"Lavish" and Easy Action are synonymous - as the latest box set of raw power from the Pop attests. Ya gets four discs in long box format, derived from live shows and studio outtakes (mostly) by the band that recorded "The Idiot". There's also a booklet written by Kris Needs. Not only an important documentation of a man full of piss and bad manners and on the comeback trail, but an ideal gift for the obsessive Ig-fan in your life.
I can remember a time back in the dark ages, a period I like to call my high school years, when a Stooges album was harder to find in Detroit than, well, the Stooges themselves, especially after that Michigan Palace brannigan immortalized on “Metallic K.O.”
There's not much more information than what's on the poster but onetime Stooge Jimmy Recca (now living in L.A.) is playing a show in Arlington, Virginia. If you want to know about Mr Recca and his Stooges history, you could do no better than reading this interview by Ken Shimamoto originally penned for Easy Action Records.
Rhetorical question: Why? Answer: Because he can.
The World's Forgotten Boy. Miriam Williamson photo.
Iggy PopSydney Opera HouseMonday, April 15 2019Miriam Williamson photosIggy Pop and band put the torch to the Sydney Opera House the same night that a fire devastated Notre Dame in Paris. Coincidence? I think not.
The Pop has been a semi-regular tourist to Australia since 1983 and I’ve caught him on every run but one. Stooges excepted, this was close to his high-point.
It is true that at age 71 - a pubic hair’s breadth away from bringing up 72 - James Osterberg moves a little more gingerly these days. The stage-dives are gone - at least where hard-backed seats are fixed to the floor - and he’s clearly pacing himself to go the distance.
Cypress Grove, one-time collaborator with Jeffrey Lee Pierce (check out their Rambling Jeffrey Lee LP - "Real Steel Blues") is unwilling to let the magic die. He feels Jeffrey’s echoes all around him.
So do his friends and admirers. One can’t help wondering whether, if Debbie Harry had predeceased him, Jeffrey might have been tempted to do a similar project for Her.
In no particular order...here's the best of 2016:"Brujita" - Chris Masuak and The Viveiro Wave RidersBest rock pop record of 2016 by a long way. Did I mention it’s on I-94 Bar Records and you can buy a copy here?
"Friday Night Heroes" - LeadfingerThe soulful Sydney-via-Wollongong rock and roll band par excellence just keeps getting better.
"Evolution" - Tamam ShudDamn, if this doesn’t rock I don’t know what does. Veterans from the beginning of time (well, birth of Australian surf-psychedelia) sound dirty and relevant at the same time. They deliver the goods live, too.
"Post Pop Depression" - Iggy PopHis best album since “New Values”. Big grooves and melodies with a sharp, Germanic essence, it’s proof that Iggy needs another talent to bounce off to deliver his best work.
“Diamond In The Forehead" - Garry Gray and The Sixth CircleThe album was killer and the short run of Sydney shows was just as good. Were you you? One day you might claim to have been. Nice people, to boot.
"Lost Cities" - Ed KuepperEd’s been an underrated treasure since finding his solo feet in the late ‘80s. This adds to the considerable body of work. An album of great songs with understated intensity.Kylie Pitcher photo
Cranberry-swilling Ken Shimamoto and I were only discussing this in the Bar the other day: We both mark Iggy harder than those so-called legends who present with a far less memorable back catalogue.
A Kick in the Gulags - The Dry Retch (Stalingrad Records)
A six-song EP with five of the tracks being Stooges songs never committed to tape in a studio? What are we gonna say if they're done well?
The Dry Retch come from Liverpool in the UK and they ain’t The Beatles. They are two guitars, a kicking engine room and a truckload of dirt. They are committed Stooge-ophiles (a previous line-up released an EP with the title “Plays The Stooges”.)
Principal member John Retch (vocal and guitar) grew up in Australia where he was exposed to high-energy sounds. He played in a stack of local UK bands and this 2019 EP revived The Dry Retch with a tweaked line-up. Stooges apart, the band's other listed influences are Chrome Cranks, The MC5, Mudhoney, Radio Birdman, Destroy All Monsters, Thee Hypnotics, Cosmic Psychos, the New York Dolls and the Brian James Gang. As Sir Les Paterson would say: "Are you following me, son?"
On March 17, 1978, Bookie's Club 870 became Detroit's answer to New York's C.B.G.B., The Whisky A-Go-Go in L.A., and London's Marquee Club.
