X-Ray Spex

The 50 Albums Everyone Needs to Own, 1963-2013

No one buys albums anymore, goes the music industry truism. And yet, for all that the format’s commercial viability may or may not be on the wane, sitting and listening to a great album from start to finish is one of the greatest pleasures that music can bring. Flavorwire recently got to thinking about how one might build a record collection if you really only did buy one record a year. So here’s the result of our thought exercise: 50 albums you really should own, one a year from 1963 until the present… Read More

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Manda Rin’s Manga-Inspired Remakes of Classic Album Covers

Fans of ’90s indie pop will know Manda Rin as the frontwoman of Glaswegian trio Bis, who broke up in 2003. These days, after weathering a difficult MS diagnosis, Rin has embarked upon a solo career and also makes art. In addition to creating graphics for an iPhone game called All Fridges Are Psychotic, she showed some new work over the weekend at Glasgow Popfest 2011. Titled Cover Versions and Other Hits, the exhibition collects Rin’s remakes of classic album covers, in the signature manga-inspired style that was ubiquitous in Bis’s album art. Check out some of our favorites, from Nirvana to X-Ray Spex to Sleater-Kinney, after the jump. Then visit Rin’s website to see more. … Read More

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15 Essential Women Punk Icons

Rolling Stone readers polls are the worst. Remember their “Top Ten Live Acts of All Time,” which was so terrible the entire Flavorpill staff came together to post an alternate list? Well, the aging rock magazine has done it again: Last week brought “Readers Poll: The Best Punk Bands of All Time.” And guess what? Not only did Green Day — Green Day! — take the #1 spot, but there wasn’t a single woman on the list. So, in an attempt to correct this latest grievous error, we have compiled a list of 15 essential women punk icons. Let’s be clear: These are hardly the only noteworthy women in punk. They’re simply the ones we think have absolutely earned a spot in any discussion of the best punk bands of all time. … Read More

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Gallery: Punk and Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-82

The punk and post-punk movements of the late ’70s and early ’80s were times of great experimentation — and the revolution reverberated beyond music to the visual arts and design, too. Just as the hippie sounds of the ’60s spawned psychedelic gig posters, bands like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, and Joy Division ushered in a new era for graphic design. From a cold, gridded, red-and-black Joy Division poster to a Buzzcocks ad featuring a woman with an iron for a head and mouths for nipples, Rude and Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-82 showcases the wild, witty, and sometimes even beautiful art of underground music. The exhibition is on view at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York through August 19th. Click through for a gallery of our favorite pieces, then visit the gallery’s website to see more. … Read More

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10 Great Bands That Only Made One Album

Being as we’re shameless music geeks here at Flavorpill, we occasionally get to discussing shamelessly music geeky topics. Like, for instance, this one: great bands who’ve only made one album. The history of music is littered with bands and artists who, for whatever reason, never got beyond a single memorable record (and we’re not counting live albums or compilations here.) Some of these bands broke up, some of them were sundered by death or tragedy, and some simply went onto other things. But in every case, we’re left wondering what might have been had they got a chance to make a follow-up. After the jump, we’ve listed ten artists we’d have loved to have heard from again — what are yours? … Read More

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Video of the Day: Rare Documentary 'Who Is Poly Styrene?'

We’ve been mourning the untimely death of X-Ray Spex leader Poly Styrene for nearly a week now, re-listening to her albums on repeat and reading everything that’s been written on her. But we’re especially grateful to Marc Campbell at Dangerous Minds, one of our very favorite blogs, for digging up the rarely seen BBC documentary Who Is Poly Styrene? Fittingly, the film is more a collage of performance footage, audio from interviews, Styrene reading her lyrics, and other rare clips. Even though the video quality isn’t top-notch, Who Is Poly Styrene? is — at 40 minutes long — perfect lunchtime viewing. … Read More

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Remembering Poly Styrene, Punk Rock’s Betty Friedan

I don’t get too emotional about rock ‘n’ roll deaths anymore, so I didn’t expect to shed tears over Poly Styrene this morning, playing Germ Free Adolescents while I picked at some toast. Last night, I saw a rumor on Twitter that the X-Ray Spex singer had died of breast cancer. Instead of searching to find out whether it was true, I put away my computer, watched some TV, and then went to bed.

But there it was, when I woke up. “Punk star Poly Styrene dies at 53.” “Poly Styrene — an optimist to the last.” “Poly Styrene: Taking Moral Stances Solo.” “Boy George Pays Tribute to Poly Styrene.” Everyone, even semi-relevant ’80s singers-turned-cultural punchlines will have their own way of remembering Poly Styrene. This is mine: X-Ray Spex were the first punk band that made me feel like a part of, rather than an object of, their anger. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: Links That Made the Rounds at Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we were charmed by Woody Guthrie’s handwritten New Year’s Resolutions and transfixed by “The External World,” the crazy new short from computer animation artist David O’Reilly. Our inner child rocked out to this inexplicable but fantastic Playmobil re-enactment of Joy Division performing “Transmission” and wrinkled up… Read More

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