Sunday, April 15, 2007

I Need More: Best music writing of the week

Iggy Pop titled his 1982 autobiography I Need More (out of print; Amazon has it in French). Which of us cannot identify with this feeling, and thus -- in a way -- with the battered yet curiously pumped James Osterberg? He is "the world's forgotten boy" and so personifies the ugly and unpopular side that each of us has but doesn't want to acknowledge. You heard it here: Iggy stalks the dark side so we don't have to.

In this past Wednesday's New York Times, music writer Ben Ratliff got it right. His review of Iggy and the reunited surviving Stooges at the United Palace Theater in NYC was titled "Chaos at the Line Where Performer and Audience Blur." I'll quote extensively, since the piece is now hidden behind the dread wall of TimesSelect:

A show by the reunited Stooges deals with the boundaries of the self; it’s about private-made-public and public-made-private. It airs ideas (and parts of the body) that usually aren’t laid open, and turns the hey-ho communal experience of rock into an inner monologue.

Over tribal drum rhythms and monstrous guitar riffs, it’s also a choreographed re-enactment of chaos, rude and simple and immaculate. It represents a total thesis on rock ’n’ roll — not by any means the only possible one but a great one....Iggy Pop, now 59, is the captain of these inside-outside actions. Try to take your eyes off him. How he re-enacts fear, rage, sex, abject boredom, universal love and lethal cynicism, while dancing with originality, remembering lyrics and maintaining the delicate middle-state between having pants on and not having pants on, is why he is he, and you are merely you.

To reiterate: "maintaining the delicate middle-state between having pants on and not having pants on" -- see the photo above, and ponder on this Deep Thought as you enjoy your Sunday.

Photo of Iggy in Barcelona by frecklescorp via Flickr.

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