The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Acme [Press Release] (PRESS, US)

October 1998 Matador Records
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Acme [Press Release] (PRESS, US)
Press release sent out by Matador Records to promote The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion release Acme. Also sent out with several photocopied articles/reviews and a 10″ x 8″ black and white band photograph.

Judah Bauer –guitar
Russell Simins –drums
Jon Spencer –vocals, guitar

October 20 sees the release of the latest, the greatest album by NYC’s own Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Succinctly entitled Acme, this is the record that pulls together the wild and disparate world of the Blues Explosion into a sophisticated new dimension.

Acme was recorded and mixed by a multi-hued assortment of characters at six different studios throughout the early part of 1998, and boasts legendary rapper/rocker Andre Williams as executive producer. The sheer variety of participants shoehorned into its freaky grooves is mindboggling. The opening track “Calvin,” for example, was recorded by love-rocker Calvin Johnson in his Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, then mixed by Cypress Hill veteran T.Ray. In “Blue Green Olga,” “Do You Wanna Get Heavy,” “Torture,” and the first single “Talk About The Blues,” the band turned to Dan Nakamura (aka The Automator) for his freestylin’ hip-hop sounds.

Elsewhere, Jim Waters, who worked with the band on previous albums Now I Got Worry and Orange, reappears on “Lovin’ Machine”; Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire joins The Automator for an all-out “Attack”; Big Star/Panther Burns producer Jim Dickinson grooves on “Calvin (outro)”; and good ol’ Shellac/Big Black man Steve Albini is all over “High Gear.” Nick Sansano (Sonic Youth, Public Enemy) and Chris Shaw (Butthole Surfers, Weezer) continue the seismic production lineup.

Covering a full range of gospel, country, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, blues and soul influences, Acme’s good times vibe reflects the party atmosphere of its recording. While in the studio with Albini, the band invited a host of friends into the studio with them, including Boss Hog’s Cristina Martinez and Hollis Queens singing backup on “Berine,” Delta 72’s Greg Foreman pimp-slapping the ivories on “Lovin’ Machine.” Luscious Jackson’s Jill Cunniff’s vocal (and co-writing credit) on “Blue Green Olga.” The Lonesome Organist’s keyboards on “Magical Colors,” and Skeleton Key’s Rick Lee supplying shortwave radio noise on “Talk About The Blues.”

As for Mr. Andre Williams, he was found playing at a Chicago bar, drinking, drinking gin and telling dirty jokes. Immaculately attired at all times, he took serious responsibility for providing entertainment and encouragement in the studio. His spirit and inspiration is palpable on Acme.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion have been reconstructing rock ‘n’ roll in their image since their inception in 1991. After the demise of his seminal hatefuck band Pussy Galore. Jon hooked up with Honeymoon Killers drummer Russell Simins and guitar ace Judah Bauer. Their cult of transgressive cool grew bigger with each release–Crypt Style (1992), Extra Width (1993), Orange (1994), The Experimental Remixes EP (1995), and Now I Got Worry (1996).

Acme is the Blues Explosion’s fifth and best album, and one of the greatest party albums in ages. Gone are the punk remnants of last year’s Now I Got Worry, replaced by a reinvigorated sound which harks back to Orange, but is also one of the most modern-sounding records you’ll hear all year. This band is as bad-ass, sexy, and righteous as any band in the history of rock music. If you don’t already have a really cool record collection at home, you could always start by buying this and work backwards.


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