Author Topic: Lydia Lunch  (Read 879 times)

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Lydia Lunch
« on: October 27, 2005, 11:24:04 PM »
Upon describing to my friend what exactly I wanted to accomplish with my writing, he recommended I check out Lydia Lunch.  She pretty much does it all.  Actress, musician, photographer, and most notably, in my opinion, a spoken word artist.

So I went nuts at Amazon a month or so ago and bought a whole bunch of her CDs, and have been slowly soaking it all in.  Her most notable spoken word CD is Oral Fixation.  Five tracks of varying length, all admirable, detailing stories (unsure if they're true) of sex, violence, and everything in between.  The last track is a 38 minute performance.  It seems as if a lot of the tracks on her albums are recorded live.

What I liked so much about Oral Fixation was her honesty, bravery, and her ability to use her voice to convey emotion as any good actress would, yet you believe these things much more than you would if it were in a movie.  The track Shotgun is forever etched in my head.  Listening to her, if you note the way she alternates tones between each of the characters she speaks for, it really solidifies how talented she is.  Not to mention, I'll always associate certain words with her.  Hearing her say the word "foggy," you'll know what I mean.

If I could choose one track for anyone to listen to, it would be Daddy Dearest.  It's the most heartwrenching thing I've ever heard.  It made me tear up the first time I heard it, and still does every now and then.  In it, she encapsulated all of her own problems, and on another level, all of the problems in the world.  I wish I were able to link to it for you, but I don't have the resources right now to do so.  If anyone is seriously interested in this, or any of her other stuff, I'll try to help you out though.  Anyway, she went on to elaborate on those problems she touched on in the final, 38-minute title track that follows this one.

Her best musical album is Queen of Siam (Reis).  It's almost pop, but still way too edgy to have any sort of mainstream cache.  I can't really classify it, right now -- my musical vocabulary fails me a bit here.  I'd recommend checking out Mechanical Flattery, Spooky, Los Banditos, Atomic Bongos (my personal favorite), and A Cruise To The Moon (a great instrumental track) to get an idea of what she's about.

Her other musical albums, from what I've heard so far, are very weak.  So far, Honeymoon In Red is borderline unlistenable for me -- a polar opposite of Queen of Siam.  I haven't listened to Drowning In Limbo enough to have a sound opinion of it.  Her in concert musical album is pretty bad from what I've seen so far.  I'm thinking the music of hers I like is an attempt to reach out to a more mainstream audience.  She comments in the Daddy Dearest track on how it only takes one hit single to make it big.  Very telling.

She's done collaborations with spoken word artists, filmmakers, and musicians.  People like Henry Rollins, Richard Kern, and Exene Cervenka.  The spoken word stuff always seems to be noteworthy, no matter what she's rambling about.  One track, The Right to Revolt, seems to provoke an energy which could lead to riot.  It is a call to action, but the odd thing is, hearing this speech live, listening to the audience cheer, you find yourself wondering -- okay, but what are they really gonna do?  Probably get drunk, fuck, and sleep after the show.  And nothing changes.

What I like about Lydia Lunch most is how she is able to put specific words to so many of the problems pervading society.  She, too, doesn't have an answer.  She knows this, but at least she's looking.


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