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Entry date: 3-4-2024 – Time To Rant – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

I was watching the Suns play last night. What a pile of shit. If not for some Bradley Beal points and a record setting amount of rebounds from Nurkic, it would have been a complete pile of bullshit. This team is cooked. If Booker is going to miss significant time, they may not make the playoffs.

 

They don't even take care of the ball. This is not a team. It's a group of individual players who make these fool's gold runs that get you excited and then... nothing. They wasted that incredible run for nothing.


End of rant.

 

*****

 

The rest of the day was pretty decent, though, and we had a really nice visit with the J’s. I also felt a lot better on Sunday than I had in a couple of days. Partially that was getting some time with our friends and partially from a good chat with my mom and partially it was just feeling better physically. This whole not feeling well thing has gotten super old.

 

*****

 

The week begins, though, with an eye toward the middle and the end. Rhondi’s got a birthday on Wednesday and then we have Spring Break next week. I’ve got a ton of writing to do this week, too. Better get my creative hat on…and fast.

 

*****

 

I still need to process the Peter Tork Anomaly.

 

*****

 

It is funny how certain music is just always sort of hovering around you. Iggy Pop was a figure that I was aware of from a fairly early age but until my teenage years, never really knew why he was a famous name. The Stooges were also one of those sorts of ever present, ethereal names.

 

When I started getting into learning about the roots of punk rock, The Stooges kept popping up all over the place, so I figured I better check them out. I joined one of those 10 CDs for $1 things under an assumed name and one of the available CDs was the self-titled debut, The Stooges.

 

This must’ve been 1989, I think. There was an immediate kinship for me with the opening song, “1969.” It was probably the right time of life for me to embrace The Stooges. Looking back, I don’t know if I would have been able to appreciate them earlier in my musical journey.

 

“1969” has this sort of shuffling, rambling quality that I most definitely would not have understood as well when I was in my early years of punk rock fandom. It is not fast or terribly aggressive by the standards of what I was listening to early on, but I can now see how it influenced so many artists I love.

 

The thing about “1969” and The Stooges record, really, is that it is subversive. You can feel it slipping up behind you, but there is nothing you can do except give in and take off. We need time travel now, I think, because I want to go to an early Stooges show and see people react to them.

 

Everyone and their mother have covered “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” I’m guilty of it, too. We did it for a while in Hillbilly Devilspeak in the mid-90s and I’m not going to lie. I love playing that song. It’s one of the first punk rock songs. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard it and not started rocking out a bit.

 

Where the 15-year-old me would have probably balked at The Stooges is “We Will Fall.” Now I listen to it and think about the balls it would take to give a record label those first two songs and then have the last track on side one be a ten-minute meditation over some trippy guitar. I’m sure some of the executives at Elektra Records were like, “What the fuck is this?”

 

“Goodbye.” Great lyric. Truly. The attitude in Iggy’s “goodbye” is fucking perfect.

 

Then “No Fun” takes over. Scott Asheton’s drums kind of steal this one in a very low-key way. Even though the claps were probably not him (I have no idea who did them…probably Iggy and John Cale), the percussion on this one is quite good. Obviously, the Sex Pistols brought this song to a new height, but the original is fucking great, too.

 

I read somewhere once that Iggy Pop likes to improvise lyrics in the studio. I wonder how true that was in the early days of The Stooges. I have to believe that he did it a lot on this record. His performance has such an extemporaneous feel. “No Fun” is a good example of this approach.

 

“Real Cool Time” is one of the songs that I really dug early on from The Stooges. It has that sort of laid back, aloofness that “1969” has with some excellent guitar work from Ron Asheton who was working his ass off on the volume pedal. The whole song is just one constant assault from the fuzzy, space guitar.

 

“Ann” the weak link here. It’s always just sort of felt like it was an attempt by Pop to channel some Jim Morrison and it doesn’t work. Luckily, “Not Right” is a much better song. It is another garage-y, protopunk anthem. Dark and a little mysterious, too, “Not Right” could have been a good song for the Fuzztones to cover. Who knows, maybe they did cover it.

 

“Little Doll” closes things out. I really dig bassist Dave Alexander’s trembling bass line in the intro part. It’s the end of a tremendous debut record. I appreciate the doors that The Stooges kicked open for the rest of us. They were just getting started.

 

*****  

 

See you tomorrow.



Another picture

chemicals and winter flame

what do you see, dear?

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