Iggy Pop’s “American Valhalla” Gets a Music Video

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 10.44.30 PMFive years ago, I wrote a post called Iggy Pop’s Dead. Of course, he wasn’t actually dead, but back in my more-reactionary period of blogging, I interpreted his performance on American Idol as the death of an icon.

Not that Pop hadn’t fallen hard before that. Then again, the past five years had been rough on the guy who was just trying to get by. Being a pioneer helps you break walls, but it does not help you get paid. Because of this, we saw Iggy in insurance commercials, collaborating with Sum 41 and yes, shaking his shirtless and veiny torso in J-Lo’s face on American Idol. For someone who admired Iggy’s panache from the older days, it felt like a defeat to those ideas and (almost) more importantly, that attitude. So I dismissed him as no more and wrote him off. He wasn’t physically dead, but creatively felt like another story.

I feel bad about that now. Over the years, I’ve dug through more of his post-Stooges and post-Bowie discography. While some of it is not pretty, there are some really great songs in there. Take for example “Endless Sea” or even “I’m Bored.” These songs are fucking masterpieces in my book and examples of how Iggy maintained vitality even when others (myself included) stopped paying attention.

So yes, this is me saying something I don’t say often (*deep breath*): I was wrong. Dead wrong.

As if to rub this in my face, Iggy went on to rope in another one of my idols, Josh Homme, to help write and produce one of my favorite albums of the year. Post Pop Depression is considered to be what Iggy would have gone on to do if his and Bowie’s working relationship hadn’t fallen apart due to cocaine and their legendary lovers tiff. The album is chock-full of fantastic riffs from Homme and vampire-crooner vocals and lyrics from Iggy.

“American Valhalla” is definitely my favorite track off the album. It’s a song with a bassline that’s caught in a vacuum but still delivers a punch with each slide. Homme’s riffage is slightly subdued yet effective as the steel drum melody becomes trance-inducing.  All of this while Iggy contemplates whether there is anything in America worth its salt compared to the Norse version of heaven.

Now the song has a video. Directed by Jamie-James Medina, it stars model Ruth Bell and a super-imposed Iggy battling for screen time with an old Nigerian boxing match. It’s pretty dope. Check it out below. Also, if you’re bummed like me that you missed this tour, check out Iggy and Homme rip through “Repo Man” below as well. “Lookin’ for the joke with a microscope” is fucking right!

American Valhalla – Iggy Pop

Repo Man – Iggy Pop

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