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Wrecking the Death of Lydia Tomkiw

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  • ninplant@xs4all.nl
    wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 ~ Amsterdam Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies: 382 [979*]: Wreck the Death of Lydia PTP in the ether: 88.3FM Where
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      wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 ~ Amsterdam

      Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies: 382 [979*]: Wreck the Death of Lydia
      PTP in the ether: 88.3FM
      Where purity & puerility are synonymous
      streaming via internet:
      <http://freeteam.nl/patapoe/>

      10 September 2007 // 17.00-19.00

      "I know the good die young and I'm not up for sainthood / Not enough
      time left to become immortal, or revered in this lifetime"
      o Lydia Tomkiw, "Incorrigible"

      "Let's don our restless cha-cha gown / As autumn leaves are falling
      down / it's time to reap the fun we've sown."
      o Lydia Tomkiw, "After Busy Summer"
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      True Romance at the World's Fair > Algebra Suicide [1]
      Cerebral Dance > Algebra Suicide [2]
      Waiting for Delmore > Algebra Suicide [2]
      In Bed With Boys > Algebra Suicide [2]
      No Action > Algebra Suicide [2]
      Thank You > Algebra Suicide [3]
      Recalling the Last Encounter > > Algebra Suicide [1]
      Tuesday Tastes Good > Algebra Suicide [2]
      Mantic Sway > Algebra Suicide [2]
      Stopping > Algebra Suicide [3]
      One Night I Fell in Love > Algebra Suicide [3]
      He's Famous Now > Algebra Suicide [4]
      Tender Red Net > Algebra Suicide [4]
      Praxis > Algebra Suicide [1]
      Iris > Lydia Tomkiw & Reality Scare [5]
      In Bed With Boys > Algebra Suicide [1]
      Thief > Lydia Tomkiw & Reality Scare [5]
      Jealous > Algebra Suicide [4]
      All the Young Dudes > Algebra Suicide [6]
      SometimesŠ > Lydia Tomkiw & the Legendary Pink Dots [5]
      A Flock of Crows > Algebra Suicide [7]
      From the Place Everyone Avoided > Lydia Tomkiw & Reality Scare [5]
      Friendly Manifesto > Algebra Suicide [4]
      ?? > Algebra Suicide [6]
      Somewhat Bleecker Street > Algebra Suicide [7]
      Saturn Make a Move > Lydia Tomkiw & Dirk Ivens [5]
      Pretty Something > Lydia Tomkiw & Edward Ka-Spel [5]
      Seven Song > Algebra Suicide [4]
      Happy Wanderer > Polkaholics [8]
      Strange Candy > Lydia Tomkiw & Martin Bowes [5]
      Let's Kill 2 Beer With One Stein > Polkaholics [9]
      Tonight / Agitation > Algebra Suicide [7]
      True Romance at the World's Fair > Algebra Suicide [1]
      True Romance at the World's Fair > Algebra Suicide [2]

      * This big total is the TOTAL number of ca. Shows I have done since
      the beginning of time or 20 years ago at WFMU [NY], Radio Libertaire
      [Paris], and Radio 100 & Radio Patapoe [Amsterdam].

      [1] Single on Buzzerama 1982. I was already hooked on Lydia and Don
      after meeting them in NY when they came to visit. After which I
      reviewed her ___ book of poetry for the East Village Eye and then
      received their promo 1st single "True Romance", this was their
      "evergreen" as they call songs that get played over and over through
      time. It became a fairly big hit on WFMU, the station I was now
      listening to having fled the commercial rock stations who in their
      grab for a bigger mass audience had alienated one and all who liked
      hearing underground, unusual, non-hit inde stuff from any and all
      corners fo the world. That was WFMU's profile and there you could
      hear the song being spun regularly by a wide variety of DJs. This was
      a time for me where everything was possible, where I was going to
      take the world by storm and so were they and all of us going to show
      the old farts how it could be done with more style, meaning and
      conviction. Of course, we got older and the wiser part meant having
      to incorporate the realities of the limitations that the masters of
      the world placed on our dreams. For some reason I played this earlier
      this year. It just crops back up as a durable tune with lyrics that
      are pure poetry. First romantic-punk poetry from THE next generation
      performance poetry duo Algebra Suicide, Chicago's answer to Lydia
      Lunch and patti Smith/Lenny Kaye. this started a long-term fandom for
      the words of Lydia Tomkiw [a consummate poetess] and the fine lean
      musicianship of Don Hedeker [Polkaholics].

