Lydia Lunch Returns to Houston to Whisper and Scream

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In preparation for the night, I was sent a collection of tracks that were approximations of what Lunch will perform in Houston. They included the confessions of a psychic detective in a murder case, a sing-song poetical lament over not being sorry for setting a man's bed on fire, and a piece called "Ghost Town 1,2" that originally appeared in The Heroin Chronicles.

These amazing recordings paint an almost Lynchian picture of Lunch's work (we briefly gushed over the brilliance of Angelo Badalamenti). It's all about madness and seduction and smoldering rage, but delivered in a voice that oozes a seductive madness in every syllable.

But more than just Lunch's skill with words when it comes to accidentally snorting heroin or bloody murder scenes is her ability to weave a spell with her words through their rhythm and tones.

"Its weird," she says. "I think I get a better reaction in Europe, where people may only understand about a third of the words I actually say. I've tried using translators or back up singers on stage and they tell me 'No, we just want to hear you.'

"There's a rhythm and a poetry to the words, even if the meaning is sort of lost," continues Lunch. "I like to whisper in their ears as much as I like to scream in their faces. I'm the happy hater!"

Lunch remains an incredibly important artist, especially in the world of spoken word. By her own admission there isn't any more spoken word now than there was when she started doing it in the '80s. She brings a bleak, black, yet strangely maniacal glee to her craft. You'll live a lot longer and not see much better, or stranger. Catch it while you can.

Lydia Lunch performs twice on Sunday, June 2 at Catastrophic Theatre.

Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards or connect with him on Facebook.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner