Issue Index

  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person


Ken Yokoyama
bar news and views


774: Presidents of the United States of America
773: Keith
767: Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute
764: Kaiser Chiefs
760: Tim and Puma Mimi
759: Ice Cube
758: Vinyl Soul
757: Bajofondo
755: The Troubadours
752: Spiritualized at Summer Sonic
749: Cajun Dance Party
744: Heat and Noise
739: The Checks
737: Blue King Brown
735: Asian Dub Foundation
734: Scouting For Girls
732: Buzzcocks
730: Old Man River
728: The Kills
726: KT Tunstall
725: Jason Collett
722: Brother’s Sister’s Daughter
720: Sufjan Stevens
716: Gossip
714: The Go! Team
713: Café Tacvba
711: Celtic Woman
709: Jack Peñate
706: Soulive
703: Animal Collective
703: Reverend and The Makers
702: Battles
700: Dinosaur Jr
696: The Polyphonic Spree
695: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
692: Golden Age of Rock
691: One Fine Day
688: Rhombus
687: Corneille
685: The Cinematic Orchestra
683: 747s
680: Pete Murray
679: Mice Parade
678: Enter Shikari
676: The View
674: !!!
671: Donavon Frankenreiter
670: Herbie Hancock
669: Krystal Meyers
668: The Roots
666: Lily Allen
664: Two for Christmas
663: The Datsuns
661: Peaches
660: Tapes ’n Tapes
658: Mystery Jets
656: Shayne Ward
654: The Beat
653: Eumir Deodato
652: Mt. Fuji Calling
650: Juno Reactor
649: Yo La Tengo
648: Hyde Park Music Festival
647: Juana Molina
646: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
645: Tool
644: Juan Formell y Los Van Van
643: The Benevento-Russo Duo
641: TV On The Radio
639: Summer Music Festival Guide 2006
638: ESG
636: Editors
634: Greenroom
632: Ben Harper
630: Matmos
627: Arctic Monkeys
626: Erykah Badu
624: Cake
622: Bent Left
620: Mogwai
618: Deerhoof
617: The Album Leaf
616: Tristan Prettyman
614-615: 10, 9, 8....
613: Madonna
612: John Tropea and Incognito
610: Boy
608: Underworld
607: Niyaz
606: The Beautiful Girls
605: Miho Hatori
604: Doves
600: Bang Gang
598: Feist
596: Fantomas
595: Hyde Park Music Festival
593: Little Barrie
591: Juliette Lewis
589: James Chance & The Contortions
588: Carnival: Vice Bongo 1st Anniversary Party
585: Stereophonics
583: Little Joe Washington
581: Caetano Veloso
579: Maximo Park
578: Moe
577: Death From Above 1979
576: Destiny’s Child
575: Megadeth
574: Bandstand
572: Ozomatli
570: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
568: Prefuse 73
566: Pat Metheny
565: Rachel Yamagata
564: The Shins
563: The Music
561-562: Metropolis music survey 2004
559: Blues Explosion
557: The Libertines
555: G. Love
554: Dropkick Murphys
553: Kasabian
552: Fertile Ground
551: Recliner
550: Jah Shaka
548: Faithless
547: Tokyo Rotation
546: Yokosuka Reggae Super Bash
545: The Roots
544: True People's Celebration
543: Trans Europe Fes
542: Matthew Sweet
541: Heaven Artists
540: Manolito y su Trabuco
539: Rabble rouser
