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Leslie was very brave
Today I played the Your Mom Too half of England's Newest Hit Makers for Clare.* She liked it a lot. She said, "Leslie was very brave." "How so?" I asked. She said, "That wasn't a time [1986] when girls were allowed to sing like that." I responded, "That was exactly the time when girls were allowed to sing like that." More accurately, to the extent there ever was a time when girls were allowed to sing like that, that time (1978 through the early 1990s, roughly) was it,** for girls who could connect via mail or mag or via people they knew to the postpunk music world.

Nonetheless, Leslie was very brave.

I find it really hard to describe the music in a way that doesn't mislead. She/we were doing something that few others were. You could say "lo fi" but nothing else in that category sounds like it. Vaguely, "postpunk" and "experimental," which places the sound socially but not musically. I'd say "a cross between Teenage Jesus And The Jerks and Billie Holiday," which probably won't bring anything to mind especially to the people who've heard Teenage Jesus since no sound will probably make sense as a cross between the two. (We were less screechy than Teenage Jesus and less in tune than Billie and we deliberately "detuned" our guitars though we tried to then keep the same detunings, which means there were tonal relations that we were quasi-replicating, even though we couldn't tell you what they were.)

Teenage Jesus And The Jerks "Orphans"

Billie Holiday/Teddy Wilson "I Must Have That Man"

Footnotes and program notes in the comments.

This entry was originally posted at https://koganbot.dreamwidth.org/370277.html. Comments still welcome here, there, and anywhere.

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*The tape had come up in conversation and it turns out Clare had never heard it, which surprised me because I would have thought I'd have played it for her. Hmm.

**Well, was the apex, was the time it would be most likely but also most interesting and potent to sing like that. Which is to say if someone now said "I'm going to sing like that" it would be "allowed" but it likely wouldn't work, or anyway it wouldn't mean the same thing, unless the person was actually being drastically different. Not that anyone else singing like that comes to mind.

Your Mom Too was a band – though only us, as a duo – that my girlfriend, Leslie Singer, and I had in 1986, 1987, in San Francisco. We later married, then broke up in early 1991. Leslie is in New York working as an arts administrator and I hope doing a lot of creative artmaking stuff.

England's Newest Hit Makers was a cassette we put out in early 1987 consisting of Your Mom Too tracks plus some old solo stuff of Leslie's from four to five years earlier (prior to her Girls On Fire work, which was prior to Your Mom Too) and some solo stuff of mine. I've digitized England's Newest Hit Makers and hope to upload it to YouTube one of these days, when I find out how.

Clare is Clare Kogan, my wife. Clare is four years younger than Leslie, and the "punk" world she would have known in Denver at age 18 was likely a lot less open than the one Leslie and I had in our heads in San Francisco.

Edited at 2018-06-19 04:31 am (UTC)

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