DVD REVIEW: IGGY AND THE STOOGES-ESCAPED MANIACS 2-DVD SET (MVD Visual/Charly)
OK, I know that a great many of you regular BLOG TO COMM readers didn't give one whit about the recent Stooges reunion and subsequent albums, but sure as I'm sitting here I thought the entire concept of these ozobs existing in the here and now to be pretty entrancing, ifyaknowaddamean! Sure it woulda been better for alla us if Iggy and his mates got back together in the eighties when we all coulda used a little more high energy in our mainlines, and seeing a buncha sixtysome guys trying to relive twentysome glories might not go down well with some of the more, er, skeptical members of the rock "community", but look at it this way...as Linus used to say in the mid-fifties-era (and best in my humble opinion) PEANUTS, "five-hundred years from now, who'll know the difference?"
Believe it or not, but the concert footage is actually unoffensive to my fragile rockism tastes. Of course I could have done without all of those colored light effects that remind me of those color wheels that would spin upon an aluminium Christmas Tree (the Stooges being a proudly monochromatic band) plus having audience members dancing about on-stage whilst Iggy shows off a good six inches of his crack seems like a play for the modern rock consciousness, but otherwise I found the overall energy levels exuded by the entire band (even bassist Mike Watt, who despite his excellent contributions to the Minutemen kinda seemed way too mystico for my tastes) pretty durn high. And we're talking about a buncha guys who Mitch Miller thought were gonna all croak back when he had lunch with 'em in '73 so you could say that this Stooges show (filmed at the Lockerse Freestern in waffleland) was a much better success'n, say, the Velvet Underground reunion 'n obligatory vid from '93 which merely rehashed the known material and gave us one lousy new track for our troubles. And for the most part it's a non-asshole audience (didn't see any lighters held up in blind homage, a good sign) and an overall what I woulda hoped for performance, and if you like you can even re-watch the thing via the "director's cut" which has a few interesting tidbits here 'n there.
The second disque features an Iggy/Stooges documentary and although I try to avoid these things like the plague (I think a few viewings of POV on PBS in the late-eighties turned me off to those didactic paeans to communist glories past and a new gay world faster than you can say "Jerry Falwell's revenge") I did find the presentation pretty interesting, at least until they got into the solo Iggy period which can (on a good day) range between "fairly interesting" to "rock bottom" within the short span of a few albums and image changes. Some interesting shards are turned over and the various seventies tee-vee clips from DINAH etc. are not to be missed, but nothing that really flips my lid that much is to be found. Much better are the added bonus interviews with Iggy and the Asheton brothers where they get to talk about their days of youthful rage looking pretty good for the retirees they are even if Ron looks tubbier than tubby enough yer's troolee! Dunno about you, but I got enough enjoyment outta this and who knows, you might too!
Evening photos - (1) Snow on pine tree (South Korea) by Red Sun Kim More below the fold (2) Caucasus mountains (Sochi, Russia) by Andrey Glushenko (3) Rainy day in Pruh...
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