth checking out is "This is a Foxy World" on the 
second LP, my new fave DJ selection. (Dan Selzer)

X: "Los Angeles/Wild Gift" 1980/1981 albums reissue (Slash)
A marriage made in punk heaven/hell. And not just between quintessential 
bohemians Exene Cervenka and John Doe but also between them and the rest of 
the band - the well-named DJ Bonebrake on drums and, especially, Billy Zoom 
and his gloriously junky punkabilly guitar. With two of the most 
accomplished musicians in the LA underground behind them, Exene and John let 
us watch as they whizzed through their roller coaster relationship. Whether 
it was Exene turning into a beer to get John's attention or John fretting 
over a passed out Exene, they gave great soap opera as the band sped towards 
Armageddon. This CD combines their first two (and best) albums and the hour 
is over much too quickly. Just like Exene and John. (Kevin John Bozelka)

X-Ray Spex: "Germ-Free Adolescents" 1978 album reissue (Castle)
It was really all about Poly Styrene. Clearly light years ahead of her time, 
she used her penetrating vocals and razor-sharp lyrics to critique the 
modern world in all its consumerist glory. And she did it with great style. 
The songs are energetic, short, caustic but melodic, and utterly addictive. 
"Oh Bondage, Up Yours" is her most famous song (covered by Kim Gordon's 
side-project Free Kitten). It begins with a punk-feminist affirmation 
proclaiming, "Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard, 
but I think...oh bondage, up yours!" Lora Logic (from Essential Logic) was 
the talent who originally introduced the unrelenting saxophone element to 
the band -- and things wouldn't have been the same without it. (Dina 

Y Pants: 1980 self-titled EP + 1982 "Beat it Down" album reissue (Periodic 
Melodic No Wave played exclusively on toy instruments.  The songs are 
largely about everyday events, only barely hiding unresolved and unsettling 
emotions underneath.  "That's The Way Boys Are," a sweet a capella song that 
gradually gives way to terrified screaming, is one of the scariest songs I've 
ever heard.  (Mike Appelstein)

Young Marble Giants: "Colossal Youth and Collected Works" 3CD collection 
containing 1979 album reissue with bonus material (Domino)
There were only a few ingredients to this Cardiff trio's sound - just a 
guitar, bass, female vocals and metronomic drum machine.  Yet they made an 
album that through its very minimalism and quietness actually broadened the 
palette of punk and underground music.  Colossal Youth has never aged, and 
its legacy has only grown since its original 1980 release.  It's an album 
that has literally changed lives - it certainly did mine at age 15 - and its 
latest reissue includes the band's two singles, an entire bonus disc of 
rarities and demo versions, and (in the early copies), another bonus disc of 
Peel sessions.  They recently played their first concert since 1981 to 
celebrate; perhaps the straight world is ready to give them credit after all 
these years.  (Mike Appelstein)

The Typical Girls listserv is an e-mail based music dialogue and discussion 
group for the discovery of (and appreciation for) the unknown legends in 
women's punk/post-punk/underground music history. Typical Girls ideally 
focuses on the pre-riot grrrl female innovators in music starting around 
1975 and ending around 1984.

For more information, please go to our website at 
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