If it hasn't happened to you yet, don't worry, it will; you reach a certain age and suddenly realize with a shudder that not only is life precious, but more of it lies behind you than ahead. A similar awareness lurks between the cracks of Iggy Pop's joyful new Naughty Little Doggie, an album that breaks no new stylistic turf musically but screams a power and vitality that his last release, 1993's American Caesar, utterly lacked. Here Iggy is concerned less with explicit rebellion than with direct expression of the primeval life force: he turns all his bluster, humor, and guitars toward the task of raging against the inevitability of death. And even when he pensively croons about peering down the cleavage of a "goth girl" or winds an infectious shuffle down into an improbable "pussy pussy" chant, he seems less a chest-thrusting rock star than a regular guy from Michigan amazed to still be alive and feeling lust after all these years. Iggy's blurting of the procreative urge indicates neither adolescence nor senescence but a determination to say just what it means to want to "liiive a little bit longer." To assert that life's worth living is one thing when you're a relatively unsullied 24 and quite another when you're a soul-scarred 49, but for all his plaints and yelps Iggy is at root an optimist. And while Doggie may not be a groundbreaker on the order of his 1969-'73 albums with the Stooges, it slices deeper in some ways than anything else he's ever done. This show is sold out. Tuesday, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203. RENALDO MIGALDI
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Chris Cuffaro.