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Nervous Gender

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Nervous Gender is a punk band founded in Los Angeles, California in 1978 by Gerardo Velazquez, Edward Stapleton, Phranc and Michael Ochoa.

Their use of heavily distorted keyboards and synthesizers made them, along with The Screamers, one of the original innovators of what is today called “Synthpunk”, although they could equally be considered an early industrial group. The group was confrontational and experimental, mystifying audiences of the day. Phranc’s androgynous appearance was the embodiment of the group’s name and added to their mystique, garnering them much press in zines such as Slash. Despite their somewhat high profile, the groups’ habit of provoking the audience, obscene material and harsh erotics guaranteed they would never gain commercial acceptance.

At their first show in 1979, a benefit for the Women’s Video Center, Phranc called the audience “pussies” and “dykes” when the band was requested to stop playing, and songs like “Jesus Clone”, with lyrics such as “Jesus was a cocksucking Jew” were not destined for radio airplay. In 1979, Don Bolles of The Germs joined as drummer. The next year Phranc left the band and Paul Roessler of the Screamers joined. At this time they recorded the tracks for the compilation Live At Target, released as an LP and a video, both seminal not only in the punk scene but also as early industrial recordings; fellow contributors Factrix and Z’EV (listed on this recording as “UNS”) were early industrial acts, and Nervous Gender found more acceptance among that scene initially.

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