lydia lunch - The I-94 Bar

City Primeval. New York. Berlin. Prague. Curated by Robert Carrithers and Louis Armand (Literaria Pragensia Books/ Univerzita Karlova)

city primeval coverYou may, or may not, see this book in shops. If you do, buy it. Most of the readers here will want to read the New York section. So don’t hesitate.

But I’m s’posed to be a critic or something and The Barman wants to know: how many McGarretts?  In spite of the several things which annoy the hell out of me, "City Primeval" rates a mighty Three McGarretts. Yep: 100 percent..

Why so high, Grand-dad?

Well, the concept alone is mighty. And it could’ve been seriously terrible. But "City Primeval" is one of those unique, slanted historiography things which are invaluable to any music/ culture enthusiast. Sure, the book could’ve done with a decent editor, and sure some of the people writing here don’t usually write so it’s not the smoothest. 

But that’s not the point, at all, and in fact is part of the charm. Reading "City Primeval" doesn’t just give us a bit more context, but part of the "ah-HA!" understanding which so many outsiders to any florid scene lack.

Hey Australia: Lydia's coming to Lunch

retrovirus

American Singer, poet, writer and actress, Lydia Lunch returns to Australia with her all-star cast of sonic brutarians in a no-holds-barred survey of her musical output from 1977 to the present.

Lunch will be including music from Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, 8 Eyed Spy, Queen of Siam, 1313 and Shotgun Wedding.

Lydia Lunch Retrovirus features members from Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, Chrome Cranks, The Flying Luttenbachers, Child Abuse and more and marries No Wave, Skronk, Hard Rock and Psychedelic Out Jazz to create a dynamic live performance which is dangerous, infectious and aggressively sexy the way Rock music once was.

It's 2018 and we still need Lunch

LYDIA 1 by Jasmine HirstJasmine Hirst photo.

Lydia Lunch doesn’t particularly care whether people are offended by her art.

From her beginnings in New York no wave outfit, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, to her spoken-word performances, to her collaborations with Rowland S Howard in Shotgun Wedding, Swans’ Michael Gira, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Bob Quine (Richard and the Hell and the Voidoids), right through to her more recent profane expositions on the United States under Donald Trump, Lunch’s self-defined brief has been deliberately and avowedly confrontationalist.

In her own words, Lunch is a conceptualist, exploring concepts that highlight the exploitation and marginalisation of the individual in contemporary society, the typically patriarchal and oppressive discourse wielded by institutions of power.

If you can’t stand the heat in Lunch’s artistic kitchen, go find yourself a fast-food media joint and starve on the processed, intellectually bankrupt crud that masquerades as entertainment.

In May 2018 Lunch returns to Australia with her Retrovirus concept, trawling across her 40-year career with the aid of Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Chrome Cranks), Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers) and Algis Kizys (Swans). I spoke to Lydia Lunch in her sometime home town of New York City.

Messin' With The Kid

kid congo promo shotGuess who's coming to dinner? Kid Congo Powers (right) and the Pink Monkey Birds.

Kid Congo Powers’ musical career is a lens through which can be seen some of the most intense and evocative music of the last 40 years. 

Born Brian Tristan in the Los Angeles suburb of La Puente, Kid Congo Powers famously met Jeffrey Lee Pierce in the line at a Pere Ubu concert. Pierce was the president of the LA chapter of the Blondie Fan Club; Powers was the president of local chapter of The Ramones Fan Club. Pierce recruited Powers to join his fledgling band, Creeping Ritual, later to become The Gun Club. 

In 1980 Powers joined psychobilly band The Cramps, who’d recently moved to LA from New York (it was Cramps lead singer Lux Interior who bestowed Brian Tristan with the moniker Kid Congo Powers).