Thursday, March 23, 2006:

music's gonna get you home tonight

The Stooges -- Down on the Street
The Stooges -- Search and Destroy
Iggy Pop -- Lust for Life
Iggy Pop -- Mixin' the Colors
Thanks to your favorite Reverend and mine, I've been turned on to the primal proto-punk of Iggy Pop. How to sum him up? I guess you could start by talking about giant turbines, haphazardly oiled and endlessly churning, or maybe semis on the interstate loaded with 12,000 lbs of freight, cruising along at 70 miles an hour (the left side of an equation that equals "good God almighty"), or maybe dynamite forgotten in some shed and beginning to sweat.

Some of his music is oddly narcotic, some of it exhilarating and amphetaminic, and some of it sounds like it must be a bad trip, the kind that might leave you shaken for days (David Bowie and your awful misbegotten mid-80s synth sound, I'm thinking of you ... but thank you for Lust for Life).

When it's good, it's very good indeed; and so far I've missed the bad, thanks to a record store that lets you listen first.

But I've yet to hear all the good: I haven't heard all of The Stooges or Raw Power, not to mention The Idiot and Brick by Brick.... Iggy/Stooges fans, what else would you recommend?

[Fun House]
[Lust for Life]
[American Caesar]
[Life Aquatic]

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Hey, Tuwa--Iggy nut here.
"The Idiot" is probably my favorite, with "Lust For Life" and "Raw Power" running a close second. "Brick By Brick" is uneven (for me, anyway). I actually like "Blah Blah Blah" more than I like "Brick by Brick".
But "The Idiot" is one for the ages.

I should give blah Blah Blah another listen some time; I wonder if I'll be more forgiving of it (often my first impressions aren't the lasting ones).

Thanks for the suggestions for the others--I had an idea that Raw Power and The Idiot might be ones for the ages.

I don't know, Tuwa. The reviews pretty much killed BBB at the time; so I'm not sure.
I like its pop hooks and the Iggy baritone which he dials up to ten.

btw, "The Idiot" was also produced by Bowie, and recorded around the same time (Berlin, 1977) as "Lust For Life". But the records are musically very different. "The Idiot" has a deeper, darker sound, with fewer guitars. It's more haunting; "Lust For Life" is more visceral.

Thanks for the distinctions. As you know, expectations play a big role in assessment of art; it's quite possible I just had the wrong expectations of Blah Blah Blah.

I like the visceral appeal of Lust for Life, and also what little I've heard of The Stooges' darker work--"Dirt" must be a hard one to match, but I love it.

(About art expectations: for movies, it's gotten to the point where I tend to read just enough about a film to decide whether I want to see it. Then if I do I add it to a list I pull from at random.... I remember over Christmas I'd mentioned a film to a friend, who then asked what it was about. --("I don't know. But I heard it's good.")

Man, there must be something in the water. The last two times I stopped by my local record shop, I picked up The Stooges and Fun House and have been playing the hell out of 'em all week. AND, when I found your post -- honest to God -- I had this video open in another window.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of music from the late-60s and early-70s, music that fell somewhere between psychedelia and punk/heavy metal. Lots of the Stooges, Alice Cooper, the Yardbirds, and the Animals. It's great stuff, though I'm finding I can't get anything else done while it's playing. It's not the kind of music that's content to just fill space in the background.

You know Iggy will turn 60 next year

Girish, I wonder now why I'm eager to know what to expect from music, less eager to know what to expect from movies. Surely music can carry narrative and artistic surprises as well, which could be diminished with explanation?

Darren, that is a funny bit of synchronicity about Iggy and the Stooges.... And I agree that Alice Cooper is another great one; he was turning out some great work in the 60s and 70s.

Uh, in case no one else has stated it clearly enough, you need to get "Fun House". It's probably the most fully realized Stooges album -- absolutely brutal and cathartic in terms of both songwriting and execution. If Iggy's guttural scream at the beginning of "T.V. Eye" doesn't send a chill rippling through your body, you are dead and probably shouldn't try operating any heavy machinery.

Oddly enough, I just uploaded the first three Stooges records onto my iPod this week, so this shit is on my mind. Great post -- it never hurts to spread the word about essentials like this.

"...for movies, it's gotten to the point where I tend to read just enough about a film to decide whether I want to see it."

Same here, Tuwa. I read just enough about a film to make that binary yes/no decision. (If it's a director I love, like Hou, Denis, Tsai, Cronenberg, Wong, etc) I don't even do that--I see the film blind. (I've never regretted doing that with any of their films.)

But after seeing a film, I'll search out as wide a variety of takes on the film as I can.

I'd recomend getting the remastered version of Raw Power - Iggy Pop was involved in remixing and remastering it, came out in 1997. Totally blistering compared to the original, and you get great liner notes with an interview with Mr Pop himself.
Iggy and the Stooges played in NZ for the Big Day Out festival back in January, and they were absolutely incredible.

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