July 1, 2004

Iggy Pop & the Stooges

Live in Detroit
Iggy Pop is one crazy-ass, hyped-up, Adonis-muscled American treasure. Sure, he’s a little grotesque, as well—50-plus-year-olds aren’t supposed to have skin that’s tighter than dried rawhide, or spin around stages yabbering about being someone’s dog. But this sort-of Stooges reunion (original bassist Dave Alexander was replaced by indie legend Mike Watt) proves that true rebels never let something as wimp-oid as a few extra years trip up their angst, charisma, or libido. Even being well aware of the Iggster’s Dorian Gray complex, I was still surprised at his vitality and investment. He’s definitely not just putting on some kind of revival show for the kids. Cohorts Ron (guitar) and Scott (drums) Asheton can still deliver all the sloppy funk and drive of a snotty garage band with something to prove—which means this isn’t so much about watching old men relive their youth, as it is about being pummeled into submission by 50-year-old thugs. The DVD’s sound is clear and punchy, and an added bonus is a record shop performance by the original trio where the songs are stripped down to nothing but raw power. MVD/Creem.

—Michael Molenda

Bob Brozman

In Concert
Rock star sightings are a dime a dozen at Winter NAMM, but one of the best-kept secrets of NAMM has been Bob Brozman. Often wailing away in the less-trafficked lower hall, Brozman absolutely blows minds. He’s arguably every bit the virtuoso of a Vai or a Satriani, but his stunning acrobatics involve bottleneck slides, multiple tunings, and resonator guitars. And whether it’s Hot Club jazz, turbo folk, ragtime, delta blues, or bluegrass, Brozman’s deep, physical grooves connect with music lovers of every stripe, and if you want more proof of this phenomenon, give In Concert a spin.

What is most amazing about Brozman’s performance in this video is that he has a zillion guitar tricks up his sleeve. He attacks the guitar in dozens of different ways, and each one of them comes across as soulful and musical. These clever fretboard tactics come directly from the roots music to which he is so devoted. “I’d like to thank Great Britain,” says Brozman at one point in the video, “for accidentally creating most of the world’s great music by enslaving most of the world. They left industrialized instruments behind, and people who were supposed to be so primitive did rather sophisticated things with them.” Vestapol.

—Jude Gold


Glitz, Blitz & Hitz
If you can picture pop-rock shuddering into its teenaged and rampantly hormonal years in the early ’70s, then glam rock makes sense. Glam was the perfect altar for horny kids aching to jettison the dirty jeans and stoned ennui of the hippies and shock their parents with flash, energy, and sexual arrogance/ ambiguity. You can even feel the cultural shift in the music—the typical glam tune is tight and concise with big beats, sing-along choruses, and loud guitars. Sweet was first swept into the make-a-band-for-the-teeny-boppers machinations of the British record industry (“Wig Wam Bam”), then unleashed its own sound through a series of glam anthems (“Ballroom Blitz,” “Fox on the Run”), and, finally, tore apart the generic pop song structure with the smash “Love Is Like Oxygen.” This DVD presents some of the band’s original 16mm promotional clips with varying degrees of sound quality, but it’s really the interviews with guitarist Andy Scott, songwriter Nicky Chinn, and producer Phil Wainman that get you into the guts and glory of surviving the “glitz and hits.” MVD/Creem.

—Michael Molenda  

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