      [2] "Real Numbers" On the German label Pursuit of Market Share. Is a
      live recording from Link's Hall, Chicago on April 9, 1988. I get the
      feeling it was some sort of anniversary or wedding celebration
      because there is banter about cutting the cake. As usual Lydia: text
      & voice / Don: guitar / tape. This reminded me why AS concerts were
      so nice; AS had a good balance of the personal [warm] and the gift
      for simple artistic touches [psychedelic slide shows] that made their
      shows special events. Since Algebra Suicide was a compromised band
      name like the Bush [Babies] +[Neon] Tetras there was some speculation
      about the nameŠ That I am guilty of not reading between the lines
      when it came to Lydia's obsession with death cannot be denied. It is
      obvious that on the one side was love [friendship, etc.] and on the
      other there was death. This is how she [they?] explain [or play with]
      the strange band name. On some level her obsession feeding into why
      Suicide was part of the band name. To be honest, I chalked it up to a
      youthful fascination and universal fear that was just a popular
      subject to contemplate if you were a poetŠ BUT in the liner notes I
      now read more and differently. And do I believe that Lydia ended her
      own life - well, yes, somewhat. Not dramatic like Brautigan,
      Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Virginia Woolfe, John Berryman, Sid
      ViciousŠ but I have the nagging feeling that she just gave up wanting
      to live and so ill health and not doing anything about it was a way
      of departing. Anyway, the liner notes: "The Algebra of Suicide - A
      Mathematical Summary: On contemplating the best ways of summarizing
      this book, it has dawned on me that an algebraic point of view [Don
      is a mathematician] may help condense and put in order the relevance
      of the rescuer in suicide. If we begin with the following notations
      Sp = suicide potential
      Vm = victim's motivation
      Ra = rescuer's availability
      We have the necessary ingredients for the first partial equatins A and B.
      Equation A. Sp ~ Vm. Basically this states that suicide potential is
      in direct proportion to the victim's motivation. By and large,
      writer's about suicide have confined their work and limited their
      interpretation of statistics to issue of of motivation. Suicide
      profiles are established:" And there it suddenly ends with an
      imperfect ending, an open fence, the colon as if to leave
      interpretation wide open.

