Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Punksgiving: Slits It!

We're back with some holiday fare, and a welcome and necessary antidote to my Sausage Fest of a page.

A few days ago I warned you all about this wild THTP archive series, with all these Punk, Postpunk and New Wave shows that have never seen the light of day until now.

This installment of Punksgiving comes straight from that, and oh my word is it a motherfucker.

Everybody thinks of The Runaways as the first all-female group of this period, but they had competition on the other side of the pond.

A little bit like The Clash -- they became famous by opening for them in the mid 1970s UK Punk explosion -- they started out barely able to play and then got good enough to sort of graduate from Gob University into other styles like Reggae and Dub. All whilst retaining their visceral edge and commitment.

They just don't make music or bands like this anymore; these ladies would not get past the reception desk these days.

No matter, because there was once an era where this sort of thing wasn't just welcome, it was encouraged.

I dunno about you, but I'm ready for those sort of times to revolve back again, any time they're ready.

What's perhaps the most awesome part of this tale is that The Slits -- a band as stylistically fresh and diverse as any of the classic Punk era, but who got "the shaft" in terms of wider recognition due to their non-possession of male genitalia -- still get out and play, where these Quarantine Times will allow.

They had an official vinyl bootleg from this tour, that was taped a few days before at The Stone in SF, but it's never been reissued since 1980. And honestly this tape, captured 40 years to this very day at another legendary Bay Area punk palace, sounds about 40 million times better, recorded as it was by the Superman of that scene, engineer Terry Hammer.

The story has it that he offered them these recordings to form the basis of their live record, but they turned him down and put out the crappier-sounding one to retain their Punk, D.I.Y. cred.
The Slits
Rat's Palace
San Francisco, CA

01 New Town
02 Walkabout
03 Man Next Door
04 Life On Earth
05 I Heard It Through the Grapevine
06 Face Place
07 Fade Away
08 Typical Girls
09 Animal Spaces
10 In the Beginning There Was Rhythm
11 Or What It Is
12 I Heard It Through the Grapevine/Instant Hit

Total time: 1:12:56

Ari Up (Ariane Forster) - vocals & percussion
Viv Albertine - guitar & vocals
Tessa Pollitt - bass & vocals
Bruce Smith – drums & percussion
Steve Beresford - keyboards, melodica, trumpet, trombone, electronics & percussion

master reels of a multichannel matrix of soundboard and audience mics, engineered and recorded by Terry Hammer; 
#123 in the THTP series
Tracks 11 & 12 recorded at The Keystone, Berkeley CA 11.23.1980 with the same gear by Terry Hammer; from #122 in the THTP series
converted to CD Audio 16/44 from DAT 16/48, duplicate applause at end of Track 03 removed, 
track markers adjusted and bonus tracks added by EN, November 2020

This tape illustrates, with attitude to spare, what made these women the force to be reckoned with that they so manifestly were.

I took the liberty of adding a couple of bonus cuts, recorded two days previous at The Keystone in Berkeley and also captured by Terry Hammer, because why not? That way, you get the full 73-minute assault.

I may be back in a minute with more, but I'm not sure yet... but don't let that deter you from slicing open this package of Slits and letting this turkey spice up your Punksgiving revelry!--J.


  1. Brilliant! That archive is a treasure trove!

  2. wow i was at that show and i hadn't remembered Rat in about 20 years.
    any live young marble giants? i went to a show in SF around the same time
    may of been Rat's gig i can't remember. the show was south of market but there was a period when he used different venues.

    1. yes there's 2 YMB ones in the THTP series

      one from 10/25/1980 (my 14th bday) at Berkeley Keystone

      one from 10/26/1980 at The Western Front in SF

      I didn't get those but I will now, just for you!

    2. not YMB, YMG, sorry

      I will cloud these for you if you want

  3. yes please and thanks i was at both shows and i got mugged on the wayhome from the western front one i think. anyway i went to 2 of their shows. and got mugged on the wayhome from one of them.
    great shows though i talked with the lead singer would have to look up her name and she was very cool friendly and down to earth. not alot of musicians were that at that time.

  4. thank u so much for the YMG. one of my fav bands. i think this is the best location to thanks u. I will listen during the next couple of days while we hope there is no insurrection part 2
    and for a future when facts do matter and reality is agreed on.