Iggy Pop Takes 5 with some of his favourite punks…
Well, that was an absolute delight. Joining me in the studio this morning wasIggy Pop, one of the icons of modern music. He has innovated and inspired over the course of his near 50 year career, and is certainly not showing any signs of slowing down! Iggy & The Stooges have their new album “Ready To Die” due out in April, and the band is currently here in Australia playing a string of dates after a raved about performance at SXSW last week.
And could he have been any lovelier? I doubt it. He laughed and told stories as he walked us through five songs that, to him, share a real punk attitude. Artists that aren’t afraid to say ‘up yours!’ or tell it like it is. And he really took us on a ride, from his predecessors all the way through to the new breed of DIY punk scenes, this Take 5 is one you cannot miss.
Plus, the man’s got one of the best voices in the biz. Listen, if just for that.
Missed it? Or want to relive it? You can stream it in full, below!
Here’s what he played:
1. Peaches – Rock Show
2. Chuck Berry – Too Much Monkey Business
3. Kraftwerk – Radioactivity
4. Jacuzzi Boys – Island Ave
5. Iceage – You’re Nothing
Iggy Pop of Iggy and the Stooges performs at the Vans Music Showcase during the 2013 SXSW Music, March 13th, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
It hardly seemed fair that Iggy and the Stooges should perform so early last night at South by Southwest in Austin. All they left behind was a smoldering pile of rubble for the other acts to pick through at the House of Vans showcase at Mohawk.
That’s not to say the other big-name acts didn’t also deliver – both the Specials and Ghostface Killah brought plenty of their own heat. But Iggy Pop is a human blowtorch, and the Stooges have to run at a high temperature just to keep pace. They used the occasion to premiere songs from their forthcoming album, Ready to Die, which is the band’s first LP to feature guitarist James Williamson since Raw Power in 1973.
You wouldn’t know it. The band thundered through more than an hour of songs split between new tunes and Stooges classics, starting with a ferocious version of “Raw Power” that was full of serrated guitar and Iggy’s inimitable sneer, which has inspired punk rockers for nearly 45 years. He’s still a dynamo onstage, dancing and jumping around with abandon while JamesWilliamson and bassist Mike Watt locked into one bludgeoning groove after another. Though Watt was a driving force behind the music, he looked at times as though he was in the passenger seat, clutching at the dash while drummer Toby Dammit steered a white-knuckle ride punctuated, sometimes forcefully, by saxophonist
The Stooges played the new song “Burn,” which Iggy said was about “scary shit like the flaming assholes of the world, and death.”They added to it a song that Pop said was an excellent example of why people like him shouldn’t have guns, followed by a tune that started slow and menacing before erupting into a punishing meditation (to the extent that “meditation” describes anything Iggy does) on the notion of payback.
Along with songs from Raw Power, the Stooges mined their back catalog on “1970,” with guitar and bass that pulsed together like a malevolent heartbeat, and, later in the set, the churning “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” After “Search and Destroy” and the title track from Ready to Die, the Stooges ended with “No Fun” before Iggy called them back for what appeared to be a spontaneous encore of “Fun House.”
Beat That Guy*
Sex and Money*
I Wanna Be Your Dog
Search and Destroy
Ready to Die*
Encore: Fun House
Iggy and the Stooges are back …………………………Vamos La Iguana
By Gregory AdamsHaving recently confirmed that they had finished tracking a new album called Ready to Die, Michigan proto-punk crew the Stooges have now locked down an April 30 due date through Fat Possum.
As previously reported, the record follows 2007’s The Weirdness, and it features the return of Raw Power guitarist James Williamson, who re-entered the group following the 2009 death of founding guitarist Ron Asheton.
The current Stooges lineup also includes drummer Scott Asheton and Minutemen bass guru Mike Watt.
As you can see above, the album cover features an in-the-crosshairs Iggy Pop sporting a belt full of kaboom.
“My motivation in making any record with the group at this point is no longer personal,” Pop said in a press release. “It’s just a pig-headed fucking thing I have that a real fucking group when they’re an older group they also make fucking records. They don’t just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money…”
The album was mostly produced by Williamson at Fantasy Studios in San Francisco, while Pop recorded vocals in Miami. It was mixed by Ed Cherney, who had previously stated that the song cycle was “old-time Stooges.”
A tracklisting has not been revealed in full, but songs are said to include “Burn,” “Job,” “Sex & Money” and the title track.
Has an album ever had a more perfect title than ‘Raw Power?’ What words could more accurately describe the contents of this classic – released on Feb. 7, 1973 in the U.S. – than “Raw” and “Power”?
