July 9, 2004 at 12:43 pm #47152
Thought this was a very pleasing little blog bit on J/Dinosaur Jr…
The Greatest Band Of All Time.
June 29, 2004
In A Jar: Dinosaur Jr.
I’m very hard on clothing. I would say my average piece of clothing lasts only 6 to 8 months. They get lost or ripped or fall apart, like I said, I’m very hard on clothing. There is, of course, an exception to the rule, I have had one piece of clothing for 10 whole years (10 WHOLE YEARS!)! That one very special piece of clothing is a Dinosaur Jr. T-Shirt. I think it says a lot about that band and about my relationship with that band that I have somehow held onto this shirt for 10 times as long as I normally keep a piece off clothing. I mean, it’s a really cool shirt. That’s not to say that I have kept the shirt pristine, it has a whole in the armpit, but it’s still looking pretty good. This shirt (you can see an a representation of the shirt to your left) is really cute. It features a boy unknowingly waving while a huge monster sneaks up behind. This is really cute, right?? Well, Dinosaur Jr. straddled a weird balance beam with their visual representations (album covers, T-shirt designs, etc.) throughout the years with the cute and beautiful at one end and the ugly and scary at the other end of the balance beam. While I’m not a big fan of the ugly and scary visual stuff, it is the ugly and scary where Dinosaur Jr. succeeded musically. Dinosaur Jr was a loud screeching mess that was led by the prototypical slacker with a terrible voic( ) that made some important and powerful music.
J. Mascis is that prototypical slacker who led Dinosaur Jr. He is the man with the weird voice and the long stringy hair. He is the infamous loner who loves to shred on his guitar louder than anyone else in the world. Don’t get me wrong, others were involved with Dinosaur Jr. Lou Barlow (most known as the man behind Sebadoh) was a huge presence on the first two albums, and when he left it started one of the most infamous feuds in underground rock history. Mascis also worked with a great drummer named Murph and Mike Johnson played bass on a number of albums. When it was necessary, though, Mascis did it all, including playing all the instruments and producing on a few albums.
Mascis is the man who made it okay to rip a guitar solo in underground rock. He did this in the late 80’s too when heavy metal wankery was at its heights of popularity. How he did he made it okay to rip a solo, I will never know for sure, but it must have had something to do with him never putting on airs of being anything he wasn’t. He always came across as this quiet weird guy who you would catch playing guitar through a tiny amp in his bedroom at 11am. In doing some research for this blog every thing I read actually spoke very negatively of Mascis actual ability on guitar. I don’t know. I’m not so smart about that sort of stuff, but I was alaways impressed seeing him play (even when he played solo) and with the sounds he makes on the records. So, I’m saying that J. Mascis is an influential songwriting and one of the most important guitar players of the last 20 years.
The consensus among critics is that the 1987 album You’re Living All Over Me is Dinosaur Jr.’s peak, but I personally see 88’s Bug and 93’s Where You Been as the best moments for Dino. Bug was the first album with Mascis as the lone song writer and it showed how his songwriting was so much better than young Lou Barlow. Bug is the sound of a free man using his voice for the first time. Where You Been is his best set of songs coupled with the best performances and the best production of the entire discography.
Dinosaur Jr. sorted just melted into J. Mascis & The Fog when Mascis felt like he needed to leave the name behind. He still makes music. Mascis is totally weird. Now his long hair is gray. Mascis made Dinosaur Jr. Dinosaur Jr. made The Greatest Band of All Time.
Posted by steve at June 29, 2004 05:40 PM
I once drunkenly wrote in a friend’s notebook something to the effect of "I’m tired of being Lou Barlow. I wanna be Mascis." This pretty much sums up my existence.
That book "This Band Could Be Your Life" has some of the best Mascis-as-quintessential-slacker stories in it. one of my favorite involves this interview he did where he told the journalist that he thinks guitar playing is boringÃ¢â‚¬â€July 9, 2004 at 2:44 pm #103559
nice read, cool findQuote:it is the ugly and scary where Dinosaur Jr. succeeded musically. Dinosaur Jr was a loud screeching mess that was led by the prototypical slacker with a terrible voice that made some important and powerful music.
…I’m sure, he means it all positive :aliensmile:
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