Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Killed and Revived.

This is what I mean when I talk about the music industry double-helix:

Eight years ago, when the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion released Plastic Fang, Pitchfork had these words of encouragement:

In response to those failures, Spencer & Co. have returned to the basics for Plastic Fang: two guitars, a bag full of riffs, and frequent interjections of "Blues Explosion!" Never mind the tiny fact that the band's gimmick, if tired in the mid-nineties, is downright comatose these days. Nobody seems to have informed JSBX that the world's music warehouse has become overstocked on pale-faced blues, with the White Stripes, etc. improving the sound by keeping things quick and raw while dispensing with the ironic wink.
And now that they've got a greatest hits out, the kings of consistency appraise it thusly:

Dirty Shirt Rock 'n' Roll surveys the years between their 1992 debut and 2002's Plastic Fang. Unlike the consistently name-checked and beloved Pavement, another Matador band with a new retrospective in stores, the Blues Explosion seem ripe for re-evaluation. The early-2000s garage rock revival and the success of the White Stripes have given us a new context to hear these disarrayed blues-rock excursions, which similarly peel back the layers to get to rock's core elements.
 Now, I could go through a few more paragraphs of dudgeon, explaining that I always rather liked Plastic Fang, but I'm saving that for my CD ratings. So I'll give Pitchfork the same shrift I gave Spin: They're a Bunch of Whores.

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