      [3] "Tongue Wrestling" on Widely Distributed 1994. That Lydia was a
      romantic whowho more than anything wanted to disappear in love was
      probably evident early on in my friendship but then mostly in her
      lyrics and her letters. There was the feeling that she believed that
      love could save the world, that love was the panacea for everything
      that ailed this world. She really believed that and she wanted [more
      than] her share. And why not.
      One Night I Fell in Love is about how nothing [no distractive
      annoying details of the world of suffering] can distract her from
      sucking up the love she deserves: "ŠI had fallen in love and was
      dizzy with it / And it made everything seem delightful / I think it
      was cold, but I didn't care / if I caught triple pneumonia, my lungs
      hardening / with so much scar tissue that I wouldn't be able to
      breathe / I couldn't breathe anyway, I was holding my breath / I was
      so much in love and I turned a lovely blueŠ" but she probably saw her
      Achilles heel as being hopelessly in love [with anyone who so much as
      offered the hint of being able to supply her with the addictive love
      (as the drug)] ""I started praying to help me fall out of
      loveŠpraying that the object of my affection, my affliction Š would
      fall down in publicŠ So very much in love, so I got up and drank a
      fifth of gin / and smoked a million cigarettes / and thought about /
      all the dead people I knew to make me drowsyŠ" So, very much that
      fatal flaw of falling in love too easily. I took the lyrics seriously
      but as intellectual discussion not as pleas for help. That was my
      mistake. This mistake became clear to me after Lydia moved to NYC in
      the early 1990s to move away from Chicago ghosts, to start anew, to
      make her mark, but what happened is that all her great words and
      poems could not protect her from the world, which in NYC can be an
      even crueler place than usual. Here she disappeared as fast as she
      tried to make an appearance, the air was like quick sand. She drank,
      ate badly, suffered, gained too much weight and suffered
      disillusionment - and obscurity and she could not writer her way out
      of it. "it's because I have to live every day like it's my last,
      because it may be / being secretly weak and feeble minded, ready to
      step out, in front of / a moving truckŠIt's because I've estimated
      how many weekends are left in my life." Yes, whenever we hung out
      together in NYC we were both suffering although her suffering seemed
      more close to the edge, she seemed fragile and obsessed with her own
      death ["When we're dead, dead, stone cold dead"] down to the very
      coffin color and lining and the songs to be played at her funeral
      [Joy Division] and the very scenario she imagined: people regretting,
      jealous, suffering, having to deal with her disappearance and having
      no way of bringing her back. That is what we talked about when we got
      plastered to the point of no return and she insisting on paying for
      every drink she feels she forced me to drink on her way to massive
      nostalgic confessions of regret and the promise of triumph through
      writing that would resurrect her life, image, reputationŠ

      [4] "Swoon / Alpha Cue" on Widely Distributed 1991. I started to
      understand that her obsession with love was her way of keeping her
      obsession with death at bay. That obsession is fairly evident in her
      texts. Much death and dying and suffering "Downpour" is basically a
      meditation on our slow torturous disappearance from this life/earth
      while in "Desire" she instructs: "don't disregard that inner yowling,
      that restless wantŠ it's what keeps our bloods boiledŠ it's what
      keeps our hearts toiling." Swoon also includes one of Don's best
      musical pieces "Tender Red Net" which is a dadaistic and fun/nonsense
      series of palindromes. Because until a certain age Lydia wore her
      tragedy deep inside and she was clothed in a very positive spirit. As
      I have described her in attention-deficit-necessary shorthand: she
      was Lydia Lunch with a big smile. I think she really loved the life
      of being seen and heard, appreciated with an adoring fan base, being
      able to tromp around and get paid for performing her poetry. But when
      the clapping stopped, when the adulation evaporated, I am afraid she
      had a terrible time reinventing herself - adulation and attention are
      addictive and kicking is painful. I think this night life mix of
      touring and swooning, of love and attention was what gave her life
      some meaning, justification and produced this poetry that made you
      feel it was you she was talking to/about like in "Charming Twilight
      Gaze": "An orchestra is playing in a tavern where / Orientals dream
      of meeting famous blondes / and everything in this /. Whole world
      seems drunk Š and burning / I am being called dangerous / you're
      appearing to like it / we feel like celebrities - we / sway and the
      crowds scatter; / we'll go home when the birds start singing." Her
      "Jealous" may be a meditation on the general human foible but it may
      also address some of the things she was feeling but especially
      accusing others, some of her contemporaries and [ex]friends were so
      guilty of - jealousy. The song also describes our frustration with
      not being as free-dreaming and capble of levity and flotation as we
      had once thought. We are shackled to our skins and "jealous of hair
      that comes and goes as it pleases / of weather, which no one can
      controlŠ"

