Why 2014 Will Be the Heaviest Year in Music {spoiler: Xarrier’s Bringin’ It!} Spirit of MC5 & STOOGES returning. . .

IMGP3205     It was 1992, a friend had passed away and that loss left a void that could only be filled in a healthy way by music. I was washing dishes at a small family owned fine-dining joint, Italian chef great staff meals never had to worry about my dinner 6 days a week! I get to work early after paying a few utility bills had some change left over so crossed the street and began the Friday ritual of flipping through the recent used album shelves at the best record store in town. Coming across a foreboding sinister bunch of ruffians glaring back at me from the album sleeve I found ‘The Stooges’. The pose looked alot like the Doors first album cover and that was no mistake as both were on Electra {MC5 would later be kicked off that’s another story}.

     I was aware that iconic punk vocalist Iggy Pop had a band in the late 60s early 70s but had never heard them. Except on Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising album there was a sample of the song ‘Not Right’ off this very album as I would soon discover. I finished my shift and biked home with the record. The chef told me I was going to love the record based on our daily punk history chats. He had no idea. I got out of my work rags and put on some boots jeans and cutoff sleeves Corrosion of Conformity ‘Animosity’ shirt thinking of going to check out a few bands. Cracking a beer open and lighting a hand rolled Drum cigarette pilfered off my housemates, we let the needle drop (no not that kind we were super~anti that stuff!) on her old school all in 1 stereo in the kitchen.

     The jams started flowing out and we never left the house that night playing the record 3 times in a row instead. From the all out wah assault of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ to the super chill mediation of ‘We Will Fall’ and the sledgehammer riff0|0gy of ‘1969’, ‘Little Doll’, ‘No Fun’ & ‘Ann’ this record was pure perfection of down ‘n’ dirty flatout rock. The next week the same collection of vinyl produced another priceless jem of rock epiphany also on Electra! This time the cashier had set it aside for me to my everlasting debt I thank him. The employees liked my visits as I had a eagle eye for the real deal and eventually they just set the good shizzle aside for me!

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     Folks had started selling their records en masse replacing all with compact discs and I loved it for pennies on the dollar even a dishwasher could buy mint condition original pressings of the best music ever, Try that on eBay today, fat chance! The next nugget (pun intended as I also peaked out those garage compilations) of wisdom was merely entitled MC5 Kick Out the Jams! Again, had heard of ’em (M pun intended) just had yet to hear ’em. Same deal: Friday long shift, felt like a wet rag myself after prep cooking a zillion Cesar Salads and Mussels appetizers then cleaning up after the entire organization. Nothing makes you crave heavy jams on hot summer nights more then a filthy exhausting line of work!

     Got home and turned this record up LOUD then went out and had a ‘Real Cool Time’. Yes, both bands blurred into a single hyperdrive of pre-going out ritual for life! Moresom with Stooges Funhouse LP which will really set you in a fucker or fighter mode for reals. The immortal first lines “KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!” uttered by singer Rob Tyner? Already in seconds I knew this was a band for me. They proceeded to blow my mind, the crowds that night as well judging by the response. A relentless energy of Fred ‘Sonic’ Smiths & Wayne Kramer’s twin guitar leads was fully righteous. ‘Ramblin Rose’, ‘Come Together’, ‘Motor City Is Burning’ {a Detroit native John Lee Hooker cover} & Starship {which was a rave up crossbreeded w/ a Sun Ra worthy freakout!}: each felt like final encores, as did the opener the notorious ‘Kick Out the Jams’! The Stooges & ,who legend has it had no love lost between them anyway, were despite that a major revelation. In exactly where & when punk music began; the pair of them had the go juice to launch infinite variations. . .

     From the Dead Boys to the Birthday Party to the Ramones to the Sex Pistols to the entire Seattle scene of mid to late 80s which later got watered down into pop grunge. Yet ‘in the beginning’ there was Detroit Motor Rock City and that time and place centered around the Grande Ballroom as I would later learn produced music which kicked your ass and at the same made you think. That is the type of jams I have been after ever since and the first STOOGES & MC5 KICK OUT THE JAMS albums set the watermark for whether or not a band means it or not. They both did. Whatever music I helped write/ perform & watch/ listen to from that time on required total conviction DTKLAMF!

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