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Baker's Dozen

Unearthly Delights: Lydia Lunch's Favourite Albums
Tommy Udo , October 1st, 2013 08:46

Ahead of the no wave pioneer's set with Big Sexy Noise at The Lexington tomorrow, she reluctantly takes up the gauntlet and picks her top 13 LPs

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Photograph courtesy of Darla Teagarden

Lydia Lunch isn't going to be pushed on this one.

"Can you tell me your 13 favourite albums?"


But... but... you HAVE to... fuck me. Would I have this problem with Henry Miller or Stravinsky or Lou Reed or some other comparable figure in the avant-garde?

Lydia is tired. We've talked for a couple of hours about pornography and violence and her idea of fun and Breaking Bad. Sometimes it might seem that music - hers or anyone else's - is way down on her list of things she gives a shit about. Of course that's not true. Her new studio and live album Trust The Witch/Collision Course with Big Sexy Noise, her comparatively long-running collaboration with James Johnston and Ian White (ex-Gallon Drunk) is pretty fucking great. For someone who says that she isn't much taken by hard rock, or punk rock or rock generally, it's pretty fine rock & roll music. When I suggest that there's some serious Pat Benatar worship going on there, she almost falls off the couch laughing.

But when it comes to committing herself to her list, she's not going to blurt out any old crap just to fill up the silence. When Lydia speaks, whether it's a conversation or some of her writing or a song, it comes at you like some mental sax riff from beyond. I believe that she never says a boring or a banal thing and that's exhausting. (OK, maybe she does, sometimes, but only when nobody is around to hear.) And if she tells you that her favourite albums are by Geraldine Fibbers or The Notorious B.I.G. or Foetus or whoever, it's not some off-the-cuff bullshit. She's worked on this.

Lydia Lunch's art is a series of frontline reports from her self. She tells stories that hurt, her most of all. It's probably no surprise then that the artists that she relates to are also story tellers, story shouters, story destroyers, sending out desperate messages from personal hells. We finally speak a few days later on Skype.

Big Sexy Noise play The Lexington in London tomorrow night, with support from Fat White Family and Broken DC; get hold of tickets here. Click on her image below to begin scrolling through Lydia's choices


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Daveid P
Oct 1, 2013 1:25pm

a most excellent read, I once saw Gibby Haines slap Lydia Lunch really hard on the arse, it's the only time I witnessed time briefly stand still..

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John Doran
Oct 1, 2013 2:26pm

In reply to Daveid P:

What happened then?!

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Oct 1, 2013 2:37pm

Bob ** QUINE **, not Bob Quinn... Otherwise, a partly silly list but Lydia has always been rock's greatest comedienne & long may she etc.

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Oct 1, 2013 2:38pm

p/s Berlin is fucking dogshit, always was, always will be, no matter how many new livers Lou shells out for. Bob Ezrin did some OK things elsewhere, however, and lotsa other crap.

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Moms Maybelline
Oct 1, 2013 2:43pm

Speaking of Geraldine Fibbers, Carla Bozulich would be an excellent candidate for Baker's Dozen.

It's cute Lydia likes rap and all but... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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Daveid P
Oct 1, 2013 3:08pm

In reply to John Doran:

bad things, much tussling and cursing whilst I left the area really quickly..

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Oct 1, 2013 3:17pm

In reply to Moms Maybelline:

Glad to see she's still bigging up Mystikal, even after his conviction for sexual battery! I love Mystikal, really under-rated, I'd go with his previous album though. Wish he'd hurry up with a new one. Also just recently got into Boss, she really is brilliant, new album is supposedly in the wings for her too.

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Leroy Hugenkiss
Oct 1, 2013 4:30pm

Kill City is an excellent choice and she pretty much nails it on the head with her description. Except to say I would have added that Consolation Prizes and Lucky Monkeys are wack. Lucky Monkeys is almost so bad that it could have appeared on Naughty Little Doggie or Beat 'Em Up.

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Johnny Nothing
Oct 1, 2013 10:51pm

Kill City as fourth Stooges album anyone? I read Elton John crashed one of their gigs in a gorilla costume and Iggy freaked out cos he was on angel dust or something. Now go listen to Tumbleweed Connection.

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Oct 2, 2013 12:14am

GREAT list!!!

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Oct 2, 2013 12:23am

"Miley Cyrus, I'd like to fuck her, she'd be twerkin' then, excuse my French. Slappin' ass, bitch? Bend over."

Dear John, Luke and Rory: you are smarter, better, more honourable men than to use this quote out of context as clickbait on your Twitter feed. Would you have used it if it was any other 54-year-old artist talking about any other minor? Or if it was directed at an artist you admired? Women don't have to be eloquent, or talented, or conservatively dressed, or whatever other criteria may separate Miley Cyrus from, say, Lauren Mayberry, to not deserve this.

