Be Here Now: Steve Waksman on Iggy Pop @ Williams College, 4/22/10

April 21st, 2010, 10:45 am by Greg

Steve Waksman – an associate professor of music and American studies at Smith College in Northampton – will give a guest lecture at Williams College in Williamstown on Thursday afternoon.

The topic? “Death Trip: Iggy Pop and Rock Performance.”

Here’s how the lecture was described in a press release:

“During his career with the rock band the Stooges, Iggy Pop was the most confrontational rock performer of the 1970s, a figure who presented a constant challenge to the audiences for whom he played. Channeling the aggression of the Stooges’ proto-punk brand of rock and roll, Iggy at times inflicted violence upon himself, at other times seemed bent on inciting the audience to its own acts of destruction. Doing so, he epitomized the move away from the utopian idealism that surrounded much of 1960s rock music and culture, and marked a shift towards a darker, more ambivalent set of impulses that rose to the surface of rock in the 1970s. Iggy’s ambivalence could be seen in his uneasy embodiment of masculinity, which teetered between power and victimization. It could be seen in a different way in the manner in which he tested the boundary between audience and performer, and posed a decisive challenge to the symbolic armor, the sense of untouchability, constructed around the figure of the rock star in the early 1970s.”

Here’s Iggy performing “Search and Destroy” at the Stooges’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last month:

Waksman’s lecture will be held at 4:15pm on Thursday at Williams College’s Bernhard Music Center Room 30, Williamstown. Admission is free and open to the public.

Oh, and by the way… Happy birthday to Iggy, who is celebrating his 63rd birthday today!


IGGY POP’s “Preliminaires”

June 4th, 2009, 9:31 am by Greg

iggy(Astralwerks, 2009): Yes, the Godfather of Punk – the man who once unleashed his raw power upon the world – dives headlong into the world of smokey, slinky, late-night cabaret. How else can you explain this intoxicating slow-brewed album that slides into gear with a rendition of the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” – sung by Iggy in French?

And the Popster goes bossa nova on ya, too, crooning his way through Jobim’s classic “How Insensitive.” Splitting the difference between Pop’s rock abandon and the rest of this jazz-tinged album is “Kings of the Dogs,” a horn-fueled New Orleans trad jazz rave-up with such canine-related lyrics as “I got a smelly rear/I got a dirty nose/I don’t want no shoes/I don’t want no clothes.” Of course, we love all of Iggy’s dog songs; check out the interactive music video:

Produced by Hal Cragin, who also co-authored half of the tunes with Pop, the album was inspired by the 2005 novel “The Possibility of an Island” written by French writer Michel Houellebecq. And the album cover art was created by the Academy Award-nominated animator and director Marjane Satrapi (“Persepolis”). For more info, audio and videos, check out the Preliminaires blog.

Iggy Pop: Preliminaires

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