heavy trash – going way out with

too much blood, not enough heart

this has put me in the best mood of pretty much everything i’ve listened to so far. seventy four nights. and it takes jon spencer and matt verta ray creeping the hell out of anything that stands still (or moves, to be honest).

i am sure there’s a massive underground of genuine modern rockabilly. let’s face it, in some ways jon spencer has come a long way from his hardcore thrash roots, and while there was probably some inevitability that this would be the destination, i suspect true devotees with massive hair would sneer. and then scratch jon and matt’s faces off, decapitate them and dump their bodies in a lake. sorry, that’s the effect of the music…

while there’s overt sexuality here that’s a little too obvious and slightly nauseating (and not even to the same degree as some of their other songs), man, how can i say it… it courses through your veins and gets stuck in your brain. listening to heavy trash, especially this album, is like having a possessive disease in the best possible way. it’s difficult to make that sound like a good thing.

i mean, take that ain’t right – a song that reeks of johnny cash but contains sentiments he wouldn’t ever have uttered (though perhaps not that far off). they reach for an aesthetic and they achieve it. but the song is essentially about emotionally torturing a lover who crossed you. i can’t really endorse that… but as therapy, singing loudly along with this song after you’ve been jilted is extremely effective.

top it off with the most visual and disconcerting song, you can’t win. it lists everything you are imagining, like jon’s watching you as you listen to the music; noticing every wince, every joy, every confusion on your face – yeah, some people said something and some people died.

caricature? yes, but there’s nothing wrong with that when the outcome actually beats most other music for expressing such unrestrained energy, desire and rock.

i defy anyone to stand still.

and baby, if you can’t get with me – honey, you just ain’t cool

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2 responses to “heavy trash – going way out with

  1. did you actually say that to jon, john? if so, did he agree? in some ways, these days, heavy trash seems to suit jon spencer more than blues explosion. there’s always been a kind of artifice about him, and i don’t mean that in a derogatory way. it makes me think you’re right that some other “band leaders” have a different kind of authority. but i think i love the idea of living in jon’s mad world than, say, nick cave’s. that dude’s all over himself in the least ironic way possible…

  2. I remember meeting Spencer during The Blues Explosion ‘Orange’ tour, and asking him about Speedball Baby; the band that had opened for them that night. I thought the singer for Speedball, Matt Verta-ray, was trying too hard to emulate Spencer… Years later when I met Spencer again during the Heavy Trash “Midnight Soul Serenade” tour i couldn’t help remembering that first conversation.. but these days I can’t help but to think they have both found their place, and work very well together. Spencer of course born to be leading man, a caricature maybe, but the best ones tend to be: Cave, Waits, and even Cash.

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