Wednesday, March 30, 2005

GG and Iggy

There are some pretty good reviews of GG Allin and Iggy Pop DVDs at Here's a bit:

The new DVD, GG Allin: Savage South—Best of 1992 Tour, gives us no answers. Here is GG naked, toothless, on the last tour of his life (he would die of an overdose in 1993) with his band the Murder Junkies, giving everyone hell. The tattoos on his body—“Life Sucks,” “Vomitose,” cartoon gravestones—look like the work of a talented but vengeful six-year old.

As for the music—forget the music. The shaved, slobbering blues-punk is merely a means to an end. The first song (“I Live To Be Hated”) has barely begun before GG starts whacking the mike testily against his bald, dented skull—within five minutes he is wearing his trademark inverted crown of blood. And soon enough the shit literally starts to fly: He squats, rolls in it, then scoops it up and flings it at the crowd with lavish painterly gestures. Is this what the French call “nostalgie de la boue”—a reveling in the organic? Savage South records the memorable image of a man behind a speaker—some bouncer or stagehand—stolidly putting on a raincoat while the Murder Junkies are tuning up. When GG starts to eat the Bible—and a night in which he didn’t get himself arrested, give someone a ketchup enema or eat a few pages of the Bible was a slow night for GG—we are re-assured: This is not insanity, this is only blasphemy.

...This month’s other notable new DVD, Iggy Pop—Live in San Fran 1981 captures the Ig at a strange moment in his career. The Stooges are a memory, and his comeback on the arm of David Bowie is fading too. Still with tremendous bad-boy cachet, but no longer interested in tearing himself to pieces, he is on the road promoting the most flimsily hedonistic of his albums, “Party.”

Unbelievably, it sounds pretty good. Brainless numbers like “Bang Bang” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Party,” and even the tottering “I’m a Conservative” (“I passed out on many floors/ I don’t do that anymore”), when played by a crack band that includes ex-Blondie drummer Clem Burke and future Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar, achieve a kind of dark clubland rush, with Iggy’s lizard baritone loitering and glittering beneath.

This is 1981. The bassist is wearing a Star Trek-style jumpsuit and an earring that hangs from his ear like a string of golden drool; one of the guitarists has a skinny tie. Iggy himself is tastefully arrayed in leather jacket, miniskirt, garters, nylons and heels; dipping and thrusting, hunching and high-kicking, he seems to be in peak condition. When he comes out for the encore, still in his lady-gear but now wearing a nice oxford shirt, he looks like someone’s rather racy personal assistant.
Sounds like both are worth watching, though GG Allin makes me a little sad, what with the mental illness and all. I considered going to see him long ago, but I couldn't find my raincoat. And I think Iggy Pop would look exactly the same if he didn't have any skin.

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