      It was during the Swoon / Alpha Cue tour ["sounds like I'll fuck you"
      is what she said to me more than a few times] in Paris when me and
      Black Sifichi opened for them in the venerable alternative
      space/record store E.P.E. in the Bastille that certain misgivings and
      agonies started to avail themselves to her, to me. 5, 10, 13 years
      later she was still recycling an ill-remembered moment of time,
      riding in a car driven by Pascal of E.P.E. and the one-man ban, La
      Sonorité Jaune [RIP the nice Pascal!] and we were crammed in there,
      me and Don, and Sifichi and Pascal and others zooming through the
      late Paris streets and she flirting with me and declaring things that
      I did not want to hear [when a friend becomes too much a friend, any
      sexual innuendoes sound incestuous] and this moment of her on my lap
      and grinding her midsection into me and we all laughing in triumph
      after a great evening and joking and threatening to take over the
      world with our words, this moment would come back almost every time
      we ever spoke or wrote in the 17 years after. It was like a permanent
      book mark, that marked a passage in a book that she would always go
      to as one of the fondest memories in her entire life. And it was this
      turn to nostalgia beginning in 1992 [for events that had just
      happened or things that had happened long ago forgotten] this need to
      pump up these memories to mythical proportions and involving me and
      her massive emotions or someone else should have been an indication
      that she was suffering, that the past was glorious and memorable,
      warm and nice, what ever, that you knew she had stopped living in the
      present [because the present was all about acknowledging endless
      disappointment and regret and suffering] and hoping about the future
      [in 1993 she stopped seeing the future, a future I tried to tape
      across her eyes, the future of her settling down to write the great
      novel that would open up her world to a new era of self-esteem and
      reader appreciation, a logical step into maturity and durable
      longevity. No more spandex and fickle fansŠ Anyway, the future I
      tried to force her to accept as her saving grace, as her lifeboat was
      something she lied about accepting and she told me endlessly that she
      was indeed writing the novel about indeed all that was cooped up
      inside her and indeed I would see it soon and edit it and then try to
      send it out, that is what I was going to do but she had to do the
      writing, week after week, after year I tried her to get her to reveal
      pages of this hypothetical novel but I never saw it although the
      stories she told on Brooklyn late night drinking stoops were the very
      ones I thought should have been in this book but I feared that by
      telling me these stories over and over it was like they were leaking
      out into nothingness and that by confessing them they were lost
      forever.

      [5] "Incorporated" on Widely Distributed 1995. Lydia's post-marriage
      re-entry into the world of music & poetry with some great back-up
      from the Legendary Pink Dots who, if memory serves, I went to see
      with her and Don [I think?] in the late 80s. Anyway, she was very
      impressed by them and something happened and they and Edward Ka-spel
      helped her out on 2 tracks. This continues the documentation of her
      tension between insatiable needs and what there is in the world to
      satisfy those love/tenderness and sexual needs [In Bed with Boys]. I
      wonder if "Thief" isn't about a rival/comrade/friend/ex-friend when
      she notes "she has stolen my scent and now dogs follow her homeŠShe's
      stolen my jokesŠmy voice, my wordsŠHad I a husband she'd steal him
      too.." Somewhere between confession, paranoia, grandiose delusions
      and the lonely truth I guess. In "Saturn Makes a Move" the Dylanesque
      lyrics are full of bittersweet reflection/circumspection over well,
      maybe the marriage gone bad: "there's got to be destruction for
      things to be renewedŠBeyond all the commotion and what seemed to go
      astray / I'm sure you'll discover, I'm sure you'll conclude / You
      never needed what you lost anyway."

      [6] "Algebra Suicide X-mas Special 88" on Buzzerama 1988, limited
      edition cassette. This in typical mystical DIY style has 2 totally
      different songs on it than markedŠ

      [7] Single on Buzzerama 1985.

      [8] "American Polka: Old Tunes & New Sounds" on Trikont. This is what
      Don does now: front the madcapped Polkaholics in Chicago. He also
      guided the writer Christoph Wagner through the polka underbelly,
      enabling him to write his illuminating liner notes as always.

      [9] "Polka Über Alles" on Polkaholics <www.thepolkaholics.com>. Fun
      never sounded so insanely necessary and dangerous. Bad beer + good
      polka = better time.


