Iggy wept (and SXSW crept up . . . )

Yes, Iggy wept. I mean no disrespect to the shortest sentence in the Bible, but seeing Iggy Pop choke up at Monday night's induction of the Stooges into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was, if not Biblical, then at least Shakespearean. Who'd have thought that the Igster would nearly lose his ultra-cool?

That said, if you watched the ceremony (almost) live on Fuse TV (as I did; no free Waldorf Astoria tix for the likes of Sound+Vision!), you also saw Iggy and the band storm through a couple of numbers as if they were kids (joined, as shown above, by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, who gave the band's induction speech). The still raw power of the sound (not to mention the sight of Iggy's wrinkled, scarred chest) was enough to drive my poor wife from the room. To which Iggy no doubt would have replied: Mission accomplished!

So, there they were: the Stooges from Michigan, along with Genesis and the Hollies from England, Jimmy Cliff from Jamaica, and ABBA from Sweden. Quite a mixture of music . . . and nationalities.

Which got me thinking about the truly international gathering that is the annual South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, where I traveled to the day after the Hall of Fame ceremony and where I'm writing from right now. And it's that truly international flavor that I hope to focus on this year.

Unlike past years, I won't be blogging heavily from SXSW, since I'm happy to say that expanded coverage of the fest will be returning this year to the print magazine (in our June/July/August issue). However, time permitting, I'll try to post a quick note or two as events warrant. Watch this space.

— Ken Richardson