In 2001’s forgotten Beat ‘Em Up album, Iggy Pop asked “Where is the soul?” of American pop music. Nine years later, he returns with his third album for the new millennium. And he’s telling you “what is a dog but a machine for loving.” Bow wow wow.
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Paris 2009 [no label, 1CD]
Live at Studio 105, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France, May 28, 2009, three days after the release of his jazz album Preliminaries.
Largely ignored by critics, Iggy Pop has released only three albums (including Preliminaires) since 2000. So with the new album, Pop has changed tact to offer songs with “jazz overtones” but as this recent show informs, he’s still a “mother” when he wants to be. Amid the croonin’ is a lot of cursing.
The radio concert arrived just three days after the new Preliminaires album was released and is one of a number of promo shows set in Europe where EMI is distributing the new album. In the U.S., Pop has had to settle for an indie release through the small Astralwerks label.
Manfully, the bare-chested Pop comes out full throttle with 5 Foot 1 then slows the tempo and sings in French a tune that inspired the jazz classic, Autumn Leaves. In between, he throws out his new mid-tempo ballads, some prime covers including I Put A Spell On You and How Insensitive, and paces the show with fast and slower songs.
It’s tough to put on a show like this when your audience expects quite another kind of show. According to wikipedia, Préliminaires is “inspired by Michel Houellebecq’s novel “La Possibilité d’une île” (The Possibility of an Island).” Pop saves the album’s weird track, the spoken word A Machine For Loving, a reading from Michel Houellebecq’s book, for the second to final song.
“Through these dogs… we pay homage to love… What is a dog but a machine for loving.”
Before you can think just what he’s trying to say, Pop drives into the show’s final number, a cover of Jr Walker & The All Stars’ Motown hit, Shotgun.
And while you’re reeling with his words, you might want to recall that Iggy Pop has said he’s “sick of listening to idiot thugs with guitars banging out crappy music”.
Throughout his career, Iggy Pop has sung “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. That’s the song found on his 1969 debut album. Now he’s back with a spoken word song using the “dog” motif again. Many bands and artists have since covered I Wanna Be Your Dog. They range from Slayer, Joan Jett, Sid Vicious, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth and many others. It is the reference number for when punk and metal melded together.
For this live reading of A Machine For Loving, the mature Iggy Pop does spoken word accompanied by a guitar and inverts the meaning of I Wanna Be Your Dog to something subtle but dark. A “dog” still means “low-life”, less than human.
There’s a lot of that going around these days. Think Gitmo, the West Bank, Mogadishu, Myanmar, Tiananman and it’s all around you. For sure, this isn’t idiot music but whether it will be noticed, only time will tell.
What’s slightly distracting is the DJ who tries to translate the onstage banter. Excellent FM stereo broadcast shared by jojolafrite. Artwork also by jojolafrite.
- The Little Chicken
Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download them at a later date.
NOTE: Strong language. If you are easily offended, please do not download these tracks.
Track 01. 5 Foot 1
Track 02. Les Feuilles Mortes [Autumn Leaves]
Track 03. Nightclubbing
Track 04. I Want To Go To The Beach
Track 05. King Of The Dog
Track 06. Spanish Coast
Track 07. I Put A Spell On You
Track 08. How Insensitive
Track 09. Nice To Be Dead
Track 10. Passenger
Track 11. Willow Weep For Me
Track 12. Sweet Sixteen
Track 13. A Machine For Loving
Track 14. Shotgun
Track 15. Outro
* seven songs are from his new album Preliminaries.
Lineup [if anyone was there and can confirm, please do]
Iggy Pop - Vocals
Iggy Pop’s jazz album is Preliminaries. The artwork is by Iranian artist Marjane (Persepolis) Satrapi. You can buy it here.