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now cult-classic single "Mind Your Own Business" alongside bandmate Bethan Peters, Sale chants "BUS! NESS!" with a ferocity that suggests she's inventing an entirely new word. In truth, Sale was a mother of invention, because in the crowded Leeds post-punk scene — and for those who discovered her much later — her role was a necessary one. Her impact was such that it only took two years and a small handful of singles for Delta 5 to craft a high-voltage sound that, to this day, still rings true (and is often emulated).

Sale was 63 years old and living in Thailand, where she taught English, when she died after a short fight with cancer. Her brother, Marc, confirmed the news to NPR. After initial reports of her death circulated online in September, Delta 5's labels, Kill Rock Stars and Rough Trade, both confirmed her passing. "Julz Sale's contribution to punk, post-punk and music at large will be felt forever," Kill Rock Stars' statement reads. "She was a delight to know and will be missed immensely." In 2006, the label revived some of Delta 5's most obscure material for the first time with a compilation titled Singles & Sessions: 1979–1981.

Rough Trade's tribute quotes "Mind Your Own Business," originally released by the label in 1979. In a testament to its enduring and timeless appeal, the track experienced a resurgence in popularity after being featured in a 2021 Apple ad about iPhone security.


Fitting, because with its infectious, lightning-quick groove, "Mind Your Own Business" isn't just a song, it's a dare. Sale and Peters deliver dueling vocals with unprecedented attitude and scathing wit. "Can I lick the crumbs from your table?" the two women shout with a sharp, flippant sarcasm. Four decades and many imitations later, the words still cut.

Delta 5 emerged from the same late-'70s Leeds University art scene as close friends and collaborators Gang of Four and the Mekons — but with three women and two basses at the forefront, their brand of angular dance-punk stood out. With "Mind Your Own Business" and subsequent singles like "You" and "Try" the band developed a detached, distinctly feminine style that was cool, confident and unapologetic. As biting as she could be behind the mic, Sale had natural comedic timing; "You" drips with her jagged scorn, turning the concept of cheating on its head. "Who was seen with somebody else? Who likes sex only on Sundays? YOU!" she quips. Her freedom is contagious, her winking resolve, tenacious.

"In Britain, the 1970s felt like one long crisis," Simon Reynolds writes in Rip It Up and Start Again, opening a chapter about post-punk in Leeds. For Sale and Delta 5, that crisis was personal. At the time of the band's inception, far-right sentiment was rising in England, and especially in Leeds, which had become a northern base for the fascist National Front and neo-Nazi organizations. Though the group was transparent in its feminism and active in the Rock Against Racism movement, there were no overt political references in Delta 5's songs. Instead, Delta 5 weaponised cleverness and humor to help make sense of a senseless society; Sale's guitar parts weren't so much riffs as they were electric shocks, jolting bolts of raw energy into music that was singularly honest and joyous for its time.

After Delta 5 disbanded in 1981 — leaving behind just one album, See the Whirl — most of its members, including Sale, who taught Thai children in a government school for more than 25 years, remained absent from public life. Peters has crept up occasionally; she was quoted in Vivien Goldman's 2019 book, Revenge of the She-Punks, reminiscing about Delta 5's "rudimentary approach to everything." But Sale? Perhaps she had said all she needed to say.

Sale's pointed, light-hearted approach to punk still casts a shadow; bands like Shonen Knife, Dum Dum Girls and Habibi have all put their spin on Delta 5 classics, and an endless string of post-punk (and post-post-punk?) revival bands keep borrowing from her fractured guitars and effortlessly evocative vocals. But there's no mistaking Sale's original, defiant voice — made even stronger when she and Peters used theirs together. "Can I interfere in your crisis?" they once asked, examining the chaos around them and maintaining their own defense: "No! Mind your own business."

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Be on KRCB 104.9...answer this month's "Talk to Me" question: With fire season upon us, are you having second thoughts about Sonoma County?
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Listen to the Sonoma County Birdwatch!

fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Here's what we've aired so far. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds:  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at

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8ff1 Asset 6 p 500Our podcast "Living Downstream" has been named by the Global Center for Climate Justice as one of "Five Climate Justice Podcasts You Need to Follow." Wow:

Listen to some recent episodes! Generations in Houston's Fifth Ward Contend with Contamination, Cancer Clusters will break your heart, and perhaps solidify your resolve to make change. The Sea Next Door is told in true partnership with the community living near California's Salton Sea, an environmental powder keg, where the state has no idea how to avoid a coming health disaster.

Get them here, or wherever you get your podcasts.



Postcards from Sonoma County...
        ... What people are talking about, direct from the locals.
Each week, our correspondents from all over Sonoma County check in with a weekly "postcard" of what people are talking about in their area. Not always "news," but still worthy of a mention. It's our way to give voice to communities that may not make it into the standard news cycle.
We play these in a random rotation throughout the week. Generally, each postcard airs from Sunday morning at midnight thru Saturday at 11:59:59 pm.
We archive all our postcards here. Have a listen!

 Week of Sunday, January 9th, 2022:
Greetings from Healdsburg
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Sebastopol
Greetings from Windsor

Week of Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Windsor

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