      ~~~~~~~
      Lydia serves as the basis of one of the fairly major characters in my novel
      BEER MYSTIC
      Lydia's short story HELIO was published in the anthology THE
      UNBEARABLES [Autonomedia, 1995]
      [for the complete chapter check out:
      <http://www.bartplantenga.com/beer.php?Beer_Mystic_Excerpt>]:
      ~~~~~~~

      Š Elsa Triolet is a mama, the kind who goes to pick up her kids after
      school, the kind who'd lost the compass to just how beautiful she had
      once been - "People always say I look like Kim Novak - yea, plus like
      a hunnert pounds." She's the kind of woman you meet in a club where
      she is no longer headlining, where she hopes at least 1 fan will
      recognize her, will ask her to sign an old single of hers or
      something. Elsa's the kind who buys you a hundred drinks then gives
      you money so that you can both make believe you are paying for her.
      Liked you in the desperate hope that her liking you would lead you to
      liking her. She had a million good stories, and each one led to the
      conclusion that she had once been somewhere, been someone, and that
      in pity there is pride just like in a modest wine there is the
      potential for cognac. Elsa is the kind who fed off the slim pickin's
      of her former glory and tried to preserve this glory but in so doing
      actually suffocated it in the handsome scrap books and under the many
      layers of anxiously applied makeup, a makeup that went
      expressionistically askew because her hands were now ruled by a bad
      case of the shakes.

      "It's not neurological, it's just nerves." She kept telling herself -
      and me. She also had a tremendous assortment of grommeted and hood
      clamp corsets that had absorbed their own histories of stage sweat. A
      phase that had something to do with industrial cabaret, sexual
      innuendo and a makeover that made her look like a Menlo Park Shopping
      Mall version of Betty Page. I enjoyed watching her get excited
      squeezing into her accoutrements thinking I was getting excited too.
      Life is a series of distractions and religion is preoccupied with
      making meaning out of these distractions. "In 1980, I was my own
      religion." Did she actually say that? There's something perversely
      voluptuous about the tortured impossibility of her size 16 shimmying
      into these size 8 confinements. A miracle. Oh, and how her cups
      ranneth over and over. Like a pint of beer in a shot glass. The
      tighter she tied the corset, the more like a former self she was able
      to identify with for ever shorter durations until the kick lasted not
      much longer than however long she could hold 1 breath. The askew and
      rat-bitten Betty Page wig didn't help much either. Her beauty
      continued to crumble before her eyes. And the more she tried to prop
      it up, the more this decay of crows feet, cellulite, and graying hair
      would mock her.

      ~~~~~~~~~

      This from the article: "Lydia Tomkiw: Like Royalty in Exile"
      THAT APPEARED IN FRINGECORE AND WAS REPRINTED IN TROUSER PRESS
      http://www.clivebarker.com/bands/algebra/fringecore.htm
      for more info: http://www.bartplantenga.com/radio.php?Radio_Other

      "Father warned me that I'd explode and I did."
      o Lydia Tomkiw, "Friendly Manifesto"

      ----

      by bart plantenga

      ----

      Before "Spoken Word" or "Performance Poetry" there was Algebra
      Suicide. When their singles first hit stores and radio stations,
      nobody knew where to stick them: POP, ALTERNATIVE, ART ROCK,
      EXPERIMENTAL, PERFORMANCE ART, COLLEGE ALTERNATIVE? They were almost
      all alone (the excellent Longshoremen also come to mind). And by the
      time "Spoken Word" became a Billboard chart, they were long gone.

      This began as a "whatever-happened-to" story - after crowds stop
      scattering, remembering or buying. Sure, fame has built-in rewards:
      "The best part's being recognized. To realize you're more'n just a
      drop in the ocean. I once arrived in [NY] by bus and this East Indian
      girl, sitting on her suitcases said, 'you're Algebra Suicide; I saw
      you perform in Chicago,'" remembers Tomkiw. But what happens when you
      become "stuck to the wall, a flash in the pan ..." Lydia's "He's
      Famous Now" prognosticating her own fate: "if you squint in the
      distance / You can see him lumbering toward the horizon ..."

      Fame harbors a virus called disposability; pop economics continually
      (re)manufactures anxieties through the perpetually new; and, although
      new is nothing new, those begging to be considered alive today must
      consume what flatters them most. My job as re-revisionist? Squeeze
      "the human heart, so ugly yet exalted" under a microscope and look
      for squiggly signs of why Algebra Suicide's reign as poetry band
      emeritus was so long.

