Posted by: kubiakl | October 14, 2008

Polarizing The Blues

“Spencer is a no-talent phony, and a smug, pompous, arrogant rich-boy…”

“The most underrated music ever, this is awesome!”

“What is the meaning of this nonsense! This should be banned in all fifty states.”

“The Blues Explosion can do no wrong.”

“Arrogance and ego are no substitute for talent.”

Some things are polarizing – people either love it or hate it, there’s no in-between.  Jon Spencer and his Blues Explosion are obviously one of these things.  And with good reason.  Their music can be outlandish, almost to the point of being a parody.  His vocals have been compared to a drunken Elvis impersonator.  He name checks his own band constantly.

But there’s something to be said for the raw, unpolished force of the Blues Explosion.  Hell, R.L. Burnside himself recorded the album “Ass Pocket Of Whiskey” with them.  If he took them seriously maybe we should too.

Spencer doesn’t make it easy though.  He has never really clarified whether he’s joking around or being dead serious.  Maybe it’s a little of both.  Listen to the song “Wail” from the “Now I Got Worry” album:

He goes for a little more traditional rock with “Burn It Off” from the “Damage” album:

But then gets all serious a few cuts later, when he enlists Chuck D for some “Hot Gossip”:

(Laugh that one off.)

There’s more information at their website:  Blues Explosion

So how seriously should you take the Blues Explosion?  The truth is that I don’t know, but I do know the effect their music has on me.  In the end, isn’t that the only important thing?


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