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The return of the Gringo

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What do you do when the only bandmates you can find like to party as hard as you do, and that band falls apart? Start a one-man band, of course. Or so it is that Spinns drummer Josh Johnson moved to another country and started Pinche Gringo. Always a fan of primal garage blues, Johnson's found an appropriate idiom for his raw, electrified squalor. While pounding floor-bound bass and snare drums, Johnson unleashes swells of distortion grimy enough to soil your clothes.

Johnson's making his way back north from Mexico City as part of an exchange program that will include a five-day November tour of Mexico by his old blues-punk outfit, the Spinns. Like those compadres, Johnson's focus remains more vibe than songcraft: "Friday on Izazaga" builds on a ragged drone, like the Velvets chasing a shuffling blues groove, while "Electric Orgy" is a goofy, gonzo blues rave-up fueled by Johnson's mischievous insouciance.

Johnson plays two Triangle shows as part of his northern travels: See him Thursday, April 17, at Slim's in Raleigh and Friday, April 18, at The Cave. New Raleigh favorites Grass Widow join Johnson at Slim's on Thursday. The New Town Drunks, who almost disappeared in the process of birthing their first child and a new album, open The Cave show.

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