|Birth name||Lydia Anne Koch|
|Born||June 2, 1959|
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Lydia Lunch (born Lydia Anne Koch, June 2, 1959) is an American singer, poet, writer, actress and self-empowerment speaker. Her career was spawned by the New York City no wave scene in the 1970s, predominantly as the singer and guitarist of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks.
Her work typically features provocative and confrontational noise music delivery, and has maintained an anti-commercial ethic, operating independently of major labels and distributors. The Boston Phoenix named Lunch one of the ten most influential performers of the 1990s. Her collaboration with Sonic Youth called "Death Valley '69" was named one of "The 50 Most Evil Songs Ever" by Kerrang!.
Lunch was born on June 2, 1959, in Rochester, New York. She moved to New York City at the age of 16 and eventually moved into a communal household of artists and musicians.
After befriending Alan Vega and Martin Rev at Max's Kansas City, she founded the short-lived but influential no-wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, with James Chance. Both Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and the Contortions, Chance's subsequent band, played on the no wave compilation No New York, produced by Brian Eno. Lunch later appeared on two songs on James White and the Blacks album, Off-White.
Lunch's solo career featured collaborations with musicians such as J. G. Thirlwell, Exene Cervenka, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Bob Bert, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Billy Ver Planck, Steven Severin, Robert Quine, Sadie Mae, Rowland S. Howard, Michael Gira, the Birthday Party, No Trend, Sort Sol, Einstürzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, Oxbow, Die Haut, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Black Sun Productions, and French band Sibyl Vane, who put one of her poems to music.
In the mid-1980s, she formed her own recording and publishing company called "Widowspeak Productions" (also known as just "Widowspeak"), on which she continues to release her own material, from music to spoken word. Two albums published by Lunch's label were released in 2013: Collision Course & Trust The Witch, by Big Sexy Noise (released on Cherry Red), and Retrovirus (released on Interbang Records); both albums are by Lunch's musical projects.
Lunch released her studio album Smoke in the Shadows in November 2004, through Atavistic Records and Breakin Beats, after a six-year break from music. Nels Cline, the lead guitarist of alternative rock band Wilco, was featured on the album. Smoke in the Shadows was met with positive reviews by Allmusic, PopMatters, and Tiny Mix Tapes.
In 2009 Lunch formed the band Big Sexy Noise. The group features Lunch on vocals, James Johnston (guitars), Terry Edwards (organ, saxophone), and Ian White (drums). Johnston, White and Edwards are members of the British band Gallon Drunk. A six-track eponymous EP was released on June 1, 2009, through Sartorial Records, and included a cover of Lou Reed's song "Kill Your Sons," as well as "The Gospel Singer", a song co-written with Gordon. The debut, self-titled album, Big Sexy Noise, was released in 2010, followed by Trust The Witch in 2011. For both albums, Lunch and her band completed tours throughout Europe.
In 2010, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project launched We Are Only Riders, the first of a series of four albums featuring Pierce's previously-unreleased works-in-progress. The album features interpretations of Pierce's work by friends, collaborators, and admirers, including Lunch. Lunch also contributed to the second album from the project, The Journey is Long, which was released in April 2012.
Although the Pierce Sessions Project's third and final album, The Task Has Overwhelmed Us, was due for release in late 2012, the schedule was changed after the release of the second installment. Glitterhouse Records, the label producing the collection, instead released a third album titled Axles & Sockets in May 2014, on which Lunch performs "The Journey Is Long" with Pierce's recordings. The label explained that the third album has become the "penultimate" full-length release of the Project, but did not name the final album, or its release date.
Lunch released the album Retrovirus (also the name of the band Lunch plays with) in 2013 on Interbang Records and ugEXPLODE (the vast majority of the album tracks are published by Widowspeak). Together with band members Weasel Walter, Algis Kizys, and Bob Bert, Lunch performed a show following the album's release at the Bowery Electric venue in New York City, in May 2013.
She appeared in two films by directors Scott B and Beth B. In Black Box she played a dominatrix, and in Vortex she played a private detective named Angel Powers. During this time, she also appeared in a number of films by Vivienne Dick, including She Had Her Gun All Ready (1978) and Beauty Becomes The Beast (1979), co-starring with Pat Place. In 2011, Lunch appeared in Mutantes: punk, porn, feminism, a film directed by Virginie Despentes, also featuring Annie Sprinkle and Catherine Breillat. She also wrote, directed, and acted in underground films, sometimes collaborating with underground filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern.
Lunch has recorded and performed as a spoken word artist, collaborating with artists such as Exene Cervenka, Henry Rollins, Don Bajema and Hubert Selby Jr. as well as hosting spoken-word performance night "The Unhappy Hour" at the Parlour Club.
