Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Unearthly Delights: Lydia Lunch’s Favourite Albums

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

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

First Record

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