A confession: I'm old and lame. The only time I listen to "Raw Power" or "Search and Destroy" is when I'm cleaning house, washing dishes, or engaging in some other chore where self-preservation dictates you turn off the head and engage in bubble-headed rock-star fantasies. "Raw Power" gets me through taking out the garbage. "Search and Destroy" aids with the removal of kitty litter.
For feeling pretty, sexy, wild, and absolutely stooped while managing the day-to-day shit, there is nothing like the throbbing squall of Iggy and the Stooges. It's like a double bump of the booger sugar without the accompanying regret. In short, in my star-struck eyes the lizardlike love child of Ziggy Stardust and the MC5 is an idol of nearly religious proportions. But after the stunningly yucky 1999 release of Avenue B, all the magic wore off like a three-beer buzz. Had the Ann Arbor wild child whose live shows left him naked, bleeding, and screaming in the spotlight turned in his golden years to smirking but fashionable black-turtleneck cynicism?
Quite frankly, I'd been worried about Iggy Pop since he rode the soaring harmonies of the B-52's' (then) diva Kate Pierson to his first Top 40 single in 1990. "Candy" was a catchy bite of bubblegum, to be sure, but the Don Was-produced Brick by Brick was an earsore of an album. "Butt Town" might have been angry, but it couldn't stand up to the inspired frenzy of vintage Stooges. In 1996 Iggy released Naughty Little Doggy, a disappointing and unabashedly sophomoric outing custom-tooled for the Beavis and Butthead nation. Then came Avenue B, a midlife crisis of a record featuring spoken-word ramblings about love and loss. It looked like Iggy had gone the way of Lou Reed. At least it was an arty and dignified irrelevance he was slouching toward: the kind that rocks -- a person to sleep, that is. But that's all in the past. Just to prove he really is the godfather of punk, he bounced back in 2001 with Beat 'Em Up, a metal as hell LP. He'll no doubt rage through the new disc's soon-to-be meathead classics like "Mask" and "It's All Shit" when he plays the New Daisy on Tuesday, October 23rd.
-- Chris Davis