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Russell Simins: Boston Middle East
Sometime Jon Spencer Blues Explosion drummer proves he's no Phil Collins when it comes to going solo...
As it turns out, just because it's Jon Spencer that's always yelling "number one!" doesn't mean that Simins is merely number three. In fact, Simins has enough sloganeering, wonky violin loops, synthesizer squiggle and fuzz box blowout crammed into 'I'm Not A Model' to make the whole room want to shout "goddamn!"
The sweaty mass's mindless, machine-gun-funk and JSBX Jones' satiated, we turn from Simins: shouter/noisemaker to Simins: singer/songwriter. Some of the folksier tunes are iffy - 'Everything Falls Apart' smells vaguely of Hootie & The Blowfish - but when Simins plays the triumphantly earnest 'Comfortable Place', he shows off a skill Jon Spencer has never had: subtlety. Where Spencer trumps him is in cocky showmanship. Simins is still clearly more confident banging the drums than manning a guitar up front. Luckily, the fetching singer, Amanda offsets the awkwardness, playing a shimmying Cher to his sappy Sonny for the hip-hop-headed tete-a-tete, 'Scope'.
So Russell Simins has beaten the odds - he doesn't blow and he hasn't blown up. So Russell, if you're going to be getting it on in any more public places, can we come and watch?
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