WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

Stooges on WXDU
January 7, 2009, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Durham

This is why I love my local radio station. Last night I heard the sad news of Ron Asheton passing away. Ron Asheton (the original, founding guitarist, then bassist, then guitarist again) was basically the one Stooge with his head on semi-straight. While the others recklessly pushed their health and mental states to the limits, Ron hit a point where he knew it was time to stop, or at least slow down. He was the Stooge that always wanted to keep the unit glued together and looked on at Iggy’s post-Stooges solo career with hurt and a bit of embarrassment. Even as the Stooges were gearing up for their reunion shows over thirty years after the fact, he was still humbly living in his mom’s house outside of Detroit.

I walk into work today, go about my usual routine and flip on WXDU. Cranking out of the speakers comes a familiar raw, dark mantric sound. It’s the Stooges. And it’s great. I can’t think of a better way to walk into work today. It’s a crummy, overcast day, probably gonna be slow in the shop, but I’ve got my Stooges and I’ve got my WXDU. The three Stooges LPs are untouchable, unsurpassable masterpieces of simplicty, rawness and brutal passion. They locked into meditation-like grooves with a manic, inner-agitation creating this amazing, nervous confusion of emotions. Iggy and Ron would surge and sear through the locked rhythm creating a frenzy and mini-riot onstage. They were well ahead of their time and suffered a severe crash and burn amidst hails of mostly bad criticism, sending all members splayed out in different directions. The Stooges combined free-form, psychedelic rock and a snarly take on blues rhythms with unbridled outpouring from a split personality frontman. Part poet, part madman. This style would soon find a name in punk rock and inspire four decades worth of kids (and counting) to pick up instruments and bash out noise.

This morning, WXDU played three Stooges tracks resulting in a great 15 minute block tribute to one of the finest bands of the last thirty years. Thanks WXDU! For anyone reading this out of town, WXDU is our local college/community station. It’s based on the campus of Duke University and is run by a combination of undergrads, grad students and community members. The programming is phenomenal for such a small station in such a small town, there’s hardly a dull moment. I owe them a lot of gratitude for turning me unto new stuff and simply just keeping me entertained throughout the day.


Directly following the block that gave this day a headstart over all other days this week, the DJ, Mark, played the first track off the new Whatever Brains 7″! More on that very thing later. Probably this afternoon as I need to plug a show that they’re playiong tomorrow night. Gotta get on that.


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