“Jon Spencer returns with his first solo record after decades fronting the mighty Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Pussy Galore. Spencer spoke with Kyle Meredith abotut the obstacles of writing alone on Spencer Sings The Hits, soundtracking the iconic opening scene of Baby Driver, and stories of a pair of his 90s records.”
“I can’t say enough good things about #jonspencer and his new band. All of them, great and interesting people. Was an inspiration watching them kickass every night! Was a special pleasure hanging with old friend @therealbobbert. He’s like the east coast #keithmorris; thee best stories of coming up in NYC during the 70’s and early 80’s, and just the best dude,..Love ya Bob! Get the new record, go see them live, you will #thankme. We hook back up in Europe this fall. #cantwait!” – Steven McDonald
“The garage rocker kicks things off with their first single Do the Trash Can. There is a reason they kicked off with this song. IT ROCKS! From the swinging drum intro to the buzzy guitar riff, the song is a great way to wake the crowd up. I knew the Melvins were going to be bringing two bass players out for this show, but I didn’t know that Spencer would be bringing two drummers out! This wasn’t your traditional two drummers, there is one regular drummer and the second drummer was using hammers to bang on metal and other things on his makeshift drum kit. I got a kick out of this and it added that extra bit of garage-y vibe to the set. It didn’t feel like we were watching band on the main stage at First Ave. It felt like were hanging out a Spencers house and he was just jamming for us and other friends.”
“A self-proclaimed “glorified street hustler,” Mike Gard (aka M. SORD) has been a staple on the Southwest Michigan scene for nearly 26 years.
This may be his biggest and baddest hustle yet.
Having linked up with Spencer on multiple recording projects (including JSBX and Boss Hog albums) while working alongside Bill Skibbe at Key Club Recording Company in Benton Harbor, Gard was tabbed by Spencer to play drums on his latest project.
“He was the handyman and assistant engineer that turned out to be a great drummer,” Spencer said of Gard in a recent Rolling Stone article.
Along with Quasi’s Sam Coomes on keys, the two recently put the finishing touches on “Spencer Sings the Hits!” which is set for an early fall release. The trio is being joined by former Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert on percussion for their 14-date, no-night-off tour which kicked off Sunday in Minneapolis and will make a second Michigan stop at the El Club in Detroit Friday.”
“Anyone familiar with Spencer’s previous bands won’t be caught off guard by his initial solo foray — “It’s not leaps and bounds into some new territory,” he said — which arrives packed with clattering drums, trashy rock riffs and Spencer’s now-trademark yelps and exaltations. “Kick that can!” he yowls on the album-opening “Trash Can.””
“I kind of liked everything about it. The fact that it was this huge city and noisy place. The buildings and the streets. All the bricks and concrete and steel. The city itself, which is overwhelming and imposing. But more importantly, the music and the art. Most of all, we were just so into the bands that were around then. I was really into the Lower East Side art scene as well. In particular, it was people like Lydia Lunch, Swans, Sonic Youth. The no wave stuff, and of course, the punk stuff before that. The Ramones, and then you go even earlier to the New York Dolls to Suicide to the Velvets. It was such an intimidating and overwhelming place, but there was this rich history of subversive art. Back then, if you wanted to connect with like-minded freaks, you kind of had to go to a city like New York. You couldn’t go online and find stuff like that. You had to search it out, so physical proximity was important.”
“Jon Spencer calls me and he’s like, ‘Hey, I heard you bought a guitar.’ Jon was a very difficult person to talk to, so I was just like, ‘What the fuck is Spencer doing calling me?’ I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he goes, ‘So you were serious?’
I actually had no idea what he was talking about, but I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, of course I am.’ He goes, ‘So we’ll start the band. I’ll move to D.C. Can you find us a practice space? Maybe find me an apartment?’ I hung up and I was just like, ‘What the fuck did I just sign on to? A practice space? What is that?’”
“Spencer also included a couple of JSBX songs in the set, including “Dang” and “Shirt Jac,” the video links from the High Noon show at the end of this post, plus Heavy Trash’s “The Loveless” and Pussy Galore’s “Pretty Fuck Look” and “New Breed.””
“There were just circumstances which made it impossible to continue working,” Spencer says. “It was very unfortunate, especially since we were in the middle of promoting that last album. It was a real blow. It took me awhile to mourn that and get over it, but I’m moving on.”