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New Stooges CD


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"The Weirdness", the Stooges' first studio release in either 33 or 37 years (33 years since "Raw Power", 37 years since "Fun House", the last one with Ron Asheton on guitar....the band radically changed when Ron moved to bass and James Williamson took over on guitar for RP), came out yesterday. First off, I'm about as objective about this band as Marvin is about The Eagles....and have been ever since first hearing that wah-wah pedal kick in on "1969" on their eponymous debut in 1969, and thinking "What the f*** is this???" (I had a similar reaction to "Next Big Thing" on The Dictators Go Girl Crazy, then "Blitzkrieg Bop" on The Ramones...)

The good news - The Asheton brothers (Ron & brother Scott on drums) play like their lives depend on it, on every single tune! Also, no attempt has been made to "smarten up" the band, by complicating their music or lyrics. This is as primal as it's ever gotten, as moronic and idiotic as their first 2 albums...and I love it!

The production is VERY loud, and right in your face....like one of their live shows. Lastly, the lyrics (what I can readily make out - see comments below) are hilarious, and most of the songs have a great singalong chorus....I can just see and hear the crowds now singing along - "My idea of fun...is killing everyone!" (first single from the CD)

The bad news - Iggy's voice is way, way down in the mix. I understand where Jimmy O. wanted to establish that this is a new Stooges album, and not an Iggy Pop solo effort, or an Iggy & The Stooges album. However, he's louder than this, mix-wise, when they play live. Also, he doesn't appear to really get into the song in some cases. I suspect all of these tunes will be excellent live....and I'll find out next month, when I see the band in DC at the 930 Club(4/5), and possibly NYC (United Palace Theater, 4/9).

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"I am surprised the Ashetons are still alive!"

R-Wine - So are a lot of other people, probably including Ron & Scott themselves! (Rumor has it Ron did nothing for years but sit in his basement and watch TV.....Post-Stooges, he played with New Order, Destroy All Monsters, Dark Carnival, New Race (for a show or two), and the Empty Set, but none of those lasted very long at all.)

BTW, after 4-5 playings, "The Weirdness" is really growing on me, like a fungus....so far, it seems like a worthy successor to "The Stooges" and "Fun House". Since their first 2003 reunion, they've refused to play anything from "Raw Power"...possibly because Ron's style of playing simply doesn't lend itself well to those songs, possibly for some other reason. What I'd like to see next at some point, is for James Williamson to come out of retirement, temporarily move Ron to bass and put Mike Watt on hold, and go out on the road doing "Raw Power".

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