TVD Live Shots:
Jon Spencer and the HITmakers at Bar Brooklyn, 11/13

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN | The last of three trips of the year for me and my day job find me in Stockholm for the first time at the Swedish Search Summit where I’m the second speaker of the day. My topic, creativity for marketers, and what better way to get my head in the right place for an early morning speaking gig than to head down to Bar Brooklyn for the original king of garage punk—the one and only Jon Spencer. He’s taken a break from the Blues Explosion to bless us all with a solo record of sorts called Spencer Plays the Hits and taken to the road as The HITmakers.

He’s brought together an all-star group featuring the talents of Sam Coomes (Quasi, Heatmeiser) and M. Sord, but the real highlight here is the legend that is Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore). Bert was on percussion, but it looked more like parts from a junkyard, including an industrial-sized coil and trash can that he played with a hammer. At first glance, it’s a pure what the fuck moment, but when it gets going, it works. While the HITmakers are not a massive departure from the noise rock genius of the Blues Explosion, they have a similar formula—loud, aggressive, groovy, and in your face.

Every time I see Jon Spencer live in any capacity, I can’t help but think he’s got to be the hardest working man in garage rock show business. This guy doesn’t stop moving the entire set. He’s like James Brown crossed with Stevie Ray Vaughan in the bizarro world. Bar Brooklyn filled up very quickly to witness the blistering 90 minute plus set that weighed heavily on the new record. But Jon and company threw us a few bones and a curveball with selections from his vast catalogue including a few Blues Explosion numbers that got the crowd going bananas. I swear I saw “Bellbottoms” on the setlist. It never transpired, and it didn’t need to.

The HITmakers tour continues across Europe this week into next, and the new Spencer Sings the Hits record is available now. Get it on vinyl, crank it up, then go and celebrate the garage rock genius live and watch it get elevated to a new level. God bless the HITmakers.

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