537: The Offspring
535: Janet Kay with Omar and Thriller U
533: Critters Buggin’
532: Cyndi Lauper
531: Cat Power
530: Standing in the shadows
528: Missy Elliott
527: Stereolab
526: Organic Groove
525: Questions of the day
523: Tough Cookie
521: Conversion
520: Iggy's inner artist
519: Control freak chic
518: Down to the Wire
517: Incubus
516: Kraftwerk
515: Black Eyed Peas
514: Pretenders
513: Sonicmania
511: Suburban funk boys
509/10: Incognito
508: Celtic Xmas 2003
507: Limp Bizkit
506: Robert Randolph and the Family Band
505: Out on a limb
503: Electraglide
501: Super Furry Animals
499: Geezer's groove
498: Ashanti
497: Syn city
496: Slacker rock rules!
495: Television
494: Lou Reed
493: Joao Gilberto
492: The Used
491: Gypsy Summer 2003
490: The Lucksmiths
489: Maxi Priest & Shaggy
488: Chuck Berry
487: Summer Sonic
486: The redheaded stepchild makes good
485: Positive punk mom
484: Duran Duran
483: Unapologetically acoustic
482: Break and Remake
481: Ron Sexmith
480: Folk Implosion
479: The Brand New Heavies
478: The Blood Brothers
477: Eminem
476: The Kills
475: Jackson Browne
474: N.E.R.D.
473: Shred a tabloid, make music
472: Garage Redux
471: Bringing the jams east
470: Asian Dub Foundation
469: Badly Drawn Boy
468: Massive Attack
467: Teenage Fanclub
466: The All Wave Grrls
465: J. Mascis + the Fog
464: Catching up with Sonic Youth
463: Deep Forest
462: Magic Rockout
461: Jurassic 5
460: Snuff
459: Queens of the Stone Age
457/8: On the phone: The Jeevas
456: K-Ci & JoJo and The Roots
455: Sleater-Kinney
454: Beast Feast
453: Contrasts in young UK rock
452: Tahiti 80
451: Pink
450: The Artist (no longer) formerly known as..
449: Paul McCartney Previewed
447: Jamiroquai
446: On the phone: Taxiride
445: Bad Religion
444: Jennifer Love Hewitt
443: Camp in Asagiri Jam
442: The Cinematic Orchestra
441: On the phone: Moby
440: True People's Celebration
439: Roots Revival
438: The politics of sampling
437: Summer Sonic sampler
436: The Jazz Mandolin Project
435: Indie icons
434: Cato Salsa Experience
433: Get's Bossa Nova 2002
432: Janet Kay with Omar
431: Kottonmouth Kings
430: Bowes & Morley
429: Christina Milian
428: Elvis Costello
427: Space Kelly
426: Diana Krall
425: Jay-Z
424: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
423: The Brian Setzer Orchestra
422: Weezer
421: The Music
420: Lenny Kravitz
419: Speech
418: Tool
417: Green Day
416: Chuck Berry & James Brown
415: Ozomatli
414: Britney Spears
413: Music Mary J. Blige
412: Incubus
411: The Chemical Brothers
410: David Byrne
409: The Prodigy
408: Roger Walters
407: Ozzy Osbourne
406: Lisa Loeb
405: Aerosmith
404: Garbage
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi
401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson
396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel
392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana

by Dan Grunebaum

Iggy's inner artist

Raw Power icon Iggy Pop reveals a different side to rock's favorite bad boy.

The heroin addiction, the public self-flagellation and penis-baring, the rumors of bisexuality…these are only the more infamous elements of Iggy Pop's status as a living legend. Unlike many of the casualties that the rock lifestyle left littered by the roadside, Pop (b. James Newell Osterberg Jr.), not only survived the '70s but soldiered on, his ripped physique an indication of the mettle that allowed him to live to tell the tale.

But the uncompromising American singer, whose latest album is last year's Skull Ring, has lately revealed an artistic side in an exhibition of paintings held recently with (band member the Stooges guitarist) Ron Asheton in Detroit. "Sometimes I paint my way into it," Pop explained by phone in response to a question about the relation between his painting and his song craft, as he looked out over the Rolls Royces parked in front of his Miami bungalow. "Once you get in the music business, you start feeling like an accountant or a prostitute, and then you wonder, gee, am I still an artist? Painting is a great way to convince yourself that you're still capable of creating something intriguing."

Choosing to debut his art away from the glare of the New York art world, Pop says the exhibition was Asheton's inspiration. "Ron paints a little bit, and I've been painting for years. He'd shown some last year and wanted to do another show, I think actually because he'd sold a couple to the actress Renee Zellweger… I'd never shown my paintings and I really didn't want to show 'em in New York. So I thought a Detroit show with a musical hook to it sounded about right."

Many regard Pop's work with the Stooges as his best, and whatever your opinion, it certainly will go down as his defining legacy. At a time when the rest of the pop world was still coming down from 1967's acid-suffused Summer of Love, a fire-breathing Pop and the brothers Asheton (Ron and drummer Scott), offered a look at the world un-enhanced by rose-tinted lenses.

The creative burst between their 1969 debut The Stooges and 1973's Raw Power proved prescient, hinting at the punk counterrevolution that was to come later in the decade and yielding songs like the endlessly covered, "I Wanna Be Your Dog." But the Stooges broke up reportedly amid acrimony, making their recent reuniting a surprise for many.

Pop downplays the difficulties between them. "The animosity among us stayed at the level of things said in print about the other's personal qualities," he says. "That sort of thing won't really break you up for long. Later when it gets to the level of lawyers, and accountants, that's what really separates bands. Pardon me, but if it's just some shit you said to a journalist, so what?"

The bludgeon-like directness of Pop's songs has a source, and it's not simply the unvarnished view of life he developed growing up in a trailer park in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The son of an English teacher, Pop took his education to heart. Describing his song craft, he says that some of the archetypical elements necessary for a good rock song include a memorable title, and the what, who, when, where and why of journalism.

"I try to follow the things I learned in high school," he says, perhaps incredibly. "In creative writing, be universal. Whatever you write, try and do it in a way that will mean the same thing in 300 years. It should mean the same thing to anybody anywhere. And then from debate-I was on the debate team in high school-tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, then tell 'em, and then tell 'em you told 'em."

Pop isn't big on metaphor. "Metaphor is great if you're Bob Dylan, just like theater's great if you're Shakespeare," he says. "But each of those people [is] responsible for an enormous amount of bad art being made by mediocre people who think that if they do things as if they were great, they'll be great. Metaphor is beautiful-"Every Grain of Sand" by Bob Dylan is beautiful-but I'm not Bob Dylan."

Yet in addition to these basic elements of songwriting, emotions are also needed to make a song resonate. "Something that gets me sad, wistful, excited, nostalgic," Pop adds animatedly. "It could be any of emotion-lustful, aggressive, whatever it is."

He says that the actual creation itself shouldn't take more than five minutes, but that making a song special could take much longer. "There might be one element that might not come together, and that could torture you till it's right," he says. "You might have to do something like become a drug addict and wander through cities wasting your youth until you get the lyric just right."

But the now clean-living, happily married Pop isn't suggesting that one take heroin, only that it's often been part of the process. "I'm not prescribing. You asked me about a lyric, not about health issues," he recoils. "And I'm telling you that's one of the things that keeps cropping up. You look at Baudelaire and you're looking at laudanum. You look at Rimbaud and you're looking at alcoholism. Even certain periods of David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, the Who-you know-good writers, it comes up. I'm not advocating it, I'm obviously not using it, and I don't think that's the way to go today. But you asked me and I said that's one of the avenues that's taken."

Having survived his demons, Pop approaches his career as exactly that, although one with unique perks. Asked if at age 56 he doesn't tire of playing the rock god, Pop confesses, "Well you know there are certain privileges that go with doing alright at the job, so I ain't gonna bitch about it, you know what I'm saying?"

Iggy Pop and The Stooges play Magic Rock Out at Makuhari Messe on March 20 and Shibuya AX on March 22. See listings for details.

credit: Smash

Discuss music with METROPOLIS readers at