This one is about The Stooges, and it’s not about The Stooges.
I bought a copy of Fun House, The Stooges’ second album used a few months back and it sat around. It sat on the passenger seat of my car, sat on the nightstand by my bed where i kept my laptop, sat next to the CD player I had stashed in the corner for when I was feeling nostalgic. The reason the CD sat in its case and was not played: I was scared. When I was just getting into punk for the first time (which, at that point, was basically mid 90s epitaph pop punk with some henry rollins and clash thrown in there) I somehow had heard Raw Power, and the thing was, it basically threw me off whatever mountain i was seeing the world from. This was not music, this was sound, a lot of sound. It was so nihilistic, it made even the loudest, most dour bands I was listening to at the time seem like a cracked faucet. It was prodigal. I never owned the album, and mostly avoided the stooges after that, until, living in Iggy Pop’s hometown, I decided that maybe Fun House would be a more hospitable place to start. I finally listened to the album all the way through, and really, really liked it, up to the last track. Try to make it through this:
The thing about that song which makes it so unlistinable is that the song, couldn’t care less about you. This is four people going batshit crazy on their instruments. charges could’ve probably been filed. And because it is the sound of four people going crazy, there’s little motive besides uncontrollable psychosis, and so there is no structure, and therefore no ending. It’s unnerving in a way that even noiser, more extreme groups like fellow Michiganders Wolf Eyes can’t replicate.
Oneida are in the business of sound, too. Their songs often involve drones, repetition, structures that force you to notice their existence. If this sounds like math rock, it’s not. Because those bands, they work with sound. Oneida are one of the few bands I can think of who play with sound. Call it apt that about a year ago they covered a Grateful Dead song on a 7 inch, but they’re some of the closest brethren I can think of for this group. The two bands don’t necessarily share much sonically, but goal-wise, in that desire to stretch that electric guitar as far as they can without snapping it, they’re both on the same, slap happy page. Oneida released a 3 disc album this year. It’s something you have to submerge yourself in, or it’ll do nothing for you. Here are two tracks from it which don’t go over the 10 minute mark. There are many, many that do.
They’re playing what sounds like a mindslapping set at the ATP that happens at that country club in a few weeks.