As I write this, I’m prepping to see Bob Dylan in Toronto tonight. This will be something like the 40th time I’ve seen him play and the bill also features Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Richard Thompson. It’s kinda nuts. I sent in interview requests and one is happening for sure, one might be happening, and two said “No way.” Guess who said what?
Tonight will cap a busy bit of concert hopping for me lately. I went and saw D-Sisive/Derek Christoff play a baby shower for his unborn daughter on Thursday in Toronto. Then, on Friday and Saturday, I saw the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion play in Hamilton and London, ON respectively. Which brings us to this week’s episodes…
As you may recall, Jon Spencer was just on this show a few weeks ago. During our interview, he said some interesting things about how underground culture “went to shit” in the 1990s and he also, outta nowhere, said that he thought bands like the Black Keys and the White Stripes “were cool” but “not punk” and more “mainstream pop” than the JSBX. I in turn wrote a Huffington Post profile about Jon and his band and my editor there ran it under the headline, ‘Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Slags Black Keys, White Stripes And The 'Sh*t' 1990s.’
Jon and I began exchanging e-mails about this and he wasn’t particularly pleased by the transparent provocation of the headline (which was subsequently changed a couple more times). Or was he? I still don’t know if he was upset or slightly excited a brouhaha may have been started. I am far too sensitive to rest on the knowledge that someone I admire might be offended by something I did in covering their work, so, at London’s Call the Office, I resolved to speak to the entire band about their Canadian tour (which included playing the last set at Calgary’s Sled Island Festival before it was shut down because of the flood) and the media.
So, you’ll hear from guitarist/singer Judah Bauer, singer/guitarist Jon Spencer, opening band catl from Toronto, and JSBX drummer Russell Simiins (photographed above with a roller derby/BBQ chef in Hamilton). Also, someone took my bag during my conversation with Simins. It was weird. Check it out.
Speaking of people I admire, later this week, you’ll hear from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy a.k.a. Will Oldham. This past February, Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy released an LP called What the Brothers Sang, a collection of songs originally recorded by the Everly Brothers. McCarthy and Billy are touring throughout Europe and North America this summer, including stops at the Dawson City Music Festival and Hillside Festival, here in Guelph. So, I’m talking to Will about these things and you can hear this on Thursday I think.
It’s hot. Stay cool my babies. Love Dr. Johnny Fever.
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