Contact Us

Lost & Found: Jon Spencer Demonstrates How (Not) To Play the Theremin

Subscribe to on

If you’re curious about the strange musical instrument known as the theremin, this video probably won’t be of any help to you. But it’s still entertaining. Jon Spencer of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion fame shows how he “plays” this Russian instrument using his hands, feet, tongue and crotch. Yes, his crotch.

You’ve probably heard a theremin being played properly before. It’s the device that provides the weird, high-pitched sound in the Beach Boys classic ‘Good Vibrations.’ The theremin also played a large role in 1950s sci-fi movies by adding an eerie element to their film scores.

And since Jon Spencer got us talking about our subject today, here’s a music video from the Blues Explosion for their song, ‘Talk About the Blues.’ In it, the band members run around town, caught up in some nefarious caper that costs one of them his life. The remaining members honor his memory by dumping his ashes from a small cup into a body of water.

And did we mention that the people playing the instruments in the video are Winona Ryder, Giovanni Ribisi and John C. Reilly? So there’s that, too.

Subscribe to on

And to top this post off, we went back even further in time to uncover another JSBE video, for the song ‘Bellbottoms.’ You might notice how orange everything in the set is. Or you might not have noticed. It’s not really that big a deal. But since we brought it up, we’ll explain. The name of the album ‘Bellbottoms’ comes from is ‘Orange.’ Now you know. We hope we didn’t push some small, yet important, piece of information out of your head with that factoid.

Subscribe to on

Next: Yo La Tengo’s Got an Autumn Sweater for You

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Diffuser

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!