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The Man Who Lives For Love – Spencer Dickinson

Yep-Roc Records 2078

Start here: Jon Spencer burst onto the scene in 1985 with Pussy Galore. The group boasted an ex-member of Sonic Youth (drummer Bob Bert) and an EP entitled Groovy Hate Fuck (not kidding!).

When PG collapsed, Spencer started the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with Judah Bauer (guitar) and Russell Simins (drums). This was 1991, but the band released an album as recently as 2004. In their heyday, they were compared to Beck or the Beasties.

In 2001, Spencer found his way into the studio with Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, presumably through Daddy Dickinson (Jim, that is), who had mixed the Blues Explosion (and would produce the affair at hand). The Man Who Lives For Love, by Spencer Dickinson, was released in Japan, and nowhere else.

Five years later, it’s time for the Western world to check out what Spencer Dickinson had in store for us. Out this August on Yep Roc Records, The Man Who Lives For Love is ready to live a second life.

And you’re gonna dig it. The Man Who is a swampy, crunchy, fuzzy record that’s big on noise and even bigger on variety. “Zigaboo” kicks off with a drum groove straight out of a James Brown record before settling on a vaguely Meters-ish groove (hence the title). On top, Spencer boasts a diet of “pinecones and gravy,” and a house made of “seaweed and celery.” “Away Baby” finds Spencer’s grumbly voice accompanied by little more than acoustic guitar and tambourine. Spencer and Luther testify over “Book of Sorrow”’s spooky two-note riff and the mandolin-led instrumental “Appalachia” is as pretty and folky as it gets.

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