In 1997, Lunch released Paradoxia, a loose autobiography, in which she documented her early life, sexual history, substance abuse and mental health problems. Time Out New York gave it a favorable review, while Bookslut ambiguously concluded "It's to the reader to determine whether Lunch's study goes deeper than that, or if instead, it's a kind of literary and philosophical repetition compulsion, a reprisal of greatest hits from male nihilists, sexual adventurers and chroniclers of deviance." PopMatters called it a "brutal but boring and predictable circus, about which Lunch shows no emotions. Only fatigue seems to have given her pause."
In 2013, Lunch ran self-empowerment workshops in locations such as Ojai, California, US and Rennes, France. In regard to the Rennes workshop, her inaugural self-empowerment event, Lunch recalled: "Every day people would come in that would have to get a hug. I felt like mother India." In April of that year, Lunch said that she is the producer of the Emilio Cubeiro album Death of an Asshole. In 2014 Lunch shot a series of photographs with Austin, Texas-based artist, Darla Teagarden.
- Queen of Siam (1980)
- 13.13 (1981)
- Honeymoon in Red (1987)
- Unearthly Delights (1992)
- Twisted (1992)
- Matrikamantra (1997)
- Smoke in the Shadows (2004)
- Retrovirus (live, 2013)
- Urge to Kill (as Lydia Lunch Retrovirus) (2015)
- Drunk on the Pope's Blood/The Agony Is the Ecstacy (split with the Birthday Party, 1982)
- In Limbo (1984)
- "No Excuse" (1997)
- Compilation albums
- Video albums
- Willing Victim (The Audience as Whipping Boy) (live in Graz, Austria, 2004)
Teenage Jesus and the Jerks
- "Baby Doll" (1979)
- "Orphans" (1979)
- Compilation albums
- Appears on
- No New York (1978)
- "Try Me" (1979)
- 8-Eyed Spy (1981; reissued as Luncheone in 1995)
- Live (1981)
- "Diddy Wah Diddy" (1980)
- Naked in Garden Hills (1987)
Big Sexy Noise
- Big Sexy Noise (2009)
- Trust the Witch (2011)
- Some Velvet Morning with Rowland S. Howard (EP, 1982)
- The Drowning of Lucy Hamilton with Lucy Hamilton (EP, 1985)
- Heart of Darkness with No Trend (EP, 1985)
- The Crumb with Thurston Moore (EP, 1987)
- Stinkfist with Clint Ruin (EP, 1987)
- Don't Fear the Reaper with Clint Ruin (EP, 1991)
- Shotgun Wedding with Rowland S. Howard (1991)
- Transmutation + Shotgun Wedding Live in Siberia with Rowland S. Howard (1994)
- The Desperate Ones with Glyn Styler (EP, 1997)
- Champagne, Cocaïne & Nicotine Stains with Anubian Lights (EP, 2002)
- Omar Rodriguez Lopez & Lydia Lunch with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (EP, 2007)
- U Turn with Minox (EP, 2008)
- Lydia Lunch and Philippe Petit – (2011)
- A Fistful of Desert Blues with Cypress Grove (2014)
- Twin Horses with Cypress Grove (2014) a split album with Spiritual Front
- Under The Covers with Cypress Grove (2017).
- Off White, James White and the Blacks (1979)
- Der Karibische Western, Die Haut (EP, 1982)
- Thirsty Animal, Einstürzende Neubauten (EP, 1982)
- "Boy-Girl", Sort Sol ( 1983)
- Dagger & Guitar, Sort Sol (1983)
- "Death Valley '69", Sonic Youth (1984)
- A Dozen Dead Roses, No Trend (LP, 1985)
- Death Valley '69, Sonic Youth (EP, 1986)
- King of the Jews, Oxbow (1991)
- 13 Above the Night, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (LP, 1993)
- Dirty Little Secrets: Music to Strip By, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (LP, 1999)
- Head On, Die Haut (1992)
- Sweat, Die Haut (1992)
- Unhealthy, Lab Report (1994)
- York, The Foetus Symphony Orchestra (1997)
- Brooklyn Bank, Here (1998)
- OperettAmorale (compilation tribute album to Bertolt Brecht, 2005)
- The Impossibility of Silence, Black Sun Productions (2006)
- Ankitoner Metamars, Ankitoner Metamars (2007)
- "Frankie Teardrop", Alan Vega 70th Birthday Limited Edition EP Series (2008)
- We Are Only Riders, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (2010)
- The Journey Is Long, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (2012)
- Axels & Sockets, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (2014)
- Synthetic Love Dream, David Lackner (2014)
- Trouble in Paradise, Drrty Pharms (2017)
- Better An Old Demon Than A New God, Giorno Poetry Systems comp. feat. William S. Burroughs, Psychic TV, Richard Hell and others (1984)
- The Uncensored, solo (1984)
- Hard Rock, solo (split cassette w. Michael Gira / Ecstatic Peace, 1984)
- Oral Fixation, solo (12", 1988)
- Our Fathers who Aren't in Heaven, w. Henry Rollins, Hubert Selby Jr. and Don Bajema (1990)
- Conspiracy of Women, solo (1990)
- South of Your Border, w. Emilio Cubeiro (1991)
- POW, solo (1992)
- Crimes Against Nature, solo spoken-word anthology (Tripple X/Atavistic, 1994)
- Rude Hieroglyphics, w. Exene Cervenka (Rykodisc, 1995)
- Universal Infiltrators, (Atavistic, 1996)
- Kicks Joy Darkness, feat. Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac's work performed by other various artists (1997)