But that’s the essence of the Stooges. They removed all the unnecessary pomp and fluff of rock and roll by boiling the music down to an exquisite primordial sludge. It’s so basic, it’s brilliant. How appropriate that Iggy Pop and company took their name from “The Three Stooges.”
The history behind ‘Raw Power’ is a little more complicated. It both was and wasn’t the third album by The Stooges. A few years earlier, the band out of Ann Arbor, Mich. had recorded a pair of albums (‘The Stooges’ and ‘Fun House’) for Elektra, but gained more notoriety than record sales. Breakup and drug addiction ensued.
Enter Ziggy Stardust. David Bowie was a huge fan of their first two records and discovered a kindred spirit in Iggy after meeting him in New York, via Danny Fields. With Pop untethered to the Stooges and spiraling down the path of substance abuse, Bowie brought him to London. The newly minted glam superstar got Pop to sign to a management contract (with the same firm that handled Bowie) and landed him a deal as a solo artist with Columbia Records.
Iggy knew he wanted the help of James Williamson — who had been added as a second guitarist in the waning days of The Stooges — on the new album, but the pair couldn’t find a rhythm section in 1972 London that shared their unique view of rock and roll. And so, they decided to reunite with original Stooges (and brothers) Scott and Ron Asheton. Scott returned to his seat behind the drums, but Ron was “demoted” from guitar to bass.
So what was supposed to be an Iggy Pop solo record became the third Stooges album, albeit with a bit of band member musical chairs thrown in. As a compromise between intention and reality, the band would be credited as Iggy & The Stooges.
Call the band whatever you want — these guys created the definitive blueprint for punk rock. Buzzsaw guitars, breakneck rhythms, Iggy growling, “Your pretty face is going to hell” – it’s no wonder that future punks were taking notes. Even the record’s two ballads (a quota Columbia requested) are layered with a grimy, back-alley sleaze, proving that punk was potent at any speed.
‘Raw Power’ also proved that Williamson was a worthy — although markedly different — successor to Asheton as a Stooges guitarist. Williamson switched out Asheton’s bluesy, psychedelic sludge for a metallic knock-out that was more, well, raw and powerful. Refusing to be relegated to the background, Asheton created the perfect complement to Williamson’s barbed guitar with sledgehammer basslines. It’s almost as if he was punishing the instrument for his switch to bass.
Iggy took first crack at mixing the album. When the results were lackluster, Bowie was brought in to create a mix that Columbia would find suitable. Although he enlisted his pal’s help, no one in or around the band were happy with the result. Over time, Bowie’s mix has come to be viewed much more favorably — mostly because the album has never sounded as good when remixes (even one by Iggy) have been attempted.
Of course, just about everything related to ‘Raw Power’ has become much more appreciated in time. Having only scraped the bottom of the charts in ’73, ‘Raw Power’ flopped and hastened the second breakup of the band. The album is now hailed as an ahead-of-its-time classic and a major influence on artists from the Sex Pistols to Black Flag to the Smiths to Nirvana.
There are few punk anthems greater than leadoff track ‘Search & Destroy,’ in which Pop declares himself to be a “street-walkin’ cheetah with a hand full of napalm.” Those Stooges certainly had a way with words. –
Legendary punk band the Stooges have wrapped up their first album in five years. The ominously titled “Ready to Die” is the follow up to 2007’s “The Weirdness.”
I was at Los Angeles studio Village Recorders last night and ran into Ed Cherney, who had just finished mixing the new album in his studio. He previously worked with Stooges leader Iggy Pop on his gold-certified album, 1990’s “Brick By Brick.”
Iggy Pop is back with the Stooges newalbum after 5 years
When asked how hard the album rocked, Cherney said, “It’s old-time Stooges. It’s raw. They’re great songs, but not necessarily big choruses. They’re the anti-christ of anthems.” We’re not sure what the last part means, but it sure sounds good.
Iggy Pop’s lyrics are “very timely,” Cherney says. “He knows what he wants to say. He’s watching the world around him.” Evidently so: among the song titles are “I Got A Job But It Don’t Pay Shit,” and “Gun.”
Stooges guitar player James WIlliamson produced the album at Fantasy Studios in San Francisco (Iggy worked out of a Miami studio on the vocals). It marks the first Stooges album Williamson has played on since 1973’s “Raw Power.” He rejoined the group following guitarist Ron Asheton’s death in 2009. Asheton’s brother, Scott, plays drums on the album. It also features bassist Mike Watt, who’s played with the Stooges since 2003.
No word yet on a release date, but Iggy Pop is featuring on “Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys,” performing “Assholes Ruin the Navy” with Albuquerque duo A Hawk and A Hacksaw.” The collection, produced by Hal Willner, comes out Feb. 19.