Hoping you can find another snappy quote to use, in a good feature that's full of them, so that all us followers don't get what reads like a disembodied rape threat popping up in our Twitter feeds every few hours for the next week.

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Oct 2, 2013 12:35am

In reply to Moms Maybelline:

amen to Carla Bozulich doing a list or just interview her (if she hasn't been already in Quietus)!

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John Doran
Oct 2, 2013 7:55am

In reply to Em:

Well, there was obviously some context, given that we said it was Lydia Lunch. If it had have been a male artist I doubt we would have run the quote in the first place - let alone tweeted it. The second you see it's by another woman, (a fact that was made apparent by the tweet), it changes the context entirely. Also we'd only run a specific quote tweet once so you won't be seeing it again anyway. Also saying you'd like to fuck someone might be uncouth but it's not a threat of rape; it doesn't speak to consent - to the extent where I think it's your middle class sensibilities not your sensibilities as a woman that are being offended here. Having said all this... I didn't see the VMA clip myself and I don't really know who Miley Cyrus is but I'm sick of the prurience about a young woman dancing I'm having to read every single fucking day. Who gives a shit? Haven't we got better stuff to be talking about? However, as a gesture of good faith, I'm going to ask the house tweeter to think twice about using sex as a hook in tweets... I have middle class sensibilities of my own to consider.

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Moonee Ponds
Oct 2, 2013 9:19am

In reply to Em:

Do you have a clue who Lydia Lunch is?

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Oct 2, 2013 9:25am

In reply to John Doran:

Thanks for the thoughtful response.
I think the punishment implied - the way she says she's got to take the bitch down and go after her because she's stupid - skates kind of close to the edge in terms of the notion of consent. She's pretty clearly not after mutually enjoyable sex.
And of course women can perpetrate sexual violence too. It's still a crime when they do.
Anyways, you know all that. Thanks for responding.

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Oct 2, 2013 5:05pm

In reply to Em:

mrs. lunch is known for quotes like this. hundreds. and, believe me, she said worse things about better people. much of their subjects were woman,especially stupid ones, which she probably despise no matter what age, size or color they wear.
and if we gonna talk about good and reasonable here, i must bring mrs. cyrus talking openly about how weed is a better choice than cocaine to his wide 13-17 fan base last week? well, as someone said, miley cirus jokes write themselves alone...

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Taun Aengus
Oct 2, 2013 8:16pm

AWESOME! I have a place for you to sit when you come over.

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Leroy Hugenkiss
Oct 4, 2013 3:30am

In reply to Johnny Nothing:

I was telling that story earlier this evening coincidentally enough as it is one of my favourites.

For those that are reading these comments and have become somewhat intrigued, essentially Iggy Pop and the Stooges were about midway through their infamous final tour. Iggy Pop was his usual charming self, of course, and managed to convince a young woman to share with him her Quaaludes.

However, this is Iggy Pop in 1973 and Iggy Pop in 1973 didn't share drugs. He quaffed the lot and promptly collapsed in a bush.
Now The Stooges are not particularly known for their compassion and rather than dragging their comrade up to bed, left him to spend the night in the bush.

The next day came and The Stooges were readying themselves for the evening's gig, when it became apparent that Iggy was nowhere to be found. After a brief panic, The Stooges realised he was still collapsed in the bush from the previous evening.

Fortunately someone had some speed and a syringe and a quick shot to Iggy's mainline had him up on his feet albeit leaving him somewhat catatonic. Nevertheless capable of getting up on stage and singing.

Unfortunately midway through the concert some prat turned up and ran on stage dressed as a gorilla. Iggy, in his mental stupor, believed it to be a real gorilla come to kill him and began to scream. James Williamson ("Any guitar player worth his salt is basically a thug") was about to bash the gorilla's brains out with the ass-end of his Les Paul, when the gorilla pulled off its head to reveal: Elton John.

Now there are two things in particular I LOVE about this story: A)It's ridiculous, but reasonably well-sourced... So no one can really argue that it's not (at least somewhat) true.
B)Can you imagine if Elton John had been murdered at a 1973 Stooges concert by the guitarist? Let that sink in.

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Bob Q
Oct 5, 2013 3:08am

In reply to Em:

for the record, Miley Cyrus is 20 years old

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Oct 7, 2013 1:10pm

Fuck, Lydia. I love you too. All I want is the fucking truth all I want is the pure poison. So few so few. You're the hottest thing to burn holes in the soft underbelly of mediocrity and sexless days and nights unrolling like tasteless, mashed meat.
xo my babe.

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Nov 23, 2014 5:45pm

Ugh. Bloated aging pseudo-bohemian tries to act "down."

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dd worldwide
Mar 29, 2016 12:02pm

He was a "grumpy fuck" because he was talking to you - you vapid full of shit airhead. Please stop talking and making music. We stopped listening to your rancid bile a long time ago.

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