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Posts Tagged ‘Iggy Pop

So it went…


In the late 70s, Tony Wilson— who would go on to co-found Factory Records (the seminal independent label that embodied “The Manchester Sound”) and The Hacienda (the warehouse-based club that was the birthplace of the rave)– hosted a tea-time television show called So It Goes.

A weekly arts/culture/music series, the program’s passion was emerging new pop music…  which in those days meant Punk and New Wave.

The Way We Were is a Channel 4 (UK) retrospective first broadcast circa 1984.– a compilation of performances by bands performing on So It Goes– many of them making their TV debuts: Sex Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop, The Fall, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Penetration, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Tom Robinson, Magazine, John Cooper Clarke, XTC and Joy Division…

[TotH to Richard Metzger and his essential Dangerous Minds for the lead to TWWW]

As we slam dance down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976– as we in the U.S. were beginning our Bi-Centennial Day celebrations– that the Clash gave their first public performance: they opened for the Sex Pistols at The Black Swan in Sheffield, England.  As U2 guitarist The Edge later wrote, “This wasn’t just entertainment. It was a life-and-death thing….It was the call to wake up, get wise, get angry, get political and get noisy about it.”

The Clash, 1976 (source)


The grand old man of pit-diving, Iggy Pop, has gotten in touch with his inner chanteur.  His new album, Préliminaires (officially released in the U.S. today), is ballad after ballad.

But perhaps as interestingly, The Shirtless One’s newest has lyrics based on French author Michel Houellebecq’s apocalyptic clone saga The Possibility of an Island… and so takes its place as the latest in a distinguished line (Dylan, Bowie, Pink Floyd, et al.) of rock albums based on important works of literature.

As we hum along, we might tip the birthday beret to Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, born on this date in 1744.  In one popular version of his life, he was he was a nobleman and great magus; in the other, a scheming fraud. The latter holds that Cagliostro was born Giuseppe Balsamo to a poor family in Palermo, Sicily, and that, when his father died, he was educated at the expense of some of his mother’s relatives. It has been said that he robbed his uncle, forged a will, and spent time in Palermo’s prisons more than once.  (Indeed, his reputation as a charlatan is so great that he shows up as a crooked character in Marvel’s Dr. Strange) In any case, it does seem that he was a “man of the era”– he knew and mixed with illustrious contemporaries like Mozart, Goethe, Casanova, and Catherine the Great…  but apparently not his fellow noble and birthday buddy, the Marquis de Sade (who was born on this date four years earlier, in 1740).

Alessandro di Cagliostro

A mouse that roars…


Long-time (pre-blog) readers will recall Brian Burton– aka Danger Mouse– and his Grey Album, a mash-up of the Beatles (White Album) and JayZ that landed Mr. Mouse in trouble with the Beatles’ distributor, EMI…  trouble that lingers.

So readers may be delighted-but-not-altogether-surprised at the release strategy for the new Danger Mouse album:  It’s  collaboration with David Lynch and Sparklehorse, featuring , among others, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Black Francis (The Pixies), Vic Chesnutt, The Flaming Lips, James Mercer (The Shins), Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Nina Person (The Cardigans), and Iggy Pop (Stooges, Bowie, et al.)…  pretty much a must-hear!

Rather than release this latest work in the traditional way, and face legal issues with EMI, Danger Mouse will be selling a blank CD-R along with lots of artwork.  Buyers will be responsible for finding the music themselves (indeed, it’s findable on the internet, e.g., here) and burning the CD.

One tips one’s ears to you, Mr. Mouse!

As we limber our surfing fingers and contemplate changes in retail-as-we-know-it, we might recall that it was on this date 161 years ago, in 1848, that the first real department store, Alexander Turney Stewart’s Marble Palace, at Broadway and Chambers Street in New York City, opened…

The Marble Palace
(later the home of the New York Sun; now a City office building)

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