by Robert Bell
JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION
8:30 p.m. Revolution. $15.
Back in the '90s, there were few groups hipper than the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They exuded effortless, leather-jacket cool. They were rawer, nastier and more tastefully tasteless than contemporaries like Sonic Youth or Pavement (without taking it to Royal Trux-level extremes).
Remember the video for "Talk about the Blues," in which Spencer, Judah Bauer and Russell Simins were portrayed by, respectively, Winona Rider, Giovanni Ribisi and John C. Reilly? Damn, what a great song and video. Although I guess if you were born after say, 1988 or so, you might not remember that video (Also for you youngsters: Winona Rider was a very famous person).
Long about the mid-aughts, the band took a break for a minute or two or eight years, but, revitalized by 2010's album reissue campaign, the JSBX roared back in 2012 with "Meat + Bone," proving they can still pump out raw, live-wire rock 'n' roll like few ever have.
"We had nothing to prove — yeah we had something to prove, we want to make a great record," Spencer told PitchforkTV recently. "We're punks, we really try to look after ourselves and we do exactly what we wanna do." True that.
Opening the 18-and-older show will be The Jam Messengers. The duo is made up of underground blues legend Rob Kennedy (check his recordings with Workdogs — Jon Spencer was a frequent collaborator) and Brazilian one-man band dynamo Marco Butcher.
The Messengers just released "Kick Out!" on Thick Syrup Records.