Boss Hog’s Cristina Martinez makes visual and musical art

Cristina Martinez wants to clarify that even though it took Boss Hog — the trashy punk-blues combo she formed in 1989 with her husband Jon Spencer — 16 years to release its upcoming album “Brood X,” the band really never went away. The New York-based vocalist says, “We’ve always gotten together and played, but it finally became a matter of, ‘OK, now we have all this material, and it’s great, so we should really do something with it.” The band plays Slim’s in The City this week, promoting its current EP, “Brood Star,” with scruffy speaker-shakers “Disgrace,” “Nymph Beat” and “Devious Motherf—er.”

You’re calling after just finishing an editorial retreat in New York?

I work for a food magazine during the day, when I’m not on tour and writing. It wasn’t paintball or anything; we went to a restaurant and talked about inspiration for the day. We had to bring in an object that inspired us, so I brought in a honeycomb, because it’s a naturally occurring, perfectly symmetrical item. And bees make honeycombs without anyone teaching them how. It’s just an innate gift that they have. And they’re giving it 100 percent, no matter what they do, and I admire that.

What’s your job, exactly?

I’m an editorial production director for Bon Appetit Magazine, so I’m responsible for bringing the contents to the printer. So I have to liaise between the editorial department and the art department. The art department will design a feature, the editorial department writes it, and I put the two together in final form. So there’s quality control, and also a lot of math. I like to equate it to packing a suitcase, because you have a certain amount of items that have to go into this suitcase that’s provided to you, and you have to do it in the most efficient and beautiful way, so that the reader can unpack it.

Are there moments when you just can’t stand to look at one more photo of food?

Ha! I feel that way about Instagrammed food. And I’m not involved in social media, except for Instagram, but I have an anonymous Instagram account. And the band started them this year because we decided to get back together and tour, and I’m told now that we simply cannot exist without all these platforms. So I let the other people in the band do all the Instagramming, tweeting and Facebook posting. But I studied photography, then filmmaking at NYU, so I’ve always loved visuals. And I like all the artistic, craftsy elements of being in a band, too, like making the T-shirts, doing the videos, handling the artwork. It’s all part of the whole package.

Boss Hog
Where: Slim’s, 333 11th St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. July 14
Tickets: $25
Contact: (415) 255-0333,

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