Pop A Cap In Yo Ass

Tracey Thorn’s autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen is turning out to be a surprisingly good read. I’ve never been a huge fan of Everything But The Girl but they’ve always been there, on the outer fringes of my musical radar. Her story is well written, self deprecating, honest and full of the politics and passions that came out of punk and produced such a wide variety of post-punk bands. Even without a detailed knowledge of EBTG or The Marine Girls, it’s an engaging book and she comes across as a real person who ended up making records and being in a band. Interestingly, having also read Viv Albertine’s book recently, womens’ stories of life in the music industry have a very different tone from many of the mens’- more circumspect and less bullish, more about the process and personal politics of being creative in daily situations with other people. She writes about the contradictions of being in a group sometimes viewed as sappy or sissy, playing weedy jazz influenced music (which they saw as modern and progressive) while also coming across in interviews as spikey, defensive and having very strongly held indie/punk beliefs.

This was an EBTG single from the mid 80s with Johnny Marr playing popping up on harmonica, Native Land.

Ben Watt, partner in both senses, had a dance music career in the 90s and his label Buzzin’ Fly put out several fine compilation cds. I remembered this song, which I bought on 12″, where over Ben’s Chicago deep house grooves Estelle puts in a spoken word vocal about shoplifiting and growing up on violent streets. Really good.

Pop A Cap In Yo Ass

 

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Massive Attack vs Mad Professor ‘Radiation Ruling The Nation’ (Protection)

I’ve been listening to quite a bit of dub recently. Some of the proper Jamaican variety but also the post-punk and 90s dance variety. There was an Ashley Beedle mix for Beats In Space floating around just before Christmas, with this track on it. It also had a dub of The Pogues on it. Dub-Irish folk-punk. The whole Massive Attack vs Mad Professor lp is good, one of those cases where buying two versions of one album made sense. Adrian Sherwood did a similar job for Primal Scream on the Vanishing Point album. This is the lead track off the No Protection album- the dub version of Protection featuring Tracey Thorn. Nearly nine minutes of echo, bass, snares, sound effects and Tracey’s vocal chopped to bits. It gets into a serious groove about five minutes in. Top track.

Radiation Ruling The nation (No Protection).wma