      Tomkiw hales from that stretched yawn of territory wedged between the
      two coasts, where most great American music - blues, jazz, garage -
      seemingly emerges from; that vast social tundra of parking lots,
      where people meet at stoplights or in 7-11 checkout lines instead of
      cafes. America's midwest: haughty mediocrity, internalized terror, "a
      silence that ... eats holes in the dark," - where humans meet fellow
      travelers between the lines of each other's journals. Midwesterners
      may confuse dreams for life and vice versa - but that's not
      psychosis, that's survival here in Henry Miller's "air-conditioned
      nightmare" where, Lydia notices, "winter chews up my life."

      Algebra Suicide's first single, the surreal "True Romance at the
      World's Fair," describes it as: "dog collared loneliness [where] the
      world is not a wild place." Trenchant words pegging boredom and
      terror as high crimes. Lydia "set out to answer questions" about
      heroic escape, reinventing reality through impassioned curiosity;
      offering escape hatches, even decadence as a reprieve from everyday
      life where "there's nothing to dance to, nothing to signal an
      impending good time." Escape from "this season [that] has numbed us
      like a fly in an ice cube" comes in many forms in her songs: you can
      "remove my breasts / so I can slip through the gates," or become
      "chainsaws under the stars."

      In "Recalling The Last Encounter" she wants "to become hydraulic: Hit
      the newsstands! / National exposure! Feel the world crawl into me
      ..." And for awhile Algebra Suicide "hit the newsstands." I remember
      my ex-radio station, WFMU (NY/NJ), receiving their single, "True
      Romance..." with its clairvoyant lyricism swaddled in Hedeker's
      post-garage-sonic gouache, earnestly pricking hearts like other great
      songs of resistance to ennui, i.e., Patti Smith & Lenny Kaye's "Piss
      Factory."

      Like other divas of her time - Nina Hagen, Diamanda Galas - Lydia
      resembled some late century re-"vamp"-ed mirage of erotic/exotic
      intangibility: part Betty Page, part Dorothy Parker. Intrepid college
      radio listeners took her to heart, mind and elsewhere up the charts.
      Sly and seductive, yet never connivingly brazen like Master/Slave
      Relationship's Deborah Jaffe; she seemed to dictate poetry from some
      mythic satin-sheeted 4-poster.

      By 1986, Algebra Suicide was in demand and described as "Joy Division
      with a sense of humor," and Tomkiw as a "female Lou Reed." (She still
      likes that one.) Her wry self-effacing wit and art = fun conviction
      sweetened her sting and groomed her as a kinder Lydia Lunch, a
      subtler Patti Smith, a more earnest Laurie Anderson.

      ~~~~~

      SOME COMMENTS FROM OTHERS

      From Don Hedeker:

      Hi Bart, I posted a bulletin about Lydia at the myspace site
      (www.myspace.com/algebrasuicide) and have gotten lots of very nice
      responses. Also, a few blogs out there too:
      http://lineout.thestranger.com/2007/09/rip_algebra_suicide
      http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/09/algebra-suicide.html
      http://pcarino.diaryland.com/070910_86.html

      Someone even put on YouTube a video of one of our early performances
      - http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Q4J2ZWjjk
      All of this REALLY brings back a lot of memories and emotions, and
      it's super that there are people out there who remember Lydia and the
      great work that she did. Is your radio show on-line? I would love to
      get a copy of your dedication show. I haven't heard back from John
      about anything, nor has there been an obituary in the Arizona papers
      (as far as I can tell). I think that I will give him a call later
      today to try to find out more information. I'll certainly let you
      know what I find out.

      best,
      Don

      ~~~~~

      From Black Sifichi:
      That's very hard news. Actually brings tears to my eyes even though I didn't
      know Lydia that well. But really liked her. I know she was a close friend to
      you...I still wear my algebra suicide T-shirts regularly.

