Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Teenage Jesus and the Jerks/Beirut Slump-SHUT UP AND BLEED CD

Lydia Lunch-VIDEO HYSTERIE: 1978-2006 DVD

(both available through Atavistic)

It looks as if 2008 is shipping up to be "thee" year to be no wave nostalgic, not only with two books out on the subject but this little batch o' booty that arrived at mine door just the other day. The small package of worth that came to me (and shortly at that!) consisted of a Cee-Dee and Dee-Vee-Dee featuring none other than the queen of that whole anti-movement Lydia Lunch, in this case caught in rare and at-times previously unissued performances of both an audio and visual variety. And you can bet your bottom guitar-slide that this thing'll have reg'lar readers of BLOG TO COMM scrambootching for their long-buried issues of THE NEW YORK ROCKER in order to re-read/re-live vicariously all of that neat decadent seventies rockism once they filter out the B-52s and Police worship found in that rag, natch!

SHUT UP AND BLEED will induce nostalgic memories of underground catalog scrounging past and sticking needles up one's rectum with a smattering of both previously and non releases from the early days of the no wave back before everyone and their uncle wanted to get in on the game. Having passed on the Cee-Dee reissue of Lunch's 1987 retrospective entitled HYSTERIE (since I already have that on good ol' vinola) I found this newie to be a particular boon to my digitized collection not only with the classic Foetusized NO NEW YORK tracks but the by-now valuable singles, the Beirut Slump material also taken offa HYSTERIE, and joybell of joybells a whole load of that previously-unreleased material (some even featuring previously-unreleased tunes!) taken from not only some choice Max's Kansas City gig but the Teenage Jesus appearance at the same Artists Space no wave showcase that got one Brian Eno all hot and bothered enough to do that NO NEW YORK sampler thus spreading the message to places located near burning tire pits like Sharon. And for not being a fan of Teenage Jesus (perhaps because of the name, and somebody better clobber Ms. Lunch for starting, whether inadvertently or not, the spate of lame alternative groups with the words "Jesus" and "Christ" in their monikers if only for the sake of decency!) I found myself humming along with and tapping toes to such bound to be new favorites as "Popularity is so Boring" which surprisingly enough is a good sign especially for a jaded ol' pooperoo like me. Of course knowing that tapes of the band's Artists Space performance exist is cause to celebrate in the best ways a no waver could (though I will forego the dominatrix!) leading me to ponder if the rest of that series is due for a release hopefully more sooner than later. After all, fellows like me have been waiting to give groups like Terminal, Daily Life and the Gynecologists a lissen for nigh on three decades awlready, and in this late stage of the game dontcha think that the mysteries behind these groups should be cleared up once and for all? Atavistic, are you listening UP???

If you still can't get enough of this Lunchified late-seventies no wave you might wanna try VIDEO HYSTERIE, a collection of a whole number of Lunch performances spanning a good twenny-eight years through various phases in this woman's (for wont of a better word) "career". Personally I go big for the early stuff that made it onto this DVD (and with a pretty snazzy audio/video quality considering the time and place these were recorded!), especially the '78 Max's Kansas City gig where (after a quickie video of various newsreel atrocities and other acts of random death) we get to see the band as they appeared at that fabled dive during the height of the no wave movement/moment. And for a guy who has always wanted to study Lunch's slide guitar playing and chording the same way mid-sixties punks wanted to eyeball Roger McGuinn's left hand during the"Eight Miles High" solo, a dream has been fulfilled. The Eight-Eyed Spy show from Hurrahs wasn't as hotcha (Hurrahs being a "rock disco" that not only got the cream of the major new wave giggage in NYC at the time but cut into the same audience both CBGB and Max's were counting on to help boost their own sagging fortunes), but I found it historical enough for my own tastes even if the sight of guys playing late-seventies underground rock music with short hair and a 1962 sartorial elegance seems to make me wanna cringe this far down the line. As for the rest...well, most is from Lunch's "womanist" period so if you like the idea of feminism without the MS. magazine-approved sixties-hippie-folkie mentality you'll probably eat this up faster than I ever could. As for me, I feel that Lunch trying to be William Burroughs and Brion Gysin (with Lunch's talk of religion as a virus way-too-similar to Burrough's own credo of language as the exact same thing) rather faint in comparison; in fact it kinda reminds me of that old MAD magazine "License to Bore" that was given to Hugh Hefner, who while trying to come off like Friedrich Nietzsche ended up sounding like Donald Duck! I guess people'll need something to really feel smug and superior to in a hundred years the same way I get on my moral high horse after reading about the eugenicists of the early-twentieth century who not so surprisingly gave way (and credence) to the Nazis who fleshed out their dreams to the utmost. But I get that way sometimes.


noisejoke said...

So you don't dig 8 Eyed Spy or you don't dig the gig, or the recording thereof? Consumers need to know.

Christopher said...

Maybe a combination thereof. Group had good numbers and it was neat hearing Lunch in a more rocking element, but there were bits and pieces of the late-seventies/early-eighties underground (read: "post-punk") that I don't think translate too well this down the line. Maybe it's my penchant for the more early-mid seventies oriented "proto-punk" style.

Pete said...

Thanks for your reviews here, they were well written, insightful, and entertaining. You've got great enthusiasm. It was a pleasure reading this web page!