Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gimme Danger

Iggy Pop in a TV interview on the Dick Cavett Show:
"I'll tell you about punk rock: punk rock is a word used by dilettantes and uh... and uh... heartless manipulators, about music... that takes up the energies, and the bodies, and the hearts and the souls and the time and the minds, of young men, who give what they have to it, and give everything they have to it. And it's a... it's a term that's based on contempt; it's a term that's based on fashion, style, elitism, satanism, and, everything that's rotten about rock 'n' roll. I don't know if Johnny rots... but I'm sure, I'm sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise... is in fact... the brilliant music of a genius... myself. And that music is so powerful, that it's quite beyond my control. And ah... when I'm in the grips of it, I don't feel pleasure and I don't feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I'm talking about? Have you ever, have you ever felt like that? When you just, when you just, you couldn't feel anything, and you didn't want to either. You know, like that? Do you understand what I'm saying, sir?"


Blogger always_gray said...

Cool feature. I've never seen that before. Indeed most of the guys and gals in the scene today know little or nothing at all about Iggy Pop. In fact, the early scene, like the Velvet Underground, the Smiths, the Dead Kennedys, Descendents, Black Flag, Misfits, B'LAST, Dinosaur Jr., Christian Death, GG Allin (& the Murder Junkies), and all the other bands who left their mark on that generation and the generations that followed. Now, however, much of it seems to be lost in a commercialized, punk rock- underground-subgenre-youth culture rebel-marketing frenzy; in a conditioned and propagandized and deindividualized corporate target group, who simply buy the t-shirts, slap the stickers on their bedroom doors and unused guitars gathering dust in shadowy corners, and listen to top 40 pop songs passed off as punk (like Green Day, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Sum 41, Blink 182, etc.). It's sad and sick and pathetic. To be completely honest, I feel sorry for the future of this scene. One can hardly deny that it's in a state of rapid decline. Of course there's music beneath the music, bands that are determined to stay as DIY as possible, as underground as possible, and stay true to both themselves and their music (like Converge, Eyehategod, From Autumn To Ashes, Fear Before the March Of Flames, Alexisonfire, Artimus Pyle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Face Down In Shit, Integrity, City On Film, Propagandhi, Roses Never Fade, Asschapel, Severed Head Of State, etc...the list is surprisingly long, and the bands absolutely incredible). But I pretty much agree with everything that Iggy Pop was talking about in that interview. Firstmost it's about the music, the skill, the passion, the level of inspiration, the energy and emotion and raw ferocity of it, the intelligence and truth of it, and so much more; second the scene, which is mostly based on like-mindedness and unity and empathy, on love for the music and each other, on that contageous spirit of passion and energy that flows ungoverned and freely though the entire scene (and it's beautiful); and lastly the causes of it, which can be similar dislike and distaste and discontent and so forth for the Government, or the Church, or world-leading Corporate Empires and suite-wearing devils of Industry...or the authorities that go about in the streets with license to injure and incarcerate and abuse greatly whatever level of authority has been bestowed upon them by the upper echelons of the Human Elite (who care for nothing more than power and control, for order and standardization, for advancement and development, and above all the satisfaction of their ever-growing hunger (which is their greed). But enough about all of that. I think we need to listen closely and contemplate at length what Iggy Pop was trying to convey there. After all, he is one of the founding fathers of the scene, as well as a rock 'n' roll innovator and icon (as much as our scene entertains notions of innovators and icons anyway...but surely you all know what I mean). Later.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Witness said...

Good thoughts and I agree with most of it to some extent...but how does From Autumn to Ashes and Alexisonfire fit into that list of bands? I also think the bashing of corporations, men in suits, government and church might be going a little far out there to tie in with what Iggy said. Someone has always run the world and someone always will. Although I don't like the current administration I also don't want to see what would happen in America without a power structure and I don't really want to live without many of the things big industry has produced...steel, railroads, modern transportation, medicine, etc. I like many of Ayn Rand's philosophies like 'the virtue of selfishness' and i think that comes into play here. And as far as religion goes...Iggy took big influence from Chicago and Detroit blues (spiritual music with strong christian beliefs) and all he and the stooges really did was make their own dirty white boy blues. Just some thoughts.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

ever listened to mogwai?

there's a song called "Punk Rock" that has this quote playing behind the whole song. I never knew who it was til now.. but I always did like when he said "you couldn't feel anything.. and you didn't want to either." i'd send it but i think your email's broken


11:49 AM  

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