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The Gospel According To Jon

Posted by Drew / May 12, 2006

[Photos by Kate.]

A band from Winnipeg played. Then Jon Spencer's Heavy Trash came on and rocked. Then they rocked some more. And then more. They wouldn’t stop and nearly killed us as we were bewitched and could not leave. It got late. Then really late. At one time this show was rescheduled for the Green Room to happen between the hours of 9 and 11 PM. Not likely.

None of the above is a surprise and pretty much exactly what you would expect from a Heavy Trash show. Perhaps, the unexpected of the evening was how much the crowd loved it, completely ate up this almost nostalgic trip down the much traveled lane of retro-y garage/rockabilly/blues Rock’n’Roll sound and swagger. Apparently, what we’ve all needed is an uncomplicated good time. And Spencer is the man to provide. No angst. No confusion. No nervous skinny boys.

Spencer himself is a strange case. Blues Explosion had a moment but at some point, despite the band’s eminent likeability, you couldn’t ignore the fact that they sucked--and bad. Spencer seemed primed for has-been-land. But he never knew it and in his happy ignorance he kept on keeping on and has in an almost astonishing fashion returned to the top of his game.

A short dude with killer looks, Spencer has an almost old-fashioned huckster charm. You can easily imagine him traveling the dusty small town circuit of depression-era America selling tonics and what-nots to a crowd who knows that the real cure he’s shilling is the opportunity to bask in his super-fine presence--they’d happily part with their dinner dimes for that and afterwards they would feel better.

Or you could imagine him winding his way in and out of an old B-Noir film. Not the city ones but the rural ones, a spiritualist carnie weaving his way across the midwest. Perhaps that’s where the Sadies connection makes the most cinematic sense as Dallas Good strikes you as a man who has just inadvertently stumbled out of a Spaghetti Western and is a little perplexed by his new environs but willing to play along.

But if Spencer is a huckster he’s no grifter. He sells you because he is a consummate Showman, not a schtickman. The genius of Heavy Trash with the Sadies is that the latter are willing to take a backseat and give Spencer solid support but also give him plenty of room to do his thing. Something about the basic good-hearted generous nature of the whole Heavy Trash endeavor is impossible to resist.

Also, impossible to resist is Spencer’s “Sex Party” closing. He brought the crowd to its knees. No, literally. He got out into the crowd, got down and his knees, convinced them to do likewise and carried on his gospel of good sex. Sure, it sounds ridiculous to relate, but it was just, so, I don’t know, just so damn cool to witness, and probably the closest I will ever come to an en-masse orgy. Probably as close as I would ever want to be to one, anyway.

So hats off to you, Mr. Spencer. You rule. You rock. And the 200+ crowd at Main Hall will back me up on that one. Your show was hell’s own good time.

Pics of the D. Rangers, who opened:




FX / May 12, 2006 at 08:28 pm
F**k you Drew! I couldn't make it to the show. How am I supposed to feel now? Damn.
j mac / May 12, 2006 at 08:33 pm
Well said. Also, we have photos, by Kate,which I will post when I get home from work. They are amazing.
runny eggs / May 15, 2006 at 12:16 pm
They still do that King Khan and The Bbq SHow song?
kate / May 18, 2006 at 03:46 pm
i would like to add a "thank you" to the mind blowingly drunk couple in front of me, narrating the entire show... without you i wouldn't have known what was going on!

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