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Saturday, August 4, 2018





Sonics Rendezvous BandLive, Masonic Auditorium, Detroit, January 14, 1978 (Alive) :: This exhilarating, apostrophe deficient, comma-clad, louder than life lease-breaker was recorded in living mono on a lousy Maxell C-90 audiocassette and yet I still keep playing it habitually. Now that’s what I call the hallmark of a truly great live rock ’n’ roll album—and so will you as soon as you hear it.


SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: James Williamson & Iggy PopKill City (Alive) :: I bought this long-lost missing link between Raw Power and The Idiot when it first came out some zillion years ago, at which point I lauded it as quite the auditory accomplishment. But that’s nothing compared to how enthused I am about Kill City now that it’s finally been remixed from the original masters under the watchful eye of album producer Straight James himself—even if he isn’t actually credited as such on the record; you can trust me on this one, folks.


You can also trust me when I tell ya that the new and drastically improved sound is more potent than a broken beer bottle heaved at your bobbing peroxide head. Purists may be peeved that a few songs get fiddled around with by fading up a few new multi-tracks in lieu of the older ones—most notably during the guitar passages on “Kill City”—but no matter how much you may have the original vinyl version burned into your brain, I guaranteed that your noggin will gladly accept these new values after only a few rotary motions. And while we’re talking about the title track, it behooves me to point out that the handclaps now crack as crisply as a snappin’ slave ship whip while the ragged backing vocals actually have a dissipated Exile On Main St. edge to them. Oh, and did I forget to mention the barely audible part of the proceedings wherein an agitated Igg apes Williamson’s unreasonably abrasive guitar fills with his own inimitable imitative vocal screech just before he begins the vocals? I thought not.


As for the rest of the album—from the sax-soaked noir ballad of inoperable obsession “Johanna” to the clued-up cautionary street-walkin’ tale “Sell Your Love”—Kill City remains a achingly mature work that eschews the brainy turn-of-phrase lyrics and brutal turn-of-stomach music of Raw Power in favor of a far more thoughtful and elegiac eleven step program of sanity survival.


And if things didn’t quite work out exactly as planned, don’t fault the two primary participants because they gave it their best shot while laboring under a stacked deck of circumstances that would’ve crushed lesser mortals like you and I into dust. That both James Williamson and Iggy Pop not only managed to subsequently survive but successfully thrive only proves that they are the greatest.


Iggy & The StoogesRaw Power (Columbia) :: Because man does not live by achingly mature work alone.


Be seeing you!

Sat, August 4, 2018 | link 

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