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On this day in music history: August 5, 1957 - American Bandstand makes its national television debut on ABC. Hosted by former radio DJ and music entepreneur Dick Clark, the show is originally broadcast on local Philadelphia channel WFIL-TV Channel 6 in 1952 with original host Bob Horn (1952 - 1956), co-host Lee Stewart (1952 - 1955), and Tony Mammarella (1956 only). Clark will become the show's permanent host from 1956 to 1989 (returning briefly in 2002). The show will move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in 1964, beginning color broadcasts in September of 1967. 3,000 episodes of the show will be taped over its 50 year history (though only 883 survive).
On this day in music history: August 5, 1969 - The self-titled debut album by The Stooges is released. Produced by John Cale, it is recorded at Russ Gibb's Grande Ballroom in Detroit, MI from October 30 - 31, 1968. Recorded in just two days with The Velvet Underground's multi-instrumentalist John Cale, the original mix of the album will be rejected by Elektra (four of the rejected mixes will be released on a reissue of the album in 2005). The released version will be remixed by frontman Iggy Pop and label founder Jac Holzman. Featuring such proto-punk classics as "No Fun" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog," it will become highly influential, providing the inspiration for the Punk Rock music genre in the '70s. Iggy Pop will be widely acknowledged as the godfather of the punk movement. The Stooges will peak at #106 on the Billboard Top 200.
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Unlike many, I look forward to Thanksgiving not because of what I get to eat, but what I get to cook. For this reason, I love to host the holiday. In a village like Los Angeles, it’s usually easy to find many lost little lambs who’ve no place to eat (and no ability to manage kitchens themselves). Honestly, it’s like flunking Home-Ec is a requirement to moving to the City of Angels; I guess Type-A personalities don’t have a lot of patience for braising.
Nothing makes me feel more like a magical wizard than when cooking-challenged people like my boyfriend watch me prep food. Am I roasting zucchini or casting a sleep spell on the whole kingdom? Because his reaction would be interchangeable in either event.
I learned to cook from my Mom; sometimes instruction was direct, but mostly I just hung around the kitchen while she cooked and made a nuisance of myself, learning by observation. I was hypnotized by corn starch and its ability to turn any liquid in to a thick sauce. Separating an egg seemed like a delicate and ancient Chinese dance, and gee whiz…! See what you can do when you whip those egg whites?
There were some causalities, from which I grew wiser. One sneaky bite of unsweetened chocolate taught me that some of life’s greatest pleasures can come from something so foul. I learned Tupperware cannot be used like a pot on the burners, and soon after I learned how hard it is to clean cooked and melted plastic off a grill. One of the few scars I have on my body is on the knuckle of my left thumb from the first time I learned how to use a peeler – I don’t remember what fruit I cut myself on, but I’ve always remembered how to hold the instruments securely since then. Oh! And I learned it doesn’t take very many bittersweet chocolate chips to destroy an appetite.
Some songs just never get old. And Iggy Pop's song "Lust For Life," which I just listened to for the first time in eons, is such a track; one of those timeless tunes that no matter how often I hear it and even though it has been a very popular song, it never fails to grab me. I love it! The song, which is now 33 years old, is defined by Hunt Sales' hypnotic drum intro and Iggy spitting such memorable lyrics as "Coz I'm worth a million in prizes" and "I am just a modern guy/ Of course I've had it in the ear before," with its William S. Burroughs references (Johnny Yen, etc.).
The title track of the second of two Iggy Pop albums released in 1977 by RCA, it was co-written with David Bowie during their prolific Berlin collaborative era. In the first part of '77 the pair collaborated on Iggy's The Idiot, and, following its release, toured together in support of that album. Then, fresh from that short tour, back in Berlin, they jumped into the studio in to make Lust For Life in record time, reportedly writing, recording, and mixing the entire album in a little over a week!
Back when it first came out, Lust For Life was more commercially successful than even Pop's earlier (and highly influential) recordings with The Stooges. And in the years since the initial release of "Lust For Life," the song has taken on a life of its own, continually garnering radio airplay, showing up on countless compilations, and being used in several commercials and soundtracks -- most famously in 1996's Trainspotting, which gave it a new lease on life, introducing it to a new generation of fans. And in the decades since its initial recording, Iggy, who turns 63 this year, continually performs the song in concert, each time with renewed energy and raw power. Below are a number of video clips of Iggy, who never seems to wear a shirt in concert, performing the song. The earliest performance (and best, in my opinion) is the one in Manchester, England in 1977. Also below are the lyrics for "Lust For Life."
"Lust For Life" (live, 1977 Manchester, England)
"Lust For Life" (live, mid nineties)
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine
He's gonna do another striptease
Hey man where'd you get
That lotion? I been hurting
Since I bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah something called love
That's like hypnotizing chickens
Well I am just a modern guy
Of course I've had it in the ear before
A few years back I went to my first Borts Minorts show in San Francisco. I'm still not sure how to describe what I saw, how it happened or why I'll never forget it; It was, plainly speaking, singularly awesome, like nothing I had seen before! I laughed, I danced, I marveled -- I had an amazing time. Since that initial exposure I have come to hold Borts Minorts in high esteem as an artist, musician and uber-performer. He seems fearless, knows no limits and appears physically capable of accomplishing any feat no matter how extraordinary the act. In short: there is no telling what his next move will be, ever. It's not for nothing that he's been nominated twice for SF Weekly's Best Experimental Music award. One thing I know for sure is that anyone who can get their butt out to the Hemlock Tavern this Wednesday night, -- that's right, New Year's Eve -- will be in for a rare (Borts, alas, has relocated to New York) treat, as Borts Minorts will be showing you how he likes to party, performing live on the last and first night(s) of the year(s). I am so pleased he agreed to play 20 Questions with me:
1. How old is Borts Minorts? It is thought that I am now 38,000 years old.
2. Where does Borts come from? Borts Minorts comes from the past and future simultaniously and only actually exists in this world when on stage.
3. What are your musical/artistic influences? The artistic collaboration of Michael Clark, Leigh Bowery and the Fall would possibly be my biggest influence. The movie Legend of Leigh Bowery changed my life artistically. Leigh Bowery was an incredible artist. Also, when I was a kid I saw Klaus Nomi on SNL and it scared the shit out of me. That always really stuck with me. Then when I saw Nomi Song and saw what he did on stage in the early days it REALLY inspired me to create something new and different.