Prevailing rockcrit wisdom posits Jon Spencer as rock's pre-eminent postmodernist. Sure, he's not as neon as Beck nor as conniving as Madonna, but he also doesn't constantly evolve as visibly as either the whore or the mother and, ergo, is not as susceptible to the cataclysmic shifts of pop cult's mood orbits. It's a claim that makes the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion--his highly volatile band with guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins--a contentious act in critical circles. This love-it-or-loathe-it trio is as likely to crib its beats and rhythms from hip-hop and drum 'n' bass as much as the blues proper, making the name as passive-aggressive qua tongue-in-cheek as Spencer's first, more obvious outfit, Pussy Galore, only with less interest in easy vulgarity. Still, a quick glance through the whole JSBX package--the albums, the jukebox-series seven-inch singles, the bombastic live shows--can be misread as a lesson in style over substance: This white boy plays that funky music as though he invented it, callously confident in the cognizance that... More >>>