Studio: Target Video
Video: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Audio: DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Length: 60 minutes
Target Video was founded in 1977 by video artist and teacher Joe
Rees. His goal—along with others involved—was to tape as many
bands as he could in and out of the studio. This took place well
before the time of music television and serves as a wonderful archive
of underground music of the time. Bands included the Screamers,
the Avengers and the Dils, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, and the Cramps to
name a few. The prime concern of the film crew was to capture the
MUSIC—without so much concern for the LOOK of the production.
That comes through in spades on this disc. The camera work is
fine and features shots from the front, side, and pans that go across
the stage and the audience. Sound quality ranges from mediocre to
slightly better and it isn’t always easy to hear the vocals.
Video quality looks like an old videotape with banding of solid colors,
and a fuzzy, soft picture. The club is packed with people and
although the stage is often light up with varying colors, sometimes it
is a bit dark and hard to see. Amateurish song titles appear
briefly to alert the viewer to which song they are listening to.
Another big annoyance is the copyright information at the bottom of the
screen. It remains throughout the entire video (like those
Screener titles you see on certain promo/screener videos). If
your video display has 10+% overscan then maybe it will be hidden, but
on two monitors I tried it was plain as day.
The band is made up of Carlos Alomar (future David Bowie guitarist),
Gary Valentine (guitar), Rob Duprey (guitar), Mike Page (bass), and
Clem Burke (drummer from Blondie). Iggy Pop is quite a
sight—spending most of the show in drag—mini skirt, garters, and
stockings. However, there is no denying the honesty of the
performance (somewhat cliché I know, but true). The music is
gritty, hard, raw, and vital—the essential punk sound. The song
“1969” I’d previously heard as a cover sung by Chrissie Hynde (?) in
the film of the same name. “Dum Dum Boys” sounds a little like
the Velvet Underground and opens with an impressive swirl of guitar
that evokes the image of falling in a big pit. “Lust For Life”
became popular again after its appearance in the film Trainspotting and
fits nicely with the rest of the program. The last tune, “Pumpin’
for Jill,” is introduced as a newer song and has the beginnings of what
will be termed 80s New Wave. Throughout most of the disc you can
expect some ambient surround that helps move the sound into the room.
Songs include: Some Weird Sin; Houston Is Hot Tonight; T.V. Eye;
1969; Rock & Roll Party; Bang Bang; Dum Dum Boys; Eggs on Plate;
I’m a Conservative; I Need More; Lust for Life; Pumpin’ for Jill.