Happy 70th Birthday, Iggy Pop

There is a rather appropriate scene in Seinfeld where Kramer bets he can use his knowledge of George’s considerable vices to guess what his ATM password is. Kramer surmises that when one picks such a code we always, ‘return to our dark masters’; the things that pray at our weaknesses, and ultimately give us our ultimate guilty pleasures. Kramer correctly identifies that George’s ‘dark master’ is the ‘cocoa bean’ and that something chocolate derived will result in a correct guess of his password (which ends up being ‘Bosco’, the chocolate syrup brand). Thinking that this month was completely open, I decided that I—after three mixes where I used girl group pop, vintage garage, early R&B drinking songs, Prog, hip pop, post-punk etcetera to varying degrees—would return to my ‘dark master’, the thing that gives me perhaps the greatest joy in popular music: the big fat groove riff. Something I largely haven’t touched in my mixes up to this point.

One of the greatest exemplifiers of this sound I adore is the Stooges landmark second LP, Funhouse from 1970. With this and the knowledge that Iggy Pop is turning 70 today (April 21; imagine that, he’s the sole original Stooge left!) I decided to create a mix that showed their considerable influence, with songs that directly lift their sound. I don’t mean bands or artists or tracks that own a debt to Iggy—that’s a mix that would be in the thousands and probably still not nearly complete—no, I mean tracks that feature Iggy’s trademark yelps, Ron Asheton’s fuzzy riffs and his brothers primal thud. Then, as sort of the biggest connection, you’d need a splash of Dave Alexander’s groovy, sludge bass. This is a mix where the songs sound nearly exactly like stuff off Funhouse (hell, I even start it with one that precedes the Stooges, in an attempt to show both their undeniable originality but also that they came from a long line of weirdos that rock n’ roll was created for and by), rather then just a bunch of random songs with my favorite riffs  in them (again, that’s a mix that would be in the thousands…).

Given that the Stooges self-titled debut was recorded in April 1969 (for eventual August release of that year, imagine that, Iggy was just 21/22 at the time) it’s nearly time that we just anoint April, ‘National Iggy Pop Month’. ‘So let it be written, so let it be done’.

Happy listening.

1. Intro*
2. I’m Coming Home – the Deviants
3. Revolution – Spacemen 3
4. Touch Me I’m Sick – Mudhoney
5. Into a Hole – Kilslug
6. Cry, Cry, Cry – the Cynics
7. Swallow My Pride – Green River
8. Ecstasy – the Raspberries
9. I Wanna Be King – Kenneth Higney
10. Dirt (cover) – Depeche Mode/Dirt (raw mix) – the Stooges

*includes 60’s public domain archive recordings, clips from Feud (season 1, episode 2), and an excerpt from ‘Surf Beat’ by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones

_ _ _ _

‘Ignore That Door’ by Richard Hell and the Voidoids and ‘Throw Me Away’ by James Chance and the Contortions where the two tracks that hit the cutting from floor.

5 thoughts on “Happy 70th Birthday, Iggy Pop

  1. The Original Sins – ‘Do It’ (lead track from 1990 debut Self-Destruct)
    The Laughing Hyenas – ‘Wild Heart’ (from their second, Life of Crime) that give the Stooges ‘Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell’ a run for the money.

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