Review: Teatime Dub Encounters by Underworld and Iggy Pop

Teatime Dub Encounters by Underworld and Iggy PopThis was going to be the collaboration nobody thought they wanted, but then, Underworld and Iggy Pop got together in an attempt to do something for the Trainspotting sequel, both being integral parts of the original film’s soundtrack. As the story goes, Rick Smith realized he had one shot to make this work, so when he met with Iggy, it was at a hotel room filled to the nines with studio equipment – and thus, Teatime Dub Encounters, a four-track, still sprawling EP, was born. Admittedly you get a bit excited about the prospect of this collaboration, because of the combined history of the two entitles: Underworld pushed the envelope in electronic music, Iggy Pop did the same for rock, and yet their profiles remain somewhat hidden, at least compared to other legends of their times. The product is Iggy pretty much telling his war stories – a bit tentatively, but there are some eye-opening moments – in his now-familiar drawl, with Underworld ably filling in the gaps and pushing him in the right places. It has the feel of a one-off, which is a shame: you wish this would go on, and had a more deliberate feel to it. Still, it’s a treat. [NB] | 4/5

earthings! 2016: My ten favorites of the year

Here we are again – the end of the year, or at least the end of our year here on earthings!, as we take that long holiday break to recharge, or whatever passes for that these days. And it’s been a busy year, or perhaps because we found ourselves juggling a lot of things on many fronts – lots of changes off screen, and a bunch of new features on screen. But I digress. Here we are again – the end of our year on the blog, which means I trot out my ten favorite songs of the year – not a definitive list by all means; just a reflection of what I’ve liked, considering that I seem to have listened to less new music and more K-pop these past few months. So, here’s the list, arranged alphabetically as always. [NB]

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Review: Post Pop Depression by Iggy Pop

Post Pop Depression by Iggy PopTime will tell if Post Pop Depression is a good way to go for Iggy Pop – or if this will indeed be his last album, as he’s hinted so often in the weeks leading up to release. The surprise album, a collaboration with (among others) Joshua Homme, sees Iggy be contemplative, most notably in the haunting last lines of “American Valhalla”. It’s him grappling with his legacy (unless it’s not really what he meant), grappling with the idea of a world where Iggy Pop means zip. (That has to be what the title means, right?) The nine songs is a nice balance between Iggy’s sexual tension and Joshua’s tendencies to riff with unusual motifs in his sludgy rock. While the result may be less punk rock and more early David Bowie (again, the timing thing is too spot on) it’s still an interesting, albeit slightly less memorable, set of tracks. It might not be the statement anybody, more so Iggy, is hoping for, but then again, time will be the judge of that one. [NB]4/5

“All I wanna do is tell Gardenia what to do tonight.”

“Gardenia” by Iggy Pop | By the time you read this, Iggy Pop’s surprise new single – with Queens of the Stone Age’s Joshua Homme and Dean Fertita, and the Arctic Monkeys‘ Matt Helder, on the band – is already two years old. A lot has likely been said about how this (and the rest of Post Pop Depression, which drops this March) was recorded in secret. Perhaps a lot more about how Bowie-esque it sounds, which has to be a coincidence. Maybe a bit about how the recording of the album has helped Homme deal with the aftermath of the Paris attacks where he was almost entangled in. Whatever. I’m late. I tweeted this out on Friday afternoon, but only listened to it properly on Friday night – particularly, the performance on The Late Show. This has grown on me. I properly like this. [NB]

The inventory: David Bowie in collaborations

It’s incredibly hard to summarize David Bowie’s career. He’s done a lot of things: 25 albums, several films, everything else in between… the man’s a restless soul, always looking for something to pour his energies into, something he’s done up until his last days, as he produced Blackstar while fighting cancer. So, where to begin, exactly? We won’t exactly have the time to dig deep into Bowie’s many personas and phases, so we’ll spin things a bit and look at his collaborations – or at least some of them; again, we can’t quite cover everything – in this installment of the Inventory. [NB]

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