Iggy & the Stooges
Raw Power Live: In The Hands Of The Fans
180 Gram Vinyl
The vinyl-only Raw Power Live: In The Hands of the Fans captures Iggy & the Stooges' September 2010 show at the All Tomorrow's Parties fest in New York. It's a rather odd situation because, as the title suggests, competition-winning fans filmed the show. Of course, their film can't be seen when spinning a slab of vinyl, but the label wanted to commemorate the occasion by rush-releasing this album in time for National Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16. (If that all stinks of a moneymaking scheme, well, so be it; go out and support your local mom and pop record store.) But let's not allow cynicism to detract from how, on this day last year, Iggy & the Stooges were on fire. As the title also suggests, the band played the entire Raw Power album, and from "Search & Destroy" to "Gimme Danger," the band sounds fantastic. Ronnie's shoes are too big to ever fill, but in James Williamson they've re-recruited the only man capable of playing guitar for the Stooges with any level of authenticity.
Roadkill Rising: The Bootleg Collection
There was a time when the term "bootleg" meant "crappy recording" packaged with crap cover art. That's not the case here; this four-disc set of Iggy (mostly solo, some Stooges) see the recordings documented chronologically, from the '70s to the '00s. The pieced-together nature of the CDs means that Iggy's onstage momentum isn't really captured, it's more like an aural snapshot. But still, kudos to Shout Factory for producing a package that all Iggy — and Stooges — fans should hear at least once.
It's hard to believe that Hyphenated-Man is Stooges/Minutemen/Firehose bassist Mike Watt's third opera, but it is, following hot on the heels (and the term is used loosely) of '97's Contemplating the Engine Room and '04's The Secondman's Middle Stand. It's an opera because Watt says it is and for no other reason. Others might call it a "concept" record, seeing that all song titles are series of words. The opener, for example, is called "Arrow-Pierced-Egg-Man." Elsewhere, we have "Cherry-Head-Lover-Man." The music? Each of the 30 songs (that's 30!) is gloriously short, far too short to even begin to get bored with any of them. Watt seems to have written a bunch of music, then lovingly deconstructed it all and put it together with haphazard joy, cut-up style. The results are manic, funky, schizophrenic and blessed with Watt's "wino at a karaoke bar" voice. Hyphenated-Man isn't a classic. But it's a great record deserving of attention and to be heard by more people than will ever hear it.