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Jemina Pearl: Winning Friends With Iggy Pop

There's just something about Iggy Pop. It's that voice: implacable, tomblike, capable of conferring gravity upon the slightest slip of a song. In this case, the song is the cheery ode to misanthropy "I Hate People," by 22-year-old Jemina Pearl, former frontwoman of the short-lived, much-loved Be Your Own Pet.

Iggy Pop has historically proven to be a great foil for spirited female singers: His duet with Kate Pierson of The B-52's in 1990's "Candy" was a classic of the form, as was "Oh My God," his recent collaboration with Ida Maria.

"I Hate People" is no exception. There's not much to it — just an insistent beat and some words about Pearl, you know, hating people. But then! She spots him in the crowd, brooding, with his torn leather jacket and dark brown hair; it's either Iggy Pop in '77 or Edward Cullen. "I hate people / But I / I like you," she tells Pop, who croaks something appropriate in return; it doesn't much matter what.

Pop's unerring ability to sound like he's dying — or at least considering it — keeps this airily pleasant song earthbound and makes it interesting. In his hands, "I Hate People" might be sepulchral, but it's garage-rock heaven.

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Allison L. Stewart
Allison Stewart is a writer living in New York. It's entirely possible to see her work in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, No Depression, Rolling Stone or any number of other places. Or to miss it entirely, which is just as likely.