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Attending a Stooges show should be mandatory for all bands, especially much of the current crop, whose understanding of "punk" came from the Hot Topic store at the mall.
IVANA'S NYC TRIP A REAL RUSH
Meets Iggy & the Stooges at LIFEbeat benefit, Takes Picture with LeBron James, Gets Complimented by Rocco DeSpirito

If my two days in NYC coincided with the city’s annual tax-free week, yet I had no time to shop, was I really there? Within seconds of checking into my hotel and arranging to have the concierge tape Paradise Hotel for me, I was on my way to Roseland for the LIFEbeat benefit featuring S.T.U.N., Godsmack and Iggy and the Stooges. For over a decade LIFEbeat has been dedicated to AIDS and HIV prevention, education and awareness. This benefit was staged in partnership with MTV2, and the lineup attracted many NYC luminaries (Little Steven, Sonic Youth, The Strokes, J. Mascis, Jim Jarmusch, most of the Patti Smith Group), as well as AFI, Def Leppard and many other boldfaced names familiar to readers of Page Six. K-Rock’s Rob Cross and Mike Peer were present and accounted for, as were Virgins Steve Leeds and Howard P., the latter toting copies of Stooges vinyl needing the Asheton brothers’ autographs, intended as a future legacy for his year-old twins. Attending a Stooges show should be mandatory for all bands, especially much of the current crop, whose understanding of "punk" came from the Hot Topic store at the mall. When my cell phone began to vibrate during "I Wanna Be Your Dog," I figured it was one of many rock critic ex’s from the "Hoboken Years" sprinkled through the crowd, calling to share the "moment." Instead it was LIFEbeat Executive Director John Cannelli, informing me that my presence was requested for a photo op with the NBA’s #1 draft pick, LeBron James. Needless to say, this request did not come from LeBron James.

After one of the best rock shows I’ve ever had the privilege to behold, members of the LIFEbeat board, including me, were assembled backstage for a photo op with Iggy. My laminate enabled me to push through the crowd of fans pleading with security, "But you don’t understand, IGGY CHANGED MY LIFE." I could definitely relate, on both a personal and professional level. Working with Iggy during the Blah Blah Blah album remains a career highlight, and I was deliriously happy to see the familiar faces of his longtime manager (Art Collins) and road manager (Henry McGroggan) backstage. As Iggy sidled in for the photo, he started teasing me about my job: "So, Miss HITS magazine, you will decide that my next record will debut at #2, or however you’re feeling that day?" Of course not. You’re Iggy, for fuck’s sake, so you will debut at #1! (In all seriousness, now that I’ve heard the first single from his new CD, "Little Know It All," this is well within the range of possibility).

Later that evening, I was thinking about which current PoMo artists have fans declaring their lives had been changed by their music (Radiohead and Coldplay immediately come to mind). I’ve witnessed the impact artists like Rancid, AFI, Dashboard Confessional, Travis and The Polyphonic Spree have on their audience, which can’t be measured in call-out research (an endless source of frustration). In a decade, one hopes that many of these artists will still have careers (whether or not I’ll have a career is an endless source of panic), although this is hardly an encouraging climate for artistic longevity. There are artists from my misspent youth whose concerts I will always attend (Todd Rundgren, The Who, Patti Smith, Neil Diamond, Springsteen, R.E.M.) for reasons of nostalgia and retroactive respect for their importance in my life. The Stooges’ show was an absolutely relevant demonstration of the (raw) power music can have when performed without pretense and with abandon.

At the VMAs, while Madonna, Britney and Christina were having their staged "Dear Penthouse Forum" moment, I was being "worked" by The Restaurant’s Rocco DiSpirito. There are few people as naturally charismatic as Rocco, and while I knew everything he was saying to me was a complete lie (I am many things, but "stunning" is not one of them), I still enjoyed it. I asked NYC’s latest "It" celeb if The Restaurant would be returning for another season and Rocco answered that they were trying to make a deal, adding, "It’s so stressful filming a reality show." Of course I answered, "I know" (and I meant it). If this whole cooking thing doesn’t work out for him, Rocco has a great future in promotion.

Knowing I had to wake up early the following morning for a meeting at K-Rock, my "date" Steven Strick and I skipped the after-parties (I’d also forgotten to wrangle an invite to any of them). K-Rock PD Rob Cross met me in the lobby only a few hours after returning home from his round of post-VMA parties. Within moments, I was in his office. A girl could get used to this! Rob played me tracks from The Darkness import (which Atlantic is releasing on 9/26!), while Mike Peer was telling me how much he loved the new Ataris single "The Saddest Song." We covered all of our mutual favorites that morning—The Strokes, Jet, Brand New, Interpol, OutKast, Iggy—I left feeling positively giddy! When was the last time you felt that way after a radio-station visit? After an early lunch with my beloved Shannah Miller, it was time to head to the airport for the flight home (less than 36 hours since I’d landed).

SONG TO HEAR: The Damning Well’s "Awakening" (from the Underworld OST).

PEOPLE TO WATCH: John DiMaio, Jenni Sperandeo, Jay Harren, Bob Waugh, Mary Shuminas, Sean Demery, Steven Strick, Jonathan Lev, Nancy Stevens, Jacqueline Saturn, Dan Connelly and William Marion.

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