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Xtra-Acme USA

Xtra-Acme USA

by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

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The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion does not play orthodox blues. They love the raunchy blues of Hound Dog Taylor but have more in common with frenzied rock 'n' rollers like Little Richard, Hasil Adkins, and the Cramps. That doesn't stop them from


The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion does not play orthodox blues. They love the raunchy blues of Hound Dog Taylor but have more in common with frenzied rock 'n' rollers like Little Richard, Hasil Adkins, and the Cramps. That doesn't stop them from dabbling in dub, noise, funk, and hip-hop. XTRA ACME brings all these elements into one big fuzzy package. These songs and remixes were left off 1998's ACME but are in no way inferior. ACME was the album fans expected from the band; XTRA ACME is not. XTRA adds disco strings, funky keyboards, and DJ scratching to their usual sweaty hard rock. The Blues Explosion have always made a lot of noise as a trio but have never shied away from asking for help from friends and heroes. This CD features inspired musical collaborations with Moby, Beastie Boys keyboardist Money Mark, Calvin Johnson of Dub Narcotic Sound System, and Luscious Jackson's Jill Cuniff. Dante Ross, Steve Albini, and the Automator contribute re-mixes that are even wilder than the originals. "Lap Dance" is a hilarious duet with the X-rated R&B singer Andre Williams. Spencer's lyrics are funnier than usual on this CD and are bound to go over the heads of the blues purists who hate him, but that's part of what makes this record so much fun.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Clearly a band that abhors waste, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion developed the habit of periodically releasing albums of leftovers, outtakes, and remixes early in their career. Just as Crypt Style followed the group's self-titled debut, Mo' Width cleared the vaults after Extra Width, and Experimental Remixes tweaked tracks from Orange, Xtra-Acme USA brought together 19 numbers that had been worked up during the epic-scale sessions for the 1998 album Acme. Reflecting the fascination with hip-hop and electronica that informed that album's production style, seven of the tracks on Xtra-Acme USA are remixed versions of Acme material, though in some cases what's presented here is more straightforward than the "official" versions. "Torture (Waters)" strips the recording down to its essentials with the addition of a bit of DJ cutting, "Blues Explosion Attack (Dub Narcotic)" presents the raw materials of Acme's concluding mixmaster battle, and "Magical Colors (31 Flavors)" sounds even more languid than the original, one of the most relaxed performances in the group's catalog. And while "Lovin' Machine (Automator)" and "Heavy (Stimulated Dummies)" offer significant twists and turns on the Acme versions, they also deepen the grooves that were the songs' original reasons for being. Elsewhere, "Get Down Lover" is a wild, fiery performance with a tight horn chart that should have made the cut on Acme and is one of the rare moments while the Blues Explosion sound like they could have been a proper R&B band if they'd wanted, "New Year" and "Leave Me Alone So I Can Rock Again" are top-shelf rockers, the funky clavinet on "Wait a Minute" is an inspired addition to the group's sound, and "Lap Dance" is a literally and figuratively dirty collaboration with Andre Williams that pays fitting homage to a longtime source of greasy inspiration. Acme was an album so full of ideas that sometimes the band's full-on attack got lost in the shuffle; the same can be said for Xtra-Acme USA, but the sense of fun and excitement that was diluted on the "real" album comes through stronger and harder here, and this is one example of the sequel being more entertaining than the original.

Product Details

Release Date:
Matador Records


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion   Primary Artist
Moby   Bass,Percussion
Money Mark   Piano
Mark Pender   Trumpet
Garo Yellin   Cello
Jeremy Jacobsen   Organ,Piano,Clavinet,Saw
Jill Cunniff   Background Vocals
Greg Talenfeld   Background Vocals
Jerry Vivino   Saxophone
Krystof Witek   Violin
Ralph Farris   Violin
Joey Moskowitz   Piano
Joel Diamond   Organ
Luther Dickinson   Sitar
Cody Dickinson   Washboard
Brass Monkey   Horn Section

Technical Credits

Steve Albini   Engineer
Kurt Hoffman   String Arrangements
David Holmes   Remixing
Calvin Johnson   Engineer
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion   Composer
Jack Dangers   Remixing
Jim Waters   Remixing
Jon Spencer   Composer,Contributor
Russell Simins   Contributor
Judah Bauer   Contributor
Scott Benzel   Remixing
Otha Turner   Contributor

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