On the Spot: Jon Spencer

October 4, 2012

John Spencer, Blues Explosion frontman

It’s been eight years since the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion — former D.C. resident Jon Spencer, guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins — released its last album of skuzzy, R&B-drenched rock ’n’ roll. New disc “Meat + Bone” proves the long-running New York trio are as combustible as ever.

The three of you recorded “Meat + Bone” live in the studio. What makes that important to the process?
Partly it’s because we believe in an older method of record production, and partly it’s because we believe that what’s important about the Blues Explosion is the collaboration. It’s the three of us colliding in a musical way.

You never seemed to get your due, critically or commercially, when you were starting out in the 1990s. Do you feel listeners today are more accepting of the Blues Explosion?
Perhaps. When we were starting out, people got really hung up on classifications and genres. That still happens, but I think most people are adventurous in exploring different things.

Is playing D.C. like a hometown show for you?
In some ways, yeah. That’s where I started my first band, Pussy Galore, back in ’85 or ’86. I met my wife there, and I saw some great shows there. That’s where — for lack of a better word — my career started. So it’s always good to play D.C.

U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW; Fri., 7 p.m., $22; 202-588-1880. (U Street)
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