      Sadly
      sifichi

      ~~~~~

      From Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club:
      I am so saddened to hear about Lydia so very very. There seems to be
      this internalization among some poets of our Actual State in these
      Abominable States: Helen Adam pretty much the same thing, Bingo,
      Matthew Courtney. I had not heard from/of Lydia in quite a while..

      Love
      Bob

      ~~~~~

      From J.D. King of the Coachmen
      Dear Bart,

      My condolences on the passing of your friend. Perhaps ironically, the
      only vid I'm finding on YouTube is "Dead Little Bodies."
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMX5om0hKWc
      J.D. King

      ~~~~~

      From Judy Nylon:

      Dear bart, while I didn't know her....I understand your sadness and
      her painful feeling of disconnection. Xxjudy

      ~~~~~

      From Michael Carter, Poet-writer

      Hi Bart, Nin,

      very sad to hear this news. Lydia was a sweetheart. Good to hear from
      you though.

      Take care, Michael

      ~~~~~

      From Scott Marshall, web activist, musician

      Hey Bart, how are you?

      I guess I forgot that you knew Lydia. Do you know what caused her
      death? As we were, originally, all Chicago natives, the whole
      local indie music scene knew Don & Lydia quite well. It was the early
      1980s, and there still wasn't much of an "alternative" or
      experimental music scene to speak of; or, rather, it was quite small,
      with even fewer pubs and cabarets in which to drink and perform. As I
      was part of the WZRD 88.3FM crew (and was the last non-student
      Program Director before the new Administration there at Northeastern
      University ignominiously threw us all out in 1986), I got to know Don
      & Lydia pretty well. I included them in concert bookings I arranged,
      and our two experimental/improv/noise/collage crews, Burden of
      Friendship and Research Defense Squad, played a number of dates with
      them. But whereas our noise-assault style usually earned us about a
      dozen inebriated onlookers, Algebra Suicide could always drum up a
      sizeable audience. Indeed, Burden of Friendship's finest performance
      was delivered as an opener to Algebra Suicide to a packed room at the
      old Gaspar's saloon (1984); including a memorable encounter as our
      crew was packing up instruments, by a young fresh-faced fellow who
      came up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, and
      Steve Albini told me to come down and see your set cuz he said you
      guys were good -- did I miss it?"

      A year or two later, Algebra Suicide took the same stage to open for
      John Cale during his most bloated and alcoholic period. Again, a
      packed room stood quietly and enjoyed Don & Lydia's highly melodic
      presentation and trademark pseudo-psychedelic slide show projected on
      top of them and their all-white stage set-up, only afterwards to
      start drinking and talking loudly and thoroughly ignoring John Cale
      as he slurred and mumbled his way through a lame solo set at a small
      electric piano.

      Some of my happiest memories of 1984-85 Radio Days includes Don &
      Lydia's annual Christmas Party at their cavernous Chicago Ave.
      storefront loft. Those parties were sort of a Who's Who of the
      Chicago Avant-music scene of that moment, including indie radio
      talent, performers, scenesters, and local eccentric characters.

      By 1991, my adventures with live performance, radio production, and
      micro-label manufacturing and distribution was at an end (Panic
      Records and Tapes), and, if memory serves correctly, so was Don &
      Lydia's marriage; thanks, in no small part, to (again, if I remember
      correctly), Lydia's oft-stated desire for an "open" marriage and her
      itinerant flirtations. Throughout the mid-1990s, I was back in school
      finishing my long-delayed art degrees, and friends who knew her
      better than I said that Lydia had gained a lot of weight (she was
      always pretty chunky) and that she had moved to NYC a year or two
      before I did (1998). One of Dave Mandl's friends who I saw at one of
      Dave & Liz's annual New Year's Day parties said that they would say
      hello to Lydia for me, but that was the last communication I would've
      had with her. Lydia will always have a warm place in my happy
      memories of the 1980s Chicago music scene; even now, in my mind's
      ear, I can still hear her nasally monotone delivery of poetic hommage
      to her various flirtations, against Don's lovely Cocteau-Twins-esque
      guitar chords and cheap drum machine, "Boys In The Bed..."

