sonic youth - The I-94 Bar
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.
Jasmine 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.
Fuckin’ five bottle feedback and dronecrush alert. Among other things.
Melbourne band Fraudband are seriously determined to get your attention. “Many Ways in…” has a great cover, good packaging, and … ah, yeah. The songs. Five bottles, Barman, did I mention..?
“Many Ways in…” is a re-recording of Fraudband’s first two EPs, neither of which I knew existed until I saw the press release. More fool me. Loki Lockwood is the dread at the production controls because he mixed them live, loved them and put himself forward.
The Electric Guitars are fucking extraordinary. I saw this outfit in Geelong and they deliberately mess with your expectations. Partly I spose it's 'cause there are so many fucking rock'n'roll bands. And these days, there's a big swing towards the manner of psychedelia (without the bad trips and foul behaviour) in the US and UK.
Yeah, so the Electric Guitars use wah-wah. But it's hardly a mannered thing - they use a lot of effects, and they ain't shy about it. This outfit don't need drugs to get your attention, instead they have carefully set-up songs and wield them like scalpels, chainsaws and bludgeons, sometimes all at once.
You think you know where you are with a band like this, you'll fall on your face. The second song alone ("Three Body Problem") is a case in point... you're sucked in, frankly, and after a while your sinuses are aching and your inner ear is rattling. If you have fillings, take them out before you listen.
Sleight of Hand – River of Snakes (self released)
The fuzz pedal is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century - and Melbourne’s River of Snakes sound like they have shares in it. Let’s hope that canny investment buys the three members a mansion each in the exotic locations of their choice.
The band has been around for a decade. The commercial music world may have moved in a wholly different direction since then, but their sound has stayed firmly rooted in the share-house, college radio universe of the ‘90s…a time when guitars were king and punk - or whatever you wanted to call it - briefly looked like it might drive a stake through the heart of blandness. Of course, that ridiculous but romantic notion was not to be…