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Hullo, folks. Intrepid reporter Viva las Vegas here, having boldly gone where plenty of women have gone before....into the lair of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And I’m back, my honor less than intact, to give you all the superfat skinny on what makes this gorgeous-n-groovy-ass-shakin’-fuck-me-funky band the number one rock outfit of the 1990’s. It’s time to testify....The BLUES are Number One!!

Hailing from NYC, The Blues Explosion have been breakin’ hearts and hymens across the country for a decade now, playing their boot stompin’ wet panty glam rock right through all the grunge years and still goin’ strong today with their 1998 release, Acme. Indeed, if you, gentle reader, are still unfamiliar with the JSBE, you’ve been living under a rock that does not rock for too long now.

I myself was a latecomer, turned on to the Blues Explosion while studying in Tanzania in 1995. The music of African radio is the sonic equivalent of Abba with sugar coating. It’s so poppy and saccharine that too much of it gives you a tummy ache. Now, after three months of this, a fellow traveler put some headphones on my Masai-earringed ears and turned up the volume on the ultra-potent get-down get-funky grooves of “Full Grown” off the 1994 LP Orange. Ultra charismatic rock revivalist frontman Jonnie Spencer’s screaming, “Baby baby you sure like to FUCK!!” like some pussy-crazed down-for-twenty Baptist minister while groove-master/lady-killer Russell Simins is kickin’ out tight kick-snare-cowbell stuff, then in comes teen-dream heartthrob Judah Bauer with some indescribably cock-sure and downright dirty riffage. The background Baptists are screamin’ “FUCK!” and “Blues Explosion!!” and I’m in Africa and it’s 100 fuckin’ degrees in the shade and I’m in a cold SWEAT. Mouth dry, eyes glazed over, my hips twitchin’ in some kinda evangelical frenzy....This was Rock Music!! My life was Changed!!

Naturally, when I heard that Spencer was headed to my hometown, I jumped on this interview like the rock-starved maniac I am. When I showed up at the club to meet the boys, I was a nervous wreck of anticipation and adulation. I took a large shot of tequila to embolden me, but to no avail. These guys are ELVIS! and I am at heart an isolated midwesterner to whom rock heroes are Gods. I wore a black velvet suit (tight pants and a low-cut jacket) as befits my editorial career ha ha with nothing under it at all as suits my other profession. Plus the most superfly new leopard platforms I’d indulged in for my own rock’n’roll aspirations–I mean you gotta have the right shoes on to get your point across, right girls?

Jon Spencer and Judah Bauer (¤be mine¤) were off to a health food joint for dinner and so I was put in Russell’s charge. We headed to his hotel where I drank my dinner (on them! such hospitality). After several shots of whiskey, I’d finally stopped hyperventilating and Russell and I got down to interview that is.

The first topic on my mind was, not surprisingly, rock music. The new Jon Spencer Blues Explosion record is an amazing addition to their catalog, and is executive produced by none other than Mr. Rhythm himself, the only black man in South Dakota (and former Exotic featured guest), Andre Williams. Russell had some great Andre stories (including a photo shoot where the guy insisted on making masturbatory poses and nuthin’ else) and I lent an eager ear. I was also curious about the impact of Jonnie’s recent entrŽ into fatherhood on the band. According to Mr. Simins, not much has changed, though there are more songs about changing diapers on this album than on any of the others. Spencer and his wife, Christina Martinez, are concentrating on this little side project now, which, I’d guess, leaves Boss Hog, their groovy girl band, on the back burner. However, Russell’s band Butter 08 will have new material out next year, albeit with a different line-up. I heard some of the noise he’s got down so far, and it fuckin’ rocks! This is superfly stripper music, hon, so go buy! Similarly, cutie-pie Judah Bauer has a new utterly rockin’ release with his other band, 20 Miles, in which he plays with his brother, Donovan. He also has a standing invitation to come on a’ my house.

Russell and I talked about the disgusting state of stripping under NYC tyrant Rudi Giuliani. According to him, it’s the climate of New York these days: Yuppie Real Estate is simply too valuable to house peek-a-boos in the basement. Smells like Pornland!! We touched on the disgraceful state of radio rock as well. VH1 was playing really horrifying videotapes of Sporty’s, Scary’s, and Posh’s auditions to be Spice Girls. This incited the esteemed Mr. Simins to put silly folk hippy Jewel in her place, saying that even Alanis Morisette is more worthy, cuz “at least she can rock...” This kind of talk works like an aphrodisiac with me, so we talked some more off the record, then compared influences. The Stooges’ “Raw Power” and “Down on the Street” tied for sexiest rock songs of all time with the Stones’ “Rocks Off,” according to Russell, with an honorable mention for Al Green. I agreed, but naturally had to cast my vote for the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” Turns out we’re both avid fans of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, as well. Questions about eyeliner application segued naturally into a discussion on Duran Duran–Russell Simins is a huge fan, and man enough to admit it. In fact, he remixed one of their songs last year. I still swoon at the thought of Johnny Taylor, the focus of all my lustful preadolescent yearnings, fifteen years after the fact.... If for whatever reason the Blues Explosion decided to add a full-time bass player, I’d recommend the Duran Duran alumnus without hesitation. This creamiest dreamboat of eighties rock would certainly measure up in the JSBE, the most gorgeous, girl-friendly, super-funky fuckin’ Rock band of the nineties.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, gals. The rest is classified. But maybe if you’re real good and cross your pretty little fingers, you’ll find the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion sitting at your rack someday. Tell ‘em you like your boys Full Grown, then get down.


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