If I can clear up one misconception about Lene Lovich – she is not German. I always assumed she was, because of her name, and because she’s weird, and because she appears to dress out of the same dustbin as Nina Hagen. But no, she’s from Detroit, Michigan, home of Iggy Pop and The White Stripes. You can’t really blame me for making the misassociation though. Lovich is a breed of weird that rarely springs up in America. Not coincidentally, she has had her best success in Europe and has long made England her home. The association with Nina Hagen isn’t off-base either; the two are friends and have often played together and covered each other’s songs. I don’t know what Lovich has been up to since she made her breakthrough album Stateless in 1978. I know she had a moment of cultish popularity during the 80’s and her song Lucky Number was a small hit. It doesn’t matter too terribly much; Stateless is a bizarre, brilliant little gem bright enough to earn her all the posterity she needs. The most recent I’ve heard of her she made a cameo appearance on a Dresden Dolls concert video, looking exactly as she did in ’78. A very appropriate team-up, I should say. I can see how Amanda Fucking Palmer owes a debt to Lovich and her uncompromising eccentricity. It’s perhaps inevitable that Lovich should be just a small footnote in the teeming history of rock music, oddball that she is, but it is encouraging to see at least a few young people taking lessons from her. We need more balls-out crazy women taking the stage.

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