The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Detour: Acme [Review] (PRESS, US)

November 1998 Detour

These article originally appeared in Detour but was later included in a press release sent out by Matador Records to promote The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion release Acme. Also sent out with several other photocopied articles/reviews and a 10″ x 8″ black and white band photograph.

Photo by Eric Johnson and photo caption is as follows: “Backseat Drivers (from left) Judah Bauer, sweater by John Bartlett; Russell Simins, jacket and turtleneck by Club Monaco; Jon Spencer, shirt by John Bartlett.”

“On their explosion new party album, Acme, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion veer into unchartered territory – from punk shout-outs to hip-hop scratching. But in the end, it all comes back to the band’s badass name.

Detour: There’s a song on Acme called “Talk About the Blues.” Tell me where that’s coming from.

JON SPENCER: It’s a response to some of the criticism we’ve received, people calling us racist, or saying what we do isn’t authentic. For the past few years, people have been taking pot shots at the band, and I just think it’s ridiculous. It’s ludicrous to say that it’s all right for, say, the Rolling Stones, to play music that’s influenced by the blues or soul – and it’s not OK for suburban kids from America, like us, to do the same. Come on, this is our music!

And yet, you say in the song that you’re not playing the blues…

This is rock-and-roll. here’s elements from the blues, and from country, and rap, but the spirit is from rock-and-roll. I’m talking about early rock-and-roll-like Little Richard and Elvis. It comes from the idea that music should be truly shocking. That spirit, that energy of music, is what influences us.

To you, is that missing from music today?

Nowadays, rock-and-roll means throwing your TV set out the window, or being rude to a waitress, or overdosing on drugs. Rock-and-roll is, to quote Carl Perkins, about kicking your shoes off and getting sand in your feet.

– Tom Roe”

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