- The Devil's Racetrack (2000)
- Flood Stains, w. Juan Azulay (2010)
- Medusa's Bed, w. Zahra Mani & Mia Zabelka (2013)
- Marchesa, solo (Rustblade, 2018)
- She Had Her Gun All Ready: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1978)
- Guerillere Talks: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1978)
- Rome '78: Directed by James Nares (1978)
- Black Box: Directed by Scott B and Beth B (1978)
- Beauty Becomes the Beast: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1979)
- The Offenders (1979–1980): Directed by Scott B and Beth B
- Liberty's Booty (1980)
- Subway Riders: Directed by Amos Poe (1981)
- The Wild World of Lydia Lunch: Directed by Nick Zedd (1983)
- Like Dawn to Dust: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1983)
- Vortex: Directed by Scott and Beth B (1983)
- Submit to Me: Directed by Richard Kern (1985)
- The Right Side of My Brain: Directed by Richard Kern (1985)
- Fingered: Directed by Richard Kern (1986)
- Hardcore Extended: Richard Kern (includes all movies of R. Kern with L. Lunch) (DVD / Le Chat qui Fume, 2008)
- Barbecue Death Squad from Hell with Penn & Teller (1986)
- Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1987)
- Mondo New York (1987)
- Invisible Thread: Directed by Bob Balaban (1987)
- Kiss Napoleon Goodbye: Directed by Babeth vanLoo (1990)
- The Road to God Knows Where: Directed by Uli M. Schüppel (1990)
- Thanatopsis: Directed by Beth B (1991)
- Visiting Desire: Directed by Beth B (1996)
- Power of the Word (1996)
- The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things: Directed by Asia Argento (2004)
- Kill Your Idols: Directed by Scott Crary, also known as S.A. Crary (2004)
- Psychomentsrum (unreleased)
- Godkiller: Walk Among Us (2010): Voice role
- Mutantes: punk, porn, feminism: Directed by Virginie Despentes (2011)
- Autoluminescent: Directed by Richard Lowenstein (2011)
- Blank City: Directed by Celine Danhier (2012)
- Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over: Directed by Beth B (2019)
- The Right Side of My Brain (1985)
- Fingered (1986)
- The Offenders (1980)
- Vortex (1983) (with John Lurie, Adele Bertei, Pat Place, Beth B and Scott B)
- The Right Side of My Brain (1985)
- Goodbye 42nd Street (1986)
- Fingered (1986)
- I Pass for Human (2004)
- Flood stains (2010)
- Disturbtion (2015)
- The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (1983)
- Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1987)
- Put More Blood into the Music (1987)
- The Gun is Loaded (1988–1989)
- The Road to God Knows Where (1990)
- Malicious Intent (1990)
- The Thunder (1992)
- Totem of the Depraved (1996)
- Paradoxia (1998)
- Lady Lazarus: Confronting Lydia Lunch (2000)
- Kiss My Grits: The Herstory of Women in Punk and Hard Rock (2001)
- DIY or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist (2002)
- Kill Your Idols (2004)
- American Fame Part 1: Drowning River Phoenix, dir. Cam Archer (2004)
- American Fame Part 2: Forgetting Jonathan Brandis, dir. Cam Archer (2005)
- Wild Tigers I Have Known, (Scenes Deleted), dir. Cam Archer (2006)
(both written, acted, directed and produced with Emilio Cubeiro)
- South of Your Border (1988)
- Smell of Guilt (1990)
- Adulterers Anonymous (1982 with Exene Cervenka)
- AS-FIX-E-8 (1990 with Mike Matthews)
- Bloodsucker (1992 with Bob Fingerman)
- Incriminating Evidence Last Gasp, 1992
- Adulterers Anonymous Last Gasp, 1996
- Toxic Gumbo (1998 with Ted McKeever)
- Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary Creation Books, 1999
- The Gun is Loaded Black Dog Publishing London UK, 2007
- Will Work for Drugs Akashic, 2009
- The Need to Feed: Recipes for Developing a Healthy Obsession with Deeply Satisfying Foods RCS MediaGroup Universe imprint, 2012
- So Real it Hurts, introduction by Anthony Bourdain, Seven Stories Press, 2019
- Martin Charles Strong. The Great Indie Discography. 2003, page 85
- "Lydia Lunch Through the Years". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- Masters 2007, p. 73
- Andrea LeVasseur (2009). Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide https://web.archive.org/web/20090402115901/http://movies.nytimes.com/person/43755/Lydia-Lunch/biography. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2014. Missing or empty
- Masters 2007, pp. 73–108
- Holden, Stephen. "Lydia Lunch Expands Theatrical Boundaries". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- "Lydia-lunch.org – The Official Lydia Lunch Website – Biography". Lydia-lunch.org. Archived from the original on October 22, 2004. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "The 50 Most Evil Songs Ever". Kerrang!. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- Masters 2007, p. 82
