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.