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Russell Simins

He's built up an impressive resume as a badass, a sex machine, and an all-around arbiter of New York cool during his tenure as Jon Spencer's drummer and in his indie rock blues-funk side projects with the girls from Cibo Matto (Butter 08) and Babes In Toylands' Kat Bjelland (Crunt). Now, Russell Simins has ventured out as a solo artist with his Grand Royal debut, Public Places. His solo material is surprisingly diverse, encompassing the raucous, tawdry modern blues for which the Blues Explosion is famous, Beck's ass-slappin' white boy funk, straight-up hip hop rhythms, and '70s-derived out-and-out rock. Simins drums (as you might expect), sings, and plays guitar and keyboards, while Jamey Staub provides programming and loops on most of the tracks, and a number of other musicians provide extra instrumental help. Simins's solo stuff certainly isn't very high-minded, but it's definitely a funky good time.