“I’ve never liked the idea of putting on some music before sex, but if I was gonna put on some music to have some sex with, I’d put on The Seeds.” – Iggy Pop
A glowing, if slightly peculiar endorsement of The Seeds from Mr Osterberg Jr there. But Iggy can do what he wants, obviously, up to and including starring in a series of annoying commercials for a British car insurance company – even if it later turns out that car insurance company doesn’t insure musicians.
Anyway, here’s The Seeds themselves with Evil Hoodoo.
The Seeds were mid-60s, Californian, garage rock titans, psych pioneers and punk progenitors. Muddy Waters described them as “America’s own Rolling Stones”, but while The Stones were incomparable to most, The Seeds had them beaten in terms of grit, noise and authenticity.
Evil Hoodoo was an album track from their self-titled 1966 debut LP and it’s the dirtiest, sleaziest slab of noise on there. Repetitive, insistent and five minutes long, it occupies similar to territory to some of Iggy and the Stooges’ seedier moments, like Shake Appeal, Penetration and Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell.
It’s a chaotic battle for dominance between a looping, filthily fuzzed-up bassline, loose, jangly, tambourine-heavy percussion, unhinged guitar squiggles and two sets of vocals. There’s a tuneful, Righteous Brothers-esque backing yodel behind the anguished and strangulated main voice of lead Seed, Sky Saxon:
You must have,
An evil hoodoo on you darlin’
Sky sure sings it like a man who’s had a hefty hex put on him; stretching out the word darlin’ for a dozen syllables. He’s possessed alright. Late on in the song, words aren’t enough any more and it all climaxes with a screeching harmonica freak-out before it fades. The album cut of Evil Hoodoo is an edit. Somewhere out there there’s a 14 minute-long version.
It’s a wild, intoxicating, relentless ride that completely loses its inhibitions. Makes sense that Iggy would favour The Seeds over Barry White for certain purposes.