Archive for the lydia lunch Category

Lydia Lunch – Queen of Siam (Atavistic) 1980/2009

Posted in lydia lunch, Music, No Wave with tags , , on November 10, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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I love a good reissue and one of the best to come along this year is the re-release of Lydia Lunch’s debut solo album, Queen of Siam. Lunch produced this after the demise of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and before she joined the almighty 8 Eyed Spy. The cast she assembled to accompany her on this was pretty impressive  (theguitarist was Robert Quine) and the production, musicianship and general vibe are a million miles away from her shambolic no-wave roots. The great Gloomy Sunday showcases  Lydia as a vaguely gothic torch singer while Mechanical Flattery and Tied and Twisted is Lydia doing her best little girl voice and somehow coming over as a new genre of  nursery rhyme, creepy pop. Her version of Spooky is a strangely straight version with sassy saxophones and showcases the full horror of lounge disco. Lunch writes about how much it  cost to make Queen of Siam in the liner notes and I suspect that Spooky was included just in case the  record company  wanted to release a single. Lady Scarface is all cabaret show band, A Cruise to the  Moonis all jazzy, noir classic but the track I enjoyed  the most is the awesome Atomic Bongos which has a hint of the post-punk funk that would later be adopted by ESG and Liquid Liquid.

Many out there would say that Lydia never bettered her debut but I’m not one of them. I really enjoy theHoneymoon in Red stuff and to my ears she never bettered the Harry Crews album although I think 8 Eyed Spy and Teenage Jesus and The Jerks are just fucking essential as well. If you are looking for Lunch at her drug fucked insane best, Queen of Siam is probably not for you but this is a pretty amazing record none the less. One of the  reissues of the year.

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Lydia Lunch – Transmutation / Shotgun Wedding Live (Insipid Vinyl) 1994

Posted in lydia lunch, Music, No Wave, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with tags , , , on November 1, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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In a previous life I used to review records for a student newspaper. There were many perks with that job one of which is this relic – a record that is so good that I still feel guilty that someone gave it to me for free. This also had a US release I think on the Twist label. In Australia it was released by Insipid Vinyl – a very eclectic and now sadly defunct label whose logo was drawn by Savage Pencil. The reason for the local release may be because Lunch toured hear on a spoken word gig around that time (see the rather full on interview clip I’ve added at the end).  This is now out of print but if you have some cash to splash around then there may be no better thing  to spend it on than a second hand copy of this.

This is a two disc release. The first disc, Transmutation, is a pretty good overview of her career and includes most of her important incarnations. Included are a few songs on which she collaborates with Rowland S Howard which come from the Shotgun Wedding and Honeymoon in Red records, Race Mixing from her stint with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Motor Oil Shanty from  8 Eyed Spy, collaborations with Die Haut and Shockheaded Peters, her cover of the Beatle’s Why Don’t We Do It In The Road and even a cut off her no-wave big band phase from Queen of Siam. The real treat for fans is the inclusion of three of the tracks from the mighty Stinkfist EP, a now out of print collaboration  with Clint Ruin and Thurston Moore (only Son of Stink is missing). It’s all very good stuff and indeed if the record stopped there you would go away very happy but also included is a second disc of a live gig of Lydia playing Honeymoon in Red with Rowland S. Howard, Jim Sclavunos and others. And to make it even more indispensible it includes a live version of Gospel Singer a track written by Kim Gordon for the Harry Crews album. There is no information as to where the gig was played nor when, so it’s all a bit of a mystery but to hear Lunch at the height of her powers is something to behold.

Harry Crews – Naked in Garden Hills (Widowspeak) 1990

Posted in harry crews, lydia lunch, Music, sonic youth on October 7, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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It’s nostalgia time again and as anyone who reads this knows I’m always a little wary of collaborations but when it is done by the undisputed Queen of collaboration there is little to fear. Harry Crews were one off supergroup that formed in 1988 of Lydia Lunch, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and a former pro-wrestler Sadie Mae on drums. They never made it into a studio to record these tracks instead its essentially an amalgam of two live shows they did during their one and only tour of Europe in September 1988. It’s a strange concept album based on the writings of underground writer Harry Crews. Mr Crews is a master of southern gothic and was doing twisted Palahnuik-style tales before Palahniuk was even born. Each of the songs is based around one of his books and each sounds like a no-wave interpretation of the Gun Club. Filthy hardcore swamp rock with the blues stripped out if you know what I mean. Lydia is at her howling banshee best and Ms Gordon rams her bass right through the middle of it’s heart. It’s grubby unclean punk of the finest quality.

As an aside this is yet another fine example of a great record that’s now sadly out of print. There’s a couple of copies on Amazon on the moment and I reckon besides ebay that’s the only way you’re going to track this down.

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