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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 006
Tues, Jan 22, 2013

“Miss Argentina”
Iggy Pop
1999

“♫ She
saves my spirit
with a humanistic
light/ she’s
greedy, lazy/ &
impossible to
like
♫”

Even the die hardest Iggy Pop fan has an opinion on 1999’s Avenue B, Iggy’s mature beat/jazz cum inspired prose pieces filled with much misunderstood resistance. The definition of underrated, Avenue B is the album Iggy recorded with experimental jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood. I love Iggy brushes lines with a renewed punk poet flourishes inspired by Howling Beat poets of 1950’s. Avenue B was Iggy’s anti-Sinatra standards album which he would perfect with 2012 Après.

My favorite obsession on Avenue B is the turbulent tango-esque flamenco tension in Iggy’s lusty acoustic flavored “Miss Argentina.” It sounds like Iggy’s personal rendition of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130;” some might recognize The Bard’s first line of “My mistresses eyes are nothing like the sun.” Pop sounds like he’s seething underneath at the beauty that he has married seems to have sinister motives underneath her silky exterior. Ever since I rediscovered “Miss Argentina” I’ve had this photograph, “Flying Down” by Farzaneh Radmehr.

When I hear ‘Miss Argentina” I think of Farzaneh’s vivid snapshot, you see, Radmehr’s portrait captures the beauty and mysteriousness of Iggy’s living sultry mistress. Whether it’s jealous, envy or disgust the tender almost tribute like town mirror’s The Bard’s on his “Sonnet 130,” making “Miss Argentina” one of his most seductive prosaic pieces Pop has ever immortalized on wax.

Iggy talked about the Avenue B sessions answering the critics who called his electric jazz collection his Blood on the Tracks divorce album, when he said, “Nothing I sing on there has anything to do with my marriage other than the one passing reference; Lyrically the record is about a guy who finds himself alone and he has a finite amount of time allotted to him and he has an inability to rest easily with other people and he’s trying to figure out what to do. Musically [Avenue B’s] a big old motherfuckin’ step for me.” You can hear Pop bravely strip away his Stooges persona revealing the true poet under his Iggy skin attempting to deal with issues of distrust on the “Suspicious Mind” inspired lament, Avenue B’s “Miss Argentina.”

Iggy succeeds on Avenue B because he stayed true to the ideals he first discovered before his Stooges days in Ann Arbor as he once explained, “Music was like honey off their fingers, real childlike and charming in its simplicity. I realized that these blues guys were way over my head, and that what they were doing was so natural to them that it was ridiculous for me to make a studious copy of it…

“…then, one night, I smoked a joint … and it hit me. I thought, what you gotta do is play your own simple blues. I could describe my experience based on the way those guys are describing theirs … so that’s what I did.” With Avenue B, Pop proudly revealed the poet underneath his original Raw Power persona; “Miss Argentina” might have moralized Pop but no tears are necessary for Iggy; your favorite poetic Godfather of Punk reignites, slithering Iggy’s infamous voices reflecting his inner seething verses in blues.

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