There was an early Seinfeld where Jerry and his bombshell Spanish neighbour are flirting, and she says, “Please, Jerry—tell me about these Stooges.” She meant the eye-poking ones, but the line crossed my mind as I mulled over what to say about the other Stooges. Not surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve played any of the first three LPs for at least a decade. At least I hope that wouldn’t be surprising—I turn 44 this year. Is there anyone my age who still plays their Stooges records with any regularity? Funhouse was always my favorite, and if you want to hear something purely and unrelentingly chaotic, it has no equal. White Light/White Heat and Album Generic are in the same general vicinity, but both are on the dronier, dirgier end of the spectrum for long stretches; the Stooges are still basically playing a variation on heavy metal, and as such, there’s never any mistaking it for trance-out music—they just pound and flail away for the duration. (Almost, anyway—“Dirt” stops everything dead for seven minutes.) There’s something extremely physical about Funhouse—it was always one of the first albums I’d throw on whenever I came home drunk, and I’d kind of lurch around the room in a manner that vaguely resembled what is often referred to as “dancing”—whereas the other two seem more cerebral/conceptual. I’m contradicting comments I made earlier about Led Zeppelin, where I said it was the Stooges who were more self-conscious about what they did. It’s all relative—as self-consciousness goes, I guess I’d put the Velvet Underground and Flipper at the more deliberate end of the spectrum, the Stooges somewhere in the middle, and Led Zeppelin as the most intuitive of the four. Seeing as I like both the Velvet Underground and Led Zeppelin more than the Stooges, I don’t consider self-consciousness to be inherently good or bad. Yeah, that’s what I think. (Note to self: don’t try to theorize, you’re not very good at it.) By the way, I still experience my fair share of amorphous anger at times, but I rarely turn to music anymore when I’m in that frame of my mind. Don’t ask me what’s replaced it—online Scrabble arguments, sometimes.
[from record inventory, 2005-6]
Also included in “fragments falling everywhere”:
- Sex Pistols reunion
- Five Poppiest Art-Rock Songs
- Jesus & Mary Chain/Jethro Tull
- “Panic,” Smiths
- K-Tel/Ronco revisited… + dozens more