SXSW 2016: Iggy Pop To Loretta Lynn To ASAP Ferg To Infinity And Beyond
SXSW 2016: Iggy Pop To Loretta Lynn To ASAP Ferg To Infinity And Beyond 3-15 through 3-20-2016
I’ve never seen a more exciting performer on stage than Iggy Pop. Therefore, my top priority in Austin was connecting with Ig along with his recently minted group spearheaded by his new mainman Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Eagles of Death Metal, and Them Crooked Vultures fame. This pair was complemented by Dean Fertita (also QOTSA and Dead Weather), Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and multi-instrumentalist Troy Van Leeuwen (QOTSA) and guitarist/bassist Matt Sweeney whose worked with a slew of artists from Bonnie Prince Billy to Neil Diamond. The Post Pop Depression album that came out this week and was recorded as a quartet of Ig, Josh, Dean, and Matt – is very much in the vein of The Idiot and Lust For Life. Those were the two albums, both released in 1977, that Iggy recorded with David Bowie in Berlin. If The Stooges with the throttle open was Iggy’s fastball then the sound sculpted at Hansa Studio by the wall was his devastating curve. Wednesday night on the ACL Live at the Moody Theater stage, the band exuded that vibe with the Post Pop Depression material and upped the ante by including the most essential songs from the Berlin deuce: Lust For Life (the opener no less), Sister Moonlight, The Passenger, and the showstopper served up with three guitars China Girl. It was glorious.
As this period in Iggy’s career was so strongly invoked, it’s likely blogger types will cast Josh Homme in the role that David Bowie played in Berlin: the co-writer and trusted second pair of ears who makes his own musical contributions and elevates the project. Such a comparison is apt but Iggy, as much of a deity as he is, is still underrated. Any hails of a ‘return to form’ would be made only by those who haven’t been paying attention to the outstanding albums he’s made in the last thirty years. See the Iggy-oozing charm of Naughty Little Doggy from 96, the criminally underrated Avenue B of 99, and – returning to the baseball pitcher metaphor, the delightful knuckleball of Preliminaires from 2009.
Peaches teamed up with Iggy on her 2004 song Kick It and when I spoke to her on Tuesday night, she mentioned she saw the man in Austin and he offered her kind words to the effect of ‘You’ll be ten feet tall on stage.’ That was pretty much the case as she easily stood out from the SXSW din. Full Peaches post coming tomorrow. Please also return here for upcoming reports featuring performance video and interviews with Thao of Thao and The Get Down Stay Down, Sunflower Bean, Bloc Party, Ra Ra Riot, and PINS. Enjoy the excellent work of my cohorts at WFUV too who covered scads of other worthy artists.
SXSW always offers choices. Too many choices. Sometimes you stay too long at one place and get shut out of another. I showed up at two separate hip hop showcases only to be turned away at the door so I missed Nas (oof!) plus Khaled, Just Blaze, and Pusha T as well as French Montana. At least I captured Harlem’s own ASAP Ferg on vid along with Marty Baller. His new album Always Strive and Prosper came out today. The accompanying video offers brief peeks Ferg along with The First Lady of Country Loretta Lynn, dynamite Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean, and Baltimore’s intoxicating Lower Dens.