Words by Peter Tanski
Peter Tanski grew up in the small but thriving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, fronting several bands and founding the music and literary fanzine, Exmortus. After a brief stint living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and writing for Legends Magazine, he returned to Pennsylvania where he began to work with web based music site NEPA Rocks. He currently fronts the melodic hardcore/punk band, Heart Out and hosts The Book of Very Very Bad Things PodZine.
This month, Shadow Plays celebrates the Vast Contributions that feminine artists have made to the Post Punk movement.
“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”- Norman Bates
When considering the month of May, what comes to mind? Bucolic hills of reinvigorated foliage and hollers of a deeper emerald? Wildlife abound as food is once more in abundance? People celebrating Mexico’ independence via imbibing countless cervezas and tequila shots? Or does celebrating the human that you originated from override all other pleasantries the fifth month of the year withholds? If the latter of these is your choice, we are of a similar tribe.
Extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, even the most demonstrably vile humans has a mother figure that loves them. This is the gift, the preternatural quality, that only a mother can possess. The ability to balm all abrasions and calm all ills is the essence of the maternal. It is the foundation upon which families are founded, as I’ve come to understand them.
Obviously, the world has evolved to a point that families can be made up of multiple fathers, no mother, or vice versa. There are myriad derivations of the nuclear family, but it is only natural that whatever the dynamic, one parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle will step into the role of nurturer. In my life experience, that was my mom.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, I wished to cast a light on the women that create and nurture the music that we adore. One that has been sighted as the Goth Mother, Siouxie Sioux, created a meme explosion by simply wearing a pair of white New Balance sneakers while playing a concert. For weeks, every single Post Punk adjacent blog and IG profile featured her sporting the uncharacteristically bright trainers.
K Records’ new darlings Daisies (K Records) just unleashed 8 tracks of gloomy, angular, Post Punk/Indie with “Great Big Open Sky”. I’ve heard rumblings of this being short listed for indie record of the year.
Another feminine tour-de-force has reared its head in the form of Kid Moxie & NINA’s danceable and dismal bit of pop song craft with the Lust-EP (Italians Do It Better Records). This is a five song affair that is rounded out by the 3rd Party dance radio classic from 1997, “Waiting For Tonight “, presented through a decidedly X Files theme song lens.
Love or loathe it, Metal/Goth/Industrial chanteuse Poppy has dropped a 2 song single this month that is absolutely intense and skillfully executed. “Spit” (Sumerian Records) is as bleak, sensual, and raucous in a manner that Poppy has honed to a saber’s killing edge, and well worth a spin.
A time tested friend of mine, who just so happens to be both a Post Punk Icon as well as an accomplished author, Tara Van Flower of Lycia, hasn’t been keeping up with her podcast “Stuff And Things” as often as we’d like, but it is better than most digital content in the realm. Give her YouTube a follow and let her know that we can’t wait for more.
In the realms of Industrial, Goth, Death Rock, and Post Punk, the feminine spirit is so vital, so crucial to the very existence of it all, that we often take it for granted. Without Diamanda Galas, Eva O, Lydia Lunch, or Jarboe, we lose the plot of what makes this movement so vibrant. I wish I’d had the foresight to have included Dutch Experts this month instead of last month… it is inclusive. The LGBTQ+ community was always present and accounted for, as are people of all race, creed, and GENDER/S.
So, in closing, be a woman born with or without the need to transition in order to feel whole, mother or not, this is your month. We, the Post Punk community at large, stand and bow to your larger than life contributions to this art form. We certainly would not be here had it not been for you.