iTunes Signature Maker, Honey Bane

Here's a cool online toy; grant it access to your computer, and it looks at your iTunes ratings and stats and generates a short mix of the tracks you seem to like the most. What it came up is a good representation of my last two years of listening (which is how long I've used the computer I'm writing from) It doesn't sound that far off from a pile of Blackstrap riffs, unsurprisingly.

Bendy - iTunes Signature

Learned about it via the excellent Digital Music Weblog.

Here's the credits:

The Fall - Boxoctosis
Radio Birdman - What Gives?
Armitage Shanks - Ladyboy
The Casual Dots - Hooded
Red Eyed Legends - Hamlicus (Super Indoor)
Adult. - Glue Your Eyelids Together
The Go Team - Get It Together
Coachwhips - You Gonna Get It
The Halo Benders - Don't Touch My Bikini
Legendary Shack Shakers - Pinetree Boogie
Little Killers - Choppin' Block
Joanna Newsom - Inflammatory Writ
Dexter Romweber - Unharmonious
A Frames - Hostage Crisis
Belle & Sebastian - Step Into My Office, Baby
The Ends - Animal
The Michelle Gun Elephant - Pinhead Cramberry Dance
Honey Bane - Girl On The Run
The Ponys - Get Black
Tallboys - Sects & Strangers

And this is as good a time as any to point out Honey Bane. When Mr. Surly first heard Blackstrap, before he became the drummer, he said we reminded him of this band. There's not a lot of info about her; she dated one of the Cockney Rejects, was later a pin-up, and while actually on the run recorded this song with Crass.

Honey Bane - Girl On The Run

It's a great slice of first wave UK punk, with a flubbed reggae beat that freezes it in it's era perfectly. The whole thing shambles, as though the power chords can't quite catch up with the bass, and that couldn't suit the theme of the lyrics more. A great lost single, you can find it on the Crass Records A-Sides comp.

posted by bendy @ 12/08/2005 12:56:00 AM [permanent link]

Honey Bane was a strange case...

I believe she was the daughter (or foster daughter) of the singer/guitarist of The Poison Girls (Vi Subversa) and spent some of her early years as a ward of the state in a children's home...

Her first group was called The Fatal Microbes which were formed when she was still living in the children's home. Their first recording (the 'Violence Grows' ep)was released as a split 12" ep with the Posion Girls (on the Posion Girls Xentrix label) and then reissued as a 7" on Small Wonder Records (who released 'Feeding of the 5000' by Crass)...
I still have both the 12" and the 7" and they get a play with some regularity: there's a very appealing amateurishish snottiness to the record...

Incidentally, the guitarist of The Fatal Microbes (Pete Fender) went on to be a member of Rubella Ballet (who featured Sid on drums who also drummed with Flux of Pink Indians on the 'Neu Smell' ep released by Crass Records). Rubella Ballet also recorded for Xentrix (the Posion Girls record label) - I have their first cassette release 'Ballet Bag'...

Bane then recorded the 'Girl on the Run' ep for Crass Records (which features various members of Crass as her 'backing band') before becoming something of a pin-up for the journalists at the Sounds weekly music paper...

Incidentally, she appeared as an actress around this time in a film called 'Scrubbers' by Mai Zetterling (an established English actress and film director). The film was a study of a young women's prison and was suitably "gritty". The film itself was probably inspired by the succes of the BBC television play called 'Scum' (which was initially banned and then made into a cinema release film) which covered a similar them but in a young male offenders prison...

With dreams of fame and stardom in her head, she then signed to EMI Records and released a stream of releases designed to make a dent on the pop charts. They didn't and she sank without a trace...

She is still about though - she has a (somewhat minimal) website somewhere on the internet: it seems she is presenting herself as some kind of 'rock goddess' now...

Hope that's interesting!
Ah, reckless youth! hehehe...

said Nik Napalm, at 12/08/2005  

Thanks for that post Nik.
I had always wondered about Honey Bane's history. But I never did the research.
"there's a very appealing amateurishish snottiness to the record..." <-- Yes! This is what grabs me about Honey Bane. Not afraid to tantrum with a microphone.
Your not Nik Bullen by chance are you?
Thought I'd ask.

said Mr. Surly, at 12/08/2005  

I can't believe I still remember all this ephemera and trivia! Too many pre-teen evenings spent reading fanzines!

Yes, I am Nic Bullen...
Do we know each other?
(Stranger things have happened)...

said Anonymous, at 2/24/2006  

Alas, we've never met you Nik, but we're fans. Thanks for stopping by.

said bendy, at 3/03/2006  

Honey Bane was/is indeed a fascinating character and I'm delighted to see there are some here who remember her!

On my blog yesterday I wrote a small piece on Honey and if you ever wanted to see her performing on "Top Of The Pops", now heres your chance!

Check it out here...

Hope you all enjoy it and find it interesting... I doubt theres much else out there in the way of musical footage of Miss Bane!

All The Best,

said The Baz, at 5/03/2006  

I saw Honey Bane back in the 70's in the Rock Garden in Middlesbrough. I have just played Girl on the Run which brough back many happy memories of them mad days. Still got the single but alas no Record player to play it on.
Ian Fowler

said Anonymous, at 8/12/2006  

Honey Bane lives in the U.S.A. and has been trying to jump start her career for 5 years now. word is shes moving back to the U.K. next month and will devote her time to such persutes . 3 children later and she still looks great. thought you'd like to know as my bass player has been doing sessions w/ her for awhile and he fills me in on these things. cheers

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Blackstrap is a rockpunk band that was formed in 2002 by several disgruntled music fans. Some had played in bands for years, some had never been involved in music.  All of us were upset with the direction the USA was moving. As you can tell, our impact on all that has been overwhelming.

We broke up in 2004, just before releasing a debut EP. We still feel bad about messing up 307 Knox Records like that. We got back together in 2005.  We might drive each other crazy again, so no promises.

We're a band that doesn't have many options as far as money and time and touring and all those other thing that could make a band be your life. The web is the main way we promote ourselves. We figured out we should share what meager knowledge we have obtained.


or "Promoting Your Music as the Music Industry We Know and Dislike Dies...."

Websites are a lot of work to figure out, and don't work any magic on their own. Most people who view your website are already going to know you exist. Just having a website doesn't mean anyone is going to visit. So don't worry about securing an Internet domain right away.  Stick some music on MySpace, and then participate in sites that might actually drive interested listeners to your music.  Blackstrap gets more hits from our link on than from higher-profile sites where we get lost in the shuffle.

There are advantages to having your own custom built website and domain name, but it's only as useful to the extent that it gets linked to.

Here are some sites that are important and help to get noticed. They aren't all music sites, specifically. Alot of them require participation. But hey, you wanted to be on stage, right?