Remember the Good Stuff

Relentless boogie blues, classic rock, punk irreverence and Spencer’s FM DJ and gospel preachin’

Photo by Micha Warren
Photo by Micha Warren

Like a 4th of July fruit salad made from syrupy pineapple, maraschino cherries and hand grenades, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion roars back with Freedom Tower — No Wave Dance Party 2015, out now on Mom + Pop Records.

“I really enjoy playing,” Spencer tells EW about his band’s return. “It feels great. It feels so good.”

Like past Blues Explosion records, Freedom Tower is relentless boogie blues, classic rock, punk irreverence and Spencer’s FM DJ and gospel preachin’.

“This album is in a lot of ways our own take on New York City,” Spencer says.

The track “Do The Get Down” features a sweaty groove, a distant siren and a disco strut.

Spencer says that the “No Wave” in the album title references those bands associated with the short-lived but influential No Wave New York music scene of the ’70s and ’80s — bands like art-funk freaks James Chance and The Contortions.

“No Wave is very much a part of our inspiration,” Spencer says.

The album generally doesn’t break down into traditional song structure — the sudden stop of “White Jesus” is barely long enough to catch your breath before a staccato snare kicks off “Born Bad.”

Instead, the record plays like a run-on sentence with American music coursing through its veins. Spencer says that, for him, American music is about Elvis and Little Richard.

“This country has produced a lot of great music,” Spencer explains. “I hope that people remember the good stuff.”

Spencer also says be sure to get to the show early enough to catch Blues Explosion friends and tour mates, We Are Hex.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays with We are Hex 9 pm Monday, May 11, at WOW Hall; $17 adv., $20 door. All ages. — William Kennedy