Sylvia Black teams with Lydia Lunch for “Walking With Fire” video (watch)
Sylvia Black, who was also known as Betty Black and used to the front the NYC trio Kudu, is releasing a new album, Twilight Animals, which has a mix of originals and covers of songs by Fat White Family, The Horrors, Psychedelic Furs, Van Halen, and Huey Lewis and the News. The album also features contributions from no wave legend Lydia Lunch, who says “Sylvia Black is sassy… sexy… super talented. Sylvia Black brings class back. Motherfuckas better know.”
Lydia is on the song “Walking With Fire,” and she also appears in the video which premieres in this post. It’s dark, eerie, and retro in sort of a David Lynch way, and Lydia Lunch suits the vibe perfectly. Sylvia says:
I’m certainly not a professional music video director or a pro motion graphics artist but I love doing these things plus I’m the cheapest editor I know. Lydia happened to be in town in LA and had a show out in the desert. So, I did what everyone with a camera in LA does and went to the desert to shoot something. I shot her in one of the theme room hotels that I frequent out there. I brought my projector and projected flames above the NYC skyline headboard. I went kind of literal with it but all I had in my head and all this song sounded like was this early 80’s New York jazz-noir vibe…and for that you MUST have saxophone. Fortunately I know the baddest alto-sax guy around, Jaleel Shaw. What a monster! Visually, all I saw was this deep, heavy, soul-pulling longing in the eyes of a man struggling with love in a loveless City, metaphorically going up in flames. And in some ways, it has burned away. Everyone says NY is not what it used to be and that is very true, but in my mind, even longer before when they are talking about.
Then during Lydia’s California desert performance she had some visuals behind her that she uses on occasion shot and made by Elise Passavant called ‘Dust and Shadows’. They just happened to work well with the whole theme. So at Lydia’s behest and Elise’s allowance I gladly incorporated her visuals, so evocative of that sense of longing, into the video.
‘Walking With Fire’ is special because its the one that brought Lydia and I together musically. And, at the same time I had originally recorded this song, my folks place got caught up in those Detwiler fires in Northern CA. They lost 1/2 of everything they had…I mean, it was pretty devastating. But the aftermath was so visually incredible. So many burnt remains of cars, a machine shop, old photos, treasured objects, white ashes and coal black earth. One neighbor had miles of thick white plastic fencing that melted and warped like a Dali painting as far as you could see. But soon sprigs of green shot through from the now nitrogen rich soil and it was all greener than ever. I filmed a bit for a little promo piece for the song (pre-Lydia) just to capture the moment in time. Same damned jacket though!
Watch the video below…
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