Lydia Lunch – Willing Victim DVD
Music Video Distributors
Lydia Lunch has been a fixture and a pioneer of punk rock and independent music since the 1970s and she’s still at it. Starting with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, then 8 Eyed Spy, and finally onto a very lengthy solo career, she’s done it all. Artist, poet, musician, and actress, there is no media she hasn’t conquered. Though she’s built up a solid underground fan base over the years, she never seemed to gain the notoriety that those that came before and after her did and I’m not really sure why. She certainly never played it “safe” and perhaps that is why she was never embraced more, who knows.
This DVD is a live musical retrospective that was filmed in 2003 in Austria and her band consisted of Nels Cline, Norman Westberg, Algis Kyzis, and Vinnie Signorelli, which are all quite talented and accomplished underground musicians from such bands as Unsane, Swans, and others. It is a pro-shot affair on multiple cameras. The set list spanned her entire career, starting with my favorite Teenage Jesus song, “Orphans” and following through her solo material including the legendary song, “Stinkfist” which was a record she did with Clint Ruin of Foetus back in the late 1980s. The songs sound great, and Lydia puts on a good performance, despite the fact that at times it appeared to me that she doesn’t really seem that interested in being there. It just looked almost like she was a little bored, or angry up there on the stage. Maybe a better description would be not very energetic, but that didn’t hinder her performance at all, plus she is older now and that tends to slow people down a little . Perhaps that is just her gimmick when she plays live, I don’t know because I never got to see her do a musical show, I only saw a spoken word performance in 1987 or 1988 (I forget when it was now), back when I had the hots for her in a big way in my late teenage years. The selection of songs was excellent, and musically it was a really good show. During the performance, there was films playing on a screen in the background which made for a nice effect, but also means the lighting was pretty low on stage.
Visually it looks very well, but as I mentioned with the films playing in the background on stage, there was low stage lighting so sometimes things can be a little hard to see. The audio sounds excellent and is mixed quite well. The disc is an hour long and sadly there is no extra, you just get the show. Despite the lack of extras, the low price tag and the fact that you can’t go out and see Lydia Lunch play all the time (especially in the US it seems) makes this a worthwhile purchase for anyone who has been a fan of her work over the years.