V/A feat. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Rockin’ On Paper: The Vera Club: A History In Posters (BOOK/DVD, NETHERLANDS)

11 March 2007 Vera Records 978-90-9021438-2
01. The Gun Club – Ghost On The Highway
02. Dead Moon – 54/40 Or Fight
(with Edwin Heath getting a T-Shirt)
03. Dead Moon – I’m Wise
04. Dead Moon – Out On A Wire
05. The Band Of Blacky Ranchette – Moon Over Memphis
06. Sebadoh- Sacred Attention
07. Sebadoh – Brand New Love
08. Sebadoh – Ride The Darker Wave
09. Sonic Youth – Schizophrenia (aka Sister)
10. Sonic Youth – Xpressway To Yr. Skull (aka The Crucifixion Of Sean Penn aka Madonna, Sean And Me)
11. Sonic Youth – Pacific Coast Highway
12. Sonic Youth – Beauty Lies In The Eye
13. Sonic Youth – Tom Violence
14. Sonic Youth – White Kross
15. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Backslider
16. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – History Of Lies
17. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – The Feeling Of Love
18. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – ’78 Style

19. Cosmic Psychos- Pub
20. Cosmic Psychos- Lost Cause
21. Cosmic Psychos- David Lee Roth
22. Dinosaur Jr – The Lung
23. Dinosaur Jr – Kracked
24. Gories – To Find Out
25. Gories – He’s Doin’ It
26. Gories – Queenie
27. Beat Happening – Revolution Come And Gone
28. Beat Happening – Nancy Sin
29. Beat Happening – Fortune Cookie Prize
30. Monster Magnet – Medicine
V/A feat. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Rockin' On Paper: The Vera Club: A History In Posters (BOOK/DVD, NETHERLANDS) - Cover

V/A feat. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Rockin' On Paper: The Vera Club: A History In Posters (BOOK/DVD, NETHERLANDS)

A 320 page Book with DVD which includes four live tracks by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion live at The Vera Club.

The book features an interview with Jon Spencer (see Sleeve Notes for text) along with images of Boss Hog, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and 20 Miles posters.

The rear cover of the book refers to ‘John Spencer Blues Explosion’.

Press Information: “This book contains a broad selection of the archived posters (more than 300) between the really early years and somewhere around 2005. Next to it a short historical overview of the Club and some personal memories on some of the -for a variety of reasons- more memorable performances. Interviews with: Lee Ranaldo, Mick Collins, Lou Barlow, Kim Gordon, David Yow, Ross Knight. Text is in both Dutch and English. With the book comes a DVD containing original live footage shot at and by the VERA Club itself. Exciting performances by: the Gunclub, Monster Magnet, Dead Moon, Giant Sand, Sebadoh, Cosmic Psychos, the Gories, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth and Beat Happening” – vera-groningen.nl

[There are no credits given in the book, all songs are recorded live at The Vera Club on video]

15. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Backslider
Writers: Spencer/Explosion
Published: Copyright Control

16. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – History of Lies
Writers: Spencer/Explosion
Published: Copyright Control

17. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – The Feeling of Love
Writers: Spencer/Explosion
Published: Copyright Control

18. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – ’78 Style
Writers: Spencer/Explosion
Published: Copyright Control

“The Bluuuuuuues Explosion It’s a Wednesday evening late in the summer of 1993. I’m listening to a radio programme of the VPRO (a progressive Dutch broadcasting organisation). The programme starts off with a plangent guitar intro of several notes that sound like a kind of Morse code: short-short-long, short-long-shirt, short-short-long. The message is then repeated in an intense distorted form, after which it falls islent. Osmone counts down and the intro starts again, followed by an intensely compelling bass like run along with some organ, drums and a singer who instinctively sings over all of this, and cries out things like ‘Alright!’, ‘Again!’ or ‘Shake that Ass!’.

It’s a cool and compelling rock-‘n-roll track that seems to be stuck in a straightjacket, while the singer trying to struggle out of it. Halfway through, a distorted solo comes out of nowhere. It reminds me of Brian Eno’s synthesizer solo in Roxy Music’s Editions of You – which says a lot about my musical horizon at that time. Then the track comes to a vigorous halt.

