(post-) punk gems, v. 48 — Rip Rig & Panic

Holy cow, mornings arrive early some days. It’s nice to be writing (typing), though, even if only for a few minutes. Once again I’ve been turning the pages of George Gimarc’s *Punk Diary* and finding so many gems on youtube — it’s a fanciful combination, and one that can take you straight-away down the rabbit hole of the world wide web.

Rip Rig & Panic hailed from Bristol in the early 80s, and ripped their name from a Roland Kirk tune from 1965. Neneh Cherry was on the mic, and her father — the great trumpeter Don Cherry — added his signature sound to a few tunes. Former members of The Pop Group were in the line-up, too.

“Go! Go! Go! This Is It” (1981) was their first single, and it’s a fine reminder of how wide open the “genres” of punk and post-punk were circa Sandinista, Remain in Light, etc.

The opening bit is not terribly inviting, but it settles into a delectable groove and then–bam, it’s done, and you’re left wanting a bit more. It’s one of the charms of those sub-three-minute heroes, from back in the day.

More info on the book soon. Have a great week!

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(post-) punk gems, v. 24 — The Pop Group

Good morning to you folks in the western hemisphere — and happy belated Canada Day to you up north, and merry Independence Day eve to my country-folk. ¬†I thought about staying on this side of the Atlantic for today’s gem, but, well, no.

It’s round about June ’77 when The Pop Group forms, and in early ’78 they mark out what they’re about for the NME: “We want to create something that is capable of being good and evil at the same time. We want to be the beatniks of tomorrow.” The Nietzschean¬†influence is evident on their first single, “She’s Beyond Good and Evil,” and amid the echo-y washes of guitar and vocals and Joy-Division-y drums, they rearticulate ol’ Friedrich’s ideas for post-feminist ends, with one of the finest lyrics of the era: “Western values mean nothing to her / she’s the girl of my dreams.”

Members of The Pop Group, which disbanded in 1981, and then re-formed for a few gigs just a few years back, would take up instruments in bands as wide-ranging as Head, The Slits, Rip Rig + Panic (with Neneh Cherry), Maximum Joy, and Pigbag–whose 1981 single “Papa’s Got a Brand New Pig Bag” brought maximum joy to my early adolescence. Little can go wrong in a pop group with multiple drummers!