stooges - The I-94 Bar
It's becoming increasingly obvious that some people just can't be given nice things. They've just got to pull them apart because... hell. I don't know what their problem is.
Case in point: Jim Jarmusch's cinematic love letter to the Stooges "Gimme Danger" that screened in Sydney, Australia, last Friday and Sunday nights. A world famous director makes a film about your most favouritst band in the whole wide world and you're going to have a massive sook fest? Why didn't they break out a fucking ouija board and interview all the dead guys?
Iggy and Jim Jarmusch at a media conferecde in Cannes.
“Gimme Danger” is not a great movie. It is flawed.
That said, no-one expected the Citizen Kane of rock documentaries. This was a cut about the MTV Iggy doco that you can see online for free, but was mixed in with arty pretensions.
“Gimme Danger” is screening at major film festivals around the world. Tonight (June 17) it is the turn of the State Theatre and the Sydney International Film Festival. The audience is evenly split between film people who might not have heard of the Stooges and are there to judge a film on its filmmaking merits, or hardcore rock pigs who want be blasted with Stooges music.
Tracking the post-Sonic’s Rendezvous Band career of Detroit’s rocking rhythm and blues man, Scott Morgan, gets a little easier next month with the release of three of his solo band albums on a double CD.
UK label Easy Action (who else?) will release the “Scots Pirates”, “Revolutionary Means” and “Rock Action” LPs in re-mastered form as “Revolutionary Action” on October 20.
The 38-song collection will be encased in the usual top-shelf packaging with a bonus cut, the hard-to-find cover version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Can You See Me?”
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.
You want more Bob Short? He's back with Episode 15 of The Complete History of Rock and Roll. It's entitled "More of the Same Old Same." What does that mean? You'll have to listen to find out. Tracklist after the MORE button.
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.
Mighty little French label Pitshark continues to punch above its weight. Not content with issuing exclusive vinyl releases from the likes of the Stooges, Radio Birdman and the New Christs, it’s about to launch a Singles Club with a year’s worth of 7” records in bi-monthly waves.
Seven 45s full of Iggy Pop and Iggy and the Stooges goodness. Packaged in a box with some incident extras (patch, big hole single adapter) thrown in. OK, you probably don’t need this box set from Los Angeles label Cleopatra Records but you may still want it.
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.
It’s been years in the making and "LOUDER THAN LOVE", the long-awaited documentary paying tribute to legendary Detroit music venue the Grande Ballroom, is finally available.
The Grande was the birthplace or breeding ground for the likes of the Stooges, the MC5, The Up and The Rationals. It also became a notorious killing field for visiting international bands who had to undergo a "trial by support band" where the locals did their best to blow them off the stage (sometimes succeeding.)
“LOUDER THAN LOVE: The Grande Ballroom Story” is Tony D’Annunzio’s first independent film as a producer and director. His movie chronicles the Detroit music scene in the late 1960s, as told through the eyes of the legendary bands that played there.
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.
Don’t wanna labour the point but the opening years of this century really are turning into The Golden Age of the Stooges, what with the band’s resurrection, the recording of new songs, deluxe re-issues of the first two albums popping out of the pipeline, a live album kicking around and the prospect of a new studio effort. This six-disc box set from UK heritage label Easy Action really does spoil confirmed Stoogeaholics.
It’s high time this stuff was collected in one place. If you’ve no idea who Destroy All Monsters were, boy, you’re in the wrong place. If you are in the know, consider yourself lucky, take a pill and strap yourself in for a short history lesson.
Come the second half of the ‘70s, the Greater Detroit music scene was a forgotten No Man’s Land, an expanse of grey somewhere between the industry strongholds of New York City and the West Coast. The rabble-rousing and boundary-pushing of the cusp of the late ‘60s was gone, replaced by cover bands and blandness. Motown had moved to LA. Punk was just a figment of some future zine writer’s fevered imagination. Nobody cared about Detroit.
Although the singer in the more famous band's favourite tipple doesn't extend much further than a glass of fine wine these days, there's something irresistible about the line describing Melbourne six-piece Mesa Cosa as "the Stooges walking into a tequila bar". Revelling in a critic's assessment that you're very good at losing your shit, sonically speaking, is one thing but on "Infernal Cakewalk" Mesa Cosa do a good job of proving the tag right.
The first look at the tracklist for the James Williamson album "Re-Licked" is public and it's a dizzying reflection on the backlog of Iggy & The Stooges material that's been bootlegged over the years.
There's also a track - an inciendiary version of "I'm Sick Of You" featuring Mario Cuomo from Chicago band The Orwells - being promo'd on the Net for your listening pleasure.
In case you hadn't heard, Williamson is releasing the album of re-recorded but largely not properly released Stoogesongs on his own Leopard Lady label on October 29 with an array of guest vocalists.
James Williamson in 2011 - Robert Matheu photo
James Williamson staked his claim to rock'n'roll immortality based on just eight songs, but what songs they were...the ones comprising Iggy & the Stooges' epochal 1973 "Raw Power" album, still cited as a prime influence by purveyors of Rock Action from Stockholm to Seattle to Sydney.
Dunno what all the online backlash is all about. Jim Jarmusch called his film “a love letter to the Stooges” and that’s precisely what he delivered when “Gimme Danger” made its Australian debut at the Sydney International Film Festival on June 17.
“Gimme Danger” was never going to be a deep dissertation about what made the Stooges tick. Read Paul Trynka’s magnificent “Open Up and Bleed” for that. It was more like a shallow duck dive into the broad history of the band. Or bobbing for apples.
I enjoyed "Gimme Danger" but this was the Stooges, dumbed-down for beginners. Or “Stooges 101” as someone later said.
Celebrated American rock poster artist Gary Grimshaw has died at the age of 67 after protracted health battles. Some Detroit musical greats are gathering for a concernt to benefit his family in March.