I don’t know anything about Morse, but I do know I have just been listening to something quite extraordinary. There are certain decisive moments in your life that place everything in a different perspective, and change the world for good. Listening to Afro by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion was such a moment for me. It left me in an unprecedented state of amazement.

A couple of months later I’m in Vera to see the Blues Explosion live. I can’t believe my eyes. Jon Spencer is a skinny, energetic guy with great charisma. He frequently falls to his knees while playing guitar, and steps forward and backwards assertively. He waves his hands like a magician in the direction of a dark wooden pyramid like construction with two antennas coming out of it – a Theremin, as I would learn later on. This device produces the most bizarre disturbing high pitched sounds. In the mean time Spencer – with a microphone practically inside his mouth- even manages to present the band to the audience like a true sales man: ‘ladies and gentlemen The Bluuuuuuuues Explosion, The Bluuuuuuues Explosion, The Bluuuuuuues Explosion!’, followed by a very modest ‘thank you’.

It wasn’t until halfway through the concert that I discovered the band didn’t have a bass. Two guitarists and a chubby man with dark curly hair behind a modest drum set on which he frantically produces a kind of dense cracking staccato sound. The band produces this elementary raw rock-and-roll that particularly excites me and, at the same time tears me apart. Trash, garage, sleaze: all words that didn’t mean anything to me at the time, but I could feel them at once. What a concert!

The following day I’m in a record store for the album Extra Width, their latest release. As a matter of course I listen to a couple of tracks. When I pay for the album the shop assistant enthuses about last night’s concert. “It was brilliant, wasn’t it?” He was there too, apparently. I had only had eyes for what was going on between the band and me.

At that time Vera and the music magazine Oor were engaged in a dispute about Extra Width. Oor’s journalist either wasn’t able to follow any of it, or hadn’t actually heard the album. Then another of Oor’s journalists slated the Blues Explosion once again. Now the fat was in the fire. The correspondence, in which people from all over the country took part, was exhibited above the urinals in Vera.

Twelve years later I find myself sitting face to face with the same Jon Spencer. The name of the band has been shortened to Blues Explosion, From an obscure trash band Blues Explosion has developed into a renowned stage act, now visiting Groningen for a performance on the Rhythm and Blues Festival.

It’s been a long time since The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion came to Vera for the very first time. It turns out that Jon Spencer doesn’t share my clear memory of that night. Not even of that concert following the release of Orange, when a saxophone player joined in spontaneously at the end of the show, as can be heard on a bootleg of this show. When I ask him about the saxophone player he has no idea where he came from, and asks me if I know. Well I don’t.

Jon Spencer does have other memories, though. During his first ever visit to the Netherlands Pussy Galore drummer, Bob Bert, took him out on one night for something special: French fries with peanut sauce. An unknown delicacy. Of course we all know about these things from Pulp Ficton.

Jon Spencer speaks very highly of Vera in general. The club’s atmosphere, the dedicated staff, the backstage area where the walls are covered with photographs, flyers and other promo material of other cool bands that have played in Vera.

The delicious Indonesian food. The conversations with Peter Weening about showbiz, while being introduced to different kinds of interesting new music. And of course the room with the larger than life sized photograph of Christina Martinez, his former wife. They were in the band Boss Hog together, and shared the stage in Vera on a couple of occasions. The thing Spencer remembers best, though, is the Vera poster based on the Honeymoon Killers’ layout. This fantastic band, unknown to most people outside New York, just suddenly turned up in Vera.
Other than that, it’s just about making music. Playing as well as you can every night. ‘Play the blues punk’’, as he puts it. Whether in Vera or in a club in Australia.

First Afro, followed by the concert in Vera, and then the album Extra Width. This music showed me the way to many other bands: The Oblivians, Cheater Slicks, Chrome Cranks, Jesus Lizard, Shellac. The number of times I have danced wildly to Afro on dance nights in Vera are innumerable. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has changed my life, and opened up an underground hallway to unknown fantastic music.

‘The Bluuuuuuues Explosion!
Thank you.’

by Sebastiaan Vos”

Idea/Production/Art Direction/Editing/Design: Spoetnik (Ricky van Duuren/Niek Schutter)


ISBN-10: 90-9021438-0
ISBN-13: 978-90-9021438-2

MATRIX: “66924 SDV 404105 www.tapes.nl”