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A true visionary
Sunday, 14.06.2015, 20:20
oh what a night...
Lydia Lunch Retrovirus (USA)
She’s always been T H E downtown doyenne whose haunt and home away from home was CBGB’s. Downtown in that bubbling swamp LL launched the short-lived but influential Teenage Jesus and the Jerks - with James Chance - in the late 70’s and which was the band that was primarily known for out-punking punk. And that’s also when nihilism found a voice in this natural and feminine protagonist.

More mundane, her name was given to her by Willy DeVille because she was known to steal food for her friends. When not feeding them, she was a ferocious reader of Henri Miller, Hubert Selby and Jean Genet coupled with an obsession for glam rock that eventually catapulted her to NYC. Also because of the New York Dolls, she says «I felt like aman trapped in a woman’s body but here were men in woman’s clothing». Her output and influence reached beyond performing and leading various bands, like Big Sexy Voice. In her trademark confrontational in-your-face manner she ventured into underground movies, books, spoken word and poetry performances, you get the idea. Musically, there were collaboration with Sonic Youth, Henry Rollins and Einstürzende Neubauten as well. Cult songs like «The Agony and the Ecstasy» apparently referred to the Michelangelo bio by Irving Stone and was labelled a precursor anthem for the Riot Grrrl movement. Acting was a natural for her, alternatively appearing as a dominatrix or an abused woman and in films like «Vortex» (with James Russo) – «He Wanted Love … She Kissed Him, Deadly».

Provocative, sexy and highly creative and very different from what was going on at that wonderful crazy time around her, Lydia Lunch gave birth to her own indelible style. People called it nervously no-wave, post punk, industrial, avant-garde, spoken word or what have you. This true visionary continues to delight and also continues to raise a warning finger for activist causes like self-empowerment.

Lydia Lunch, that hot and sexy noise queen is upon us again with her virulent band, Retrovirus. The boys in the band are announced as the herculean guitar Walter Weasel (formerly Flying Luttenbachers), venomous bass Tim Dahl (Child Abuse) and calamitous Bob Bert on drums (see Sonic Youth and Pussy Galore). «Urge To Kill» (nothing’s changed!) is their noxious new album. It’s a cranked up compilation of quick, sharp retro songs that’ll provoke the senses and prick the skin. It’s a type of virus you can feed off.

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