Now I have finally seen Lydia Lunch.
After a prolonged train trip up to the city waiting for the bridge to
lower at Secaucus and then observing hopelessly as the cabbie
fearlessly attempted to squeeze through friday night tribeca traffic, we finally showed up at the Knitting Factory at 11:30
..the show was scheduled to begin at 11:00. Luckily the band had not
gone on yet.
My first time at the Knitting Factory. (in the past three months I’ve
been to the Gramercy and Fillmore East as well….) It has a lot of
atmosphere. I’m now getting used to the “New York club look” which to
me, seems to include ornate details such as an old copper or plaster
ceilings and plasterwork on walls, persian rugs, furniture(!) , and a
cavernous basement-like feeling. The new york clubs are different from
the L.A./Sunset strip venues, auditoriums, and bars I used to
frequent. They are older, smaller and seem more comfortable, less
institutional. Anyway I could barely make out the historic old details
of the Knitting Factory as it was PACKED…I mean serious fire hazard
packed…But it was small so we could see everything.. ..
Lydia Lunch on guitar
Thurston Moore on bass
Jim Sclavunos on drums.
The set was short and loud and very….uh…disciplined. My impression of
post-punk is that everything is very timed and orderly yet aggressive,
like a negative marching band. There is a lot of well-timed silence as
well as noise. Between the perfectly timed drumbeats you could hear
conversation at the bar. It’s not the unrestrained noisy rollercoaster
chaos of bands like X or psychedelic punk bands like the Butthole
But within the no-wave order there is chaos, like when Lydia would
suddenly make some ear-splitting loud roar on her guitar or when
Thurston broke a bass string and Lydia screamed “he did that because
he HATES YOU!!!!!!” She screamed a lot of vitriolic poison out to the
audience the entire night in a deep angry New York accent. “FUCK YOU
ASSHOLE!!!!! IF i FUCK YOU IT’S GONNA HURT” or “YEAH, FUCK YOU. I HATE
YOU!!!!!” etc etc. Always followed by silence or some loud noise on
her guitar. The audience would reply with some words and she had a
well-timed response for every one. It was beautiful and I assumed it
is part of Lydia’s routine. She had command of the entire audience and
all eyes were on her throughout.
They played for about 24 minutes. After that they picked up and left.
No question of an encore. They hated us, after all.
Creatured – I had a great time!