88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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R.I.P. Poly Styrene

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Right around Christmas, as I was searching for some cooler than your average X-Mas style sounds for 88Nine, I came upon a really nice one from a band called Poly Styrene called "Black Christmas." As it turns out, that became the first Christmas song that I really loved in a long while, and it was even requested a few times on its own-- which is weird 'cause nobody does that with "White Christmas."

I wouldn't think of Poly Styrene again until this morning when I read the report that the lady that is Poly Styrene, singer Marianne Elliot Said (born June 3, 1957) passed away due to cancer Monday (4/25).  

Poly Styrene was a punk amongst punks. A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, "Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!" The influence of Poly and X-ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. The seminal album "Germ Free Adolescents" is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the center of it was Poly Styrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.

So amazing, and I barely knew her (music). Apparently, she was diagnosed only two months after finishing her latest solo album Generation Indigo, which was released today btw. So I had to satisfy my curiosity, gave it a spin and you know what, it's pretty nice. Especially the title cut, which may be the dubstep song that can find mainstream success. Please, please check this out...

 

Poly Styrene "Generation Indigo" 

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Listen to the full "Generation Indigo" record streaming on AOL Spinner.