Bookie's hosted shows by The Police, Iggy Pop, J. Geils, The Damned, Ultravox, The Dead Boys and many other international punk and new wave performers.
It also served as a home base for Detroit area bands like The Sillies, The Romantics, Gang War and former MC5 and Stooges members like Ron Asheton, Michael Davis, Fred Smith and their then-current bands, Destroy All Monsters and Sonic's Rendezvous Band.
At least three live albums have been released of Bookie's concerts and a new two-record set of Iggy Pop's six-day residency is now being released on Easy Action in the UK. The book "Detroit Rock City" chronicles the Bookie's days through the eyes of people who were there.
The Bookie's 40th Anniversary Reunion will be held on Saturday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) at the New Way Bar on Woodward, Detroit, roughly three miles north of the original Bookie's. Admission is FREE. There will be posters and photos on display that night as well as live performances from The Sillies (who started the club) and members of R.U.R., Coldcock and other surprise guests.
His studio recordings are up and down like a hypoglycaemic's sugar levels but the one place Iggy Pop delivers the goods consistently is the stage. This 1979 taped-for-radio recording from San Francisco in 1979 finds the Pop at the very top of his game with a killer band in attendance.
Ron Asheton has the creepiest answering machine message on the planet: "LEAVE...A...MESSAGE.... Thanks a million."
Is it moral to review a bootleg CD? The artist is getting no royalties for his or her work. The artist can’t approve or disapprove the content of the disc. It’s wrong, isn’t it? The trouble is, this is obsession we’re talking about. This is Iggy and the Stooges with James Williamson on guitar. This is the CD you never thought you would hear. This is fucking history. More importantly, it’s fucking great.
Call me biased and armed with far too much hindsight for my own good, but for a brief time in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Detroit was the lesser-known but undeniable epicentre of genuine rock and roll. The music industry, as it was, might have had its moneyed roots deeply planted on America’s East and West Coasts, but the real action was occurring deep in the US Midwest.
Sure, there was Motown and its over-ground success that eventually shifted to L.A. to mutate and die but we’re talking a parallel universe here that was populated by a different cast of characters plying a blue-collar strain of music. It’s an eternal truism that musical scenes never last. The Motor City’s rock and roll had its moment but succumbed to fashion, drugs, shifting attention spans – whatever factors play to your own historical biases – and has never recovered.
It was 35 years ago - May/June 1978 - when the two greats of high energy Detroit rock ‘n roll, Fred Smith and Iggy Pop, got together to bring a roadshow to Europe.
Max’s Kansas City was one of the legendary New York City scenes of the 1970s, home to Andy Warhol’s crew and a musical stamping ground for the Velvet Underground, Heartbreakers, Iggy & the Stooges and countless others.
It’s the club where Iggy met David Bowie and had his career fortunes revived, Debbie Harry waited on tables, Patti Smith went star-spotting and the Lou Reed era Velvets played their final shows.
Former Max’s promoter Peter Crowley is hosting a 50th anniversary round of shows from June 4-8 and the line-ups feature some of the best that what’s left of the old-school NYC underground scene.
The Golden Age of Iggy and The Stooges continues unabated. With the band on indefinite hiatus, “Raw Power” era guitarist James Williamson is shining new light on a batch of mostly unreleased or never-properly-recorded gems from the band’s back-pages.
Long awaited, here are the first live recordings of the Ron Asheton-era Stooges. (Well, maybe Easy Action got there first with their "Popped" fan pack, the audio portion of which they just released separately as "A Thousand Lights"). And these are damn sure the only commercially available recordings of the lineup with ex-roadies Bill Cheatham on second guitar and Zeke Zettner on bass, recorded in a 200-capacity Manhattan club.
What may be the final word in posthumous Stooges recordings for the foreseeable future is looming on UK label Easy Actionand it’s a doozy.
Firstly, “A Fire of Life” is a double CD or LP collection compiling 2006 and 2003 live recording by the Pop-Asheton-Asheton-Watt line-up in Sydney and New Orleans respectively, coupled with high quality basement demos of tracks that would appear on “The Weirdness” and an in-store appearance.
It will be rounded off with 11 tracks from the legendary stripped back appearance at Newbury Comics in Cambridge MA in 2003 by Iggy and the Ashetons (with Scott on cardboard boxes!)
You can hear “Dirt” from the Sydney Big Day Out here and here is “Little Doll” from the basement. Pre-order here where you can read the full tracklist.
But that’s not all.
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