Iggy Pop – Acoustics KO (Skydog International Records)

This semi-legit CD/DVD package provides a glimpse into a rarely documented side of Iggy Pop. While the idea of one of rock’s most notorious front-men performing solo with a guitar anchoring him down may not seem exciting, Iggy’s never boring. At a 1993 acoustic set for a small TV studio audience in Barcelona, Iggy (seated, no less) can’t help but provide spontaneous entertainment – after breaking a string in each of his first two songs, Iggy realizes he doesn’t have any extra strings and abandons his planned set-list for songs he can play on four strings (“Gloria,” “Pablo Picasso,” “Loose”…etc.). It’s a wonderful punk moment in a decidedly non-punk setting. A 1990 show from a Virgin Megastore is more visceral, with Iggy standing, and playing an electric guitar, but the picture and sound quality aren’t nearly good. Too bad because he rips into Stooges classics “Down In The Street,” “Loose,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and “1969.” The bonus CD contains a handful of Brick By Brick-era acoustic songs, five of which are previously unreleased, and none of which are compelling. I don’t think anyone will be shouting for Iggy to play acoustic snoozer “The Dream” (co-written with Sex Pistol Steve Jones) at any upcoming shows. Fans will like the Barcelona show, but the Paris show and the bonus acoustic tracks are for die-hards only.