X-Ray Spex singer Poly Styrene r.i.p.

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this woman was able to project so much emotion through her voice, it leaps and bounds off of the records. so inspirational.


sleeve, Thursday, 28 April 2011 04:45 (nine years ago) link

Agreed about one of the great voices obv, but also 1 x great LYRICIST to my mind. A thing I was surprised by when finding teh ilx @ abt 2001-2 was that people seemed to think maybe she was a bit urm "didactic" about what she thought and ideology and stuff -- while me I'd cherished the songs for being open-ended in any meaning, twasnt clear to which degree did she pose herself as an opponent vs part of what she (surely, possibly or not at all) railed against? I wanna be a frozen pea! Maybe "irony" was just a given in 1978 and/or 2001?

That were many words; in few words: great great LYRICIST.

anatol_merklich, Saturday, 30 April 2011 00:58 (nine years ago) link

Um I see I wasn't extremely clear there... Example:

Genetic engineering
Could create the perfect race
Could create an unknown life-force
That could us exterminate*

Introducing worker clone
As our subordinated slave
His expertise proficiency
Will surely dig our grave

Interpretation a) oh no genetic engineering is scary and bad!
Interpretation b) hi dere I just wrote a hopefully fun scifi pome to go with a song hurrah!

... and I would tend twds b).

*) This is a bit of a clunker I must admit.

anatol_merklich, Saturday, 30 April 2011 01:10 (nine years ago) link

Think you are otm, Ole.

A Bop Gun for Dinosaur (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 April 2011 04:14 (nine years ago) link

four years pass...

Why does no one ever talk about Translucence? I get that it pales in comparison to her more famous work, but it's really lovely, although the energy is the polar opposite of her work with the Spex. I have yet to dig any further into her solo work, but I'm glad I discovered this.



Horse Throat (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 16 March 2016 19:07 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Just watched that BBC broadcast from '79, "Who Is Poly Styrene?" (on YouTube). I found it difficult to pick up on all the voice-over commentary. Great document, but I did find it all a little depressing.

clemenza, Thursday, 13 July 2017 16:17 (two years ago) link

two years pass...


xyzzzz__, Friday, 22 May 2020 12:49 (one month ago) link

I contributed to Kickstarter a few years ago for a documentary involving Poly Styrene's daughter. Still waiting--hope it didn't get derailed.

clemenza, Friday, 22 May 2020 12:51 (one month ago) link


Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 May 2020 13:42 (one month ago) link

clemenza, this article mentions your documentary being still in production. Seems like an interesting approach. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidchiu/2019/10/14/poly-styrene-punk-icon-biography-dayglo/#4d2f69ef3685

Meanwhile, a documentary about Styrene directed by Paul Sng (which involves both Howe and Bell) is currently in production. “Its angle is more of a communication between daughter and mother,” Howe says of the film, “with the story unfolding via letters from Celeste to Poly amid interviews threaded throughout. Some of the interviewees appear in both projects, some exclusively were for the book. The letters also appear in adapted or expanded forms in the book, too.”

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 May 2020 13:46 (one month ago) link

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