Sunday, June 02, 2019

No Waver: Lydia Lunch 60

Put on your Sunday Worst, because Church for today is gonna be pure, delicious, and necessary blasphemy.
Today's mistress of The Real Shit was born in 1959, making her just 7+ years older than I. Gosh, I'm old.
She began in the downtown NYC "No Wave" movement, as a Teenage Jesus in one of the greatest and craziest of those bands, and only spread her aesthetic wider and deeper once the 1970s became the Eighties.
Part Spoken Word shaman, part Punk priestess, and all Queen of Confrontation, her output on all artistic fronts, over the last 40 years doing it, makes the feckless phonies look like they are singing The Oprah Winfrey Songbook.
I was looking at all the records she's masterminded and all the ones she's been a part of, and it's a fuck of lot. Hundreds, maybe. Not quantifiable.
This whole bit, where the ladies get up and rant-n-rave against the patriarchy in the most graphic, unfiltered terms, and invite you to suck their dicks if you don't like it? Common now. Wasn't always.
For such expression to become possible on Sausagefest Earth, trails had to be blazed and unwavering risks had to be taken.
When I listen to tapes of her from back in the day, I can't help but be struck by the total fearlessness and disregard for people's carefully engineered sensibilities.
Yes, if there was ever a person to make the cowardly, craven clutchers bypass the Anxiety Grip and go straight for swallowing their pearls, it would be Lydia Lunch, turning the big 6-0 today.
To celebrate, I was going to just post this balls-to-the-wall 50 minute spoken word rant of hers from 1984, but whilst bouncing around with that, I got this idea.
Upon hearing this tape, I began to have this fantasy that I could find some sort of backing track to put to it that would help it stand up to repeated digestions and generally carry it over the top of Rage Mountain.
I had no idea that I would find just the thing to make this one even more monumentally terrifying than it already was.
Lydia Lunch
Hotel Isabella
Toronto, Canada
8.10.1984
EN remix

01 A Few Small Things
02 Dear Whores
03 A 32-Second Insight Into Buck Grunt's Nightmare
04 Shotgun
05 Men Don't Scare Me At All, She Said
06 Ladykillers/Black Romeo Prologue
07 Black Romeo
08 Maine Kelly (And Me On a Bender)
09 One Day On a Bus
10 Dearest Daddy

Total time: 49:24

Lydia Lunch - spoken word

backing music:
Lydia Lunch - vocals & percussion
Clint Ruin (aka JG Thirlwell) - vocals, percussion
Cliff Martinez - drums & percussion

unknown gen sbd capture of a complete spoken word performance, with an unknown gen audience capture of backing music from The On Broadway in San Francisco, CA on 12.3.1983 and featuring Lydia's band Swelter; arranged and assembled in Audacity by EN, June 2019
306 MB FLAC here
The shrieky, incantatory chanting and Dark Satanic Mills metal-banging percussion in the music -- recorded in San Francisco just 9 months before the talking portion -- couldn't be more perfectly suited to supporting Lydia's ultra-violently visceral, viciously verbal curbstomping of the depraved men who have victimized her if it had been recorded with that exact intent.
So it's a first for me. In tribute to a seminal artist that has lived on the bleeding edge of expression for her whole existence, I couldn't help but get a little more creative. Forgive me in advance. Or don't.
It doesn't matter because I'll be back super soon to drop more archival ordnance on you, so go get some of the birthday Lunch I've cooked up and enjoy your meal.--J.