      I feel old!! Yet, life goes on.

      ~~~~~

      From Rod Stasick

      Sad news this is.
      I have no real stories to tell about her and Don. She wished to go
      "clean and convenient" Maybe she "vaporized while taking a shower"
      or "moved to Antarctica without leaving a forwarding address"? -
      [Algebra Suicide: "Little Dead Bodies"]

      BTW, I think that it was '87 when they threw us out of 'ZRD, 'cause
      my last show was in August of that year. My last hour consisted of
      non-stop Whitehouse. better, vibrant days ahead (let's hope) for all
      of you,


      ®ø

      ~~~~~

      From Matty Jankowski, tattoo artist and archivist

      Greetings Bart

      Sad news about Lydia. I have nothing but fond memories of smiles,
      beers and ranting for hours punctuated by her infectious giggle at a
      Hells Angel's bar on the Lower East Side.

      Indelibly
      Matty J

      ~~~~~

      From Jill Rapaport, poet-writer

      Hi, Bart,
      Thanks for sending the news about Lydia. Sorry to haer it. I didn't
      knwo her very well but she was always very likable and unphony
      (prized categories in my book, especially the latter). I hope that
      other than fielding that, you're all doing well.

      Best,

      Jill

      ~~~~~

      From Eric Leonardson

      I remember Algebra Suicide and Brendan, my friend and former
      Chicagoan knew Lydia.

      ~~~~~


      o OTHER PATAPOE SHOWS:
      o Jonges v/d Vlakte [Boys from the Plains]: "De cottonpickin' Jongens
      van de cottonpickin' Vlakte" play a piquant, illuminating, and
      playfully irritating mix of faulty music, of near-misses, of obscure
      failures, of world music that is not from this world 19.00-20.30
      [Dutch time, subtract 1 hr for UK, subtract 6 hrs for US East Coast]
      Mondays @ PTP

      o Dr. Doo Wop is one of the most eccentric and stimulating radio
      shows anywhere. Sartre, DeSade, Doo Wop and music from the gonads.
      Now on Radio Patapoe on Sunday 17.00-18.00 Amsterdam time

      o Solus: Minimal electro techno acid french hiphop / Thursdays 22.00
      o Super Nova is a big potpourri of sounds influences and information
      both local and elsewhere. Can you picture a sound? On Sundays
      18.00-20.00.

      o Wildcat Radio: Anarchist organization presents radio as it should
      be - in your ear. Saturdays 18.00-20.00.

      o De Oktoskoop: Kinderen /kid /children /rugrats and other
      visionaries. Sat. 11.30-13.30

      o POLYPHAKE PLAPPERLAPAPP: "polyphone audioerosion featuring
      occasional beatweirdniks in an plaperlappap assemblage hosted by
      F.Fiasko 22:30-?? Wednesdays

      o Radio Worm: Rotterdam-based radio collective presents inventive
      programming to baffle all preconceptions. Midnight Sundays and in
      autopilot rotation.

      o HET PROGRAMMA: industrial lounge for collapsing people. Tuesdays 21:00

      ~~~~

      * Wreck This Mess-Paris @ Radio Libertaire, Paris 89.4 hosted by
      Laurent Diouf 1/2 PanouPanou on Tuesdays 12:30-14:30 check
      <http://www.wtm-paris.com>
      * Black Sifichi / Audiometric radio check <http://www.blacksifichi.com>

      Send all sound material for airplay and review to:
      Wreck This MeSS
      Radio Patapoe
      bart plantenga
      Dina Appeldoornstraat 11-3
      1076 AX Amsterdam
      the Netherlands

      WTM PLAYLISTS
      o 2500± READERS-EYEBALL "LISTENERS" per WEEK
      o Check out NEW excerpts from my erotic-dérive novel: Paris Sex Tete
      on Parisiana <http://www.parisiana.com/>

      __________________



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