Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When indie rock was more HAWT, less HIP.

When indie rock was more HAWT, less HIP.

I've been spending a lot of time listening to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion reissues that are coming / have come out, sort of rediscovering how much I loved 'em the first time around and what a fun and exciting time in music they marked.* For a while that band and Boss Hog pretty much ruled the indie rock world, the former fronted by Jon Spencer and the latter by his wife Cristina Martinez. They were the king and the queen.

GalPal finally got a chance to see Jon Spencer front the Blues Explosion over the summer, and she was impressed, but it wasn't until I showed her a photo of him from the Orange-era that she understood just what about him would make so many girls all moony-eyed. And then I explained to her that his wife had the same effect on the male half of our race. Together they were far sexier than Brangelina. And impossibly cool.

And you know what? there is no recent example of that in the music world. Spencer and Martinez made sexy music that made you want to dance and fuck and sweat and they looked great doing it. They still had those last tenuous ties to the real NYC underground, and while they didn't exactly have rough upbringings I think they did have an honest artistic curiosity that drove them to try and make something "real." Spencer sometimes has swipes taken at him for mocking the blues but I think he was honestly just looking to make visceral music that connected. And when you see the man play live there is no doubt he is dead fucking serious about pouring his all into each and every second of the songs he plays. And seeing the two of them together onstage in Boss Hog was almost just absolutely unfair to anyone in the room hoping to score with the opposite sex since all eyes were on the king and queen on indie hawt.

I don't even know if something like Spencer/Martinez could even exist today since the blog age has all but decimated mystery and myth (and it's not like I'm judging it for that, just making an observation) and really, isn't that what creates real sex appeal and not just a knee-jerk momentary crush?

*I'm working on delving way more deeply into the reissue stuff, most likely on Donewaiting, in a bit.

Top photo is The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Spencer in the center) back in the day
Bottom photo is Cristina Martinez by Richard Kern

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