- "Widowspeak Productions". discogs. 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Horning, Rob (January 27, 2005). "Lydia Lunch: Smoke in the Shadows". PopMatters. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Lydia Lunch – Interview – MagnaPhone Magazine – Pure Music". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- Hectic, Gerry (June 27, 2009). "Lydia Lunch – Big Sexy Noise". Fly. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Jurek, Thom. "Smoke in the Shadows". AllMusic. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Lydia lunch – Smoke in the Shadows". Tiny Mix Tapes. 2004. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- Manchester, Guy (June 30, 2012). "Big Sexy Noise & Rock in Your Pocket: Bristol – live review". Louder Than War. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Meltdown: Lydia Lunch's Big Sexy Noise + Cindytalk". Time Out. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "iTunes – Music – Big Sexy Noise – EP by Lydia Lunch & Big Sexy Noise". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Home". Lydia Lunch Official Site. Lydia Lunch. 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Big Sexy Noise live". Songkick. 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project". Glitterhouse Records. November 1, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- Phil Newall (February 9, 2012). "Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project to release second album..." Louder Than War. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- "Nick Cave and Blondie's Debbie Harry duet on The Gun Club tribute album". Uncut. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- "The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project". Glitterhouse Records. Glitterhouse Records. May 2, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "Lydia Lunch – Retrovirus". discogs. 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- elementallfilms (June 1, 2013). "Lydia Lunch / Retrovirus – at Bowery Electric, NYC – May 29, 2013" (Video upload). Google, Inc. Retrieved January 2, 2014 – via YouTube.
- Calhoun, Ada (December 20, 2013). "Lydia Lunch Through the Years". The New York Times.
- Masters 2007, p. 160
- Rob Trucks (May 20, 2008). "Interview: Exene Cervenka of X". The Village Voice. Village Voice, LLC. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "Tales and Cocktails". Los Angeles Times. December 9, 1998. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "LYDIA LUNCH". Trouser Press. Trouser Press LLC. 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- Nothing's Shocking: An Interview With Lydia Lunch Archived July 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Drew Fortune, July 18, 2008]
- Brown, Liz (October 4, 2007). "New York Time Out". New York Time Out. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Kantor, Matthew. PopMatters https://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/paradoxia-by-lydia-lunch. Retrieved June 29, 2014. Missing or empty
- "The Lydian Spin". Lydianspin.net. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
- Barnabe, Dylan (February 10, 2020). "Against All Logic 2017–2019". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
- "Lydia Lunch: 'If it's for the money, you're not doing art. You're doing commerce'". the Guardian. July 21, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
- "Film Search: Rome 78". Chicago Reader. Sun-Times Media, LLC. 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- "Full cast and crew for Invisible Thread". IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Full cast and crew for The Road to God Knows Where". IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Full cast and crew for Visiting Desire". IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Full cast and crew for The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things". IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Full cast and crew for Kill Your Idols". IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- David Marren (June 15, 2012). "Blank City – film review". Louder Than War. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Home". Lydialunchfilm. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
- "So Real It Hurts". sevenstories.com. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
- Masters, Marc (2007). No Wave. London: Black Dog Publishing.
- Neal, Charles, ed. (1987). Tape Delay: Confessions from the Eighties Underground. SAF Publishing Ltd. pp. 93–103. ISBN 978-0-946719-02-0 – via the Internet Archive.
- Official website
- Lydia Lunch at IMDb
- Biography of Lydia Lunch on ZE Records
- Lydia Lunch archives
- Lydia Lunch interview
- Lydia Lunch interview at Allaboutjazz.com
- Review at Abitare
- Lydia Lunch and Lucy Hamilton: Lucy's Lost Her Head Again (1:28) an extract from The Drowning of Lucy Hamilton published on Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine @ Ubuweb