December 21, 2002 at 12:32 pm #45604
haven’t found many, yet…
There’s an article in the German newspaper"Frankfurter Allgemeine" of 20th. Dec. about the show in Frankfurt, but you have to registrate for 15 Euros to check their online archives …
Here’s another review of the show in Frankfurt in the venue ‘Mousonturm’, on Dec., 18th:
… translation as follows:
Nostalgia and phantom pains
He’s shuffling bent on stage, pulling the guitar behind him. Next he’s pouring two glasses of water, before he welcomes the audience with a shy movement of the hand and a short "hello". J Mascis yesterday in the venue ‘Mousonturm’, alone with a half acoustic guitar (or half electric, however…), accompanied only by a z-legged small table, which must have had some secret powers in it. The first song is ‘Freedom’ [or rather: ‘Someone said’, like in the other shows?; FC] from the current album ‘Free so Free’. Again and again, for short passages the acoustic chords are turned into feed back sound, getting alienated, distorted. Stop & Go-Grunge [;) ; FC], if one had to assign a name. The current song ‘Everybody Let’s Me down’ is treated like this as well as the 15 year old Dinosaur Jr song ‘Freak Scene’. The audience is swinging on the floor out of industrial sheet metal. And Mr. Mascis sits on his chair, beating his instrument. The long, shaggy hair appears in the light of the spots as if it has turrned grey in honour. A comparison with the current length of my hair causes some weak phantom pains. Reminiscences of the times of studies in MÃ¼nster, parties and concerts in the venue ‘Gleis 22’ or in abandoned factory buildings at the Hawerkamp. Nostalgia is creeping in. And is rinsed down again with a sip of beer. Contemplative pre Christmas season.December 21, 2002 at 2:29 pm #84640December 22, 2002 at 9:12 am #84641
hey dB, thanks a lot for adding that review
it’s about the show in Frankfurt on Dec., 18th – here’s the translation:
* * * * *
Joseph "J" Mascis, the guitar and the Grunge: In the venue ‘Mousonturm’ there could also be shown a proximity of the musician to Neil Young
by Stefan Michalzik
When J Mascis disbanded Dinosaur Jr in 1997, he had the development to a soloist already far behind him. The former bassist and co-author Lou Barlow, his permanent opponent, was thrown out by him eight years ago and the remaining musicians were hardly more than supernumeraries. Since that time J Mascis became more and more a lone wolf. For the actual show in the Mousonturm he was announced as "J Mascis and the Fog" – he played solo, however, like on the two CDs, which he recorded since the separation from Dinosaur Jr.
The communication with other musicians is simply too long-winded for the multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, drums and keyboard), he says. Further he has made a financial loss with the last band tour. However, not only with co-musicians, but also with humans in general it’s obviously not easy. Thus nearly all songs are about the difficulties in interpersonal relations, about communication problems. That sounds rather privately, concerning directly the affairs between humans. But his latest, recently published album is called ‘Free so Free’, and in interviews Mascis doesn’t deny the political implications – but at the same time he goes back to the personal level. "Nobody thinks about to keep the planet alive. And that restricts my personal freedom" (Visions, December 2002).
The 36 year old with the long hair and with eyeglasses that look as if they were financed by health insurance, shuffles on the stage and begins to play, song after song, keeping the eyes down. Only occasionally he murmurs a "thanks", and that’s all there is with the direct speech to the public. All of that appears introverted, not unfriendly.
Although Joseph "J" Mascis only came with an acoustic guitar, however, he doesn’t get along completely without electrification. One can also imagine his songs easily in an acoustically naked state, and that’s the way he begins. The songs are very melodious with pronounced folk accents, in a singer/songwirter manner. But the autodidact is very appreciated also for his well rugged guitar performance. Finally it was him – in the eighties with Dinosaur the Jr. – who established the guitar solo within the Indie/Alternative music, which has been frowned on before and associated only with the realm of the ‘bad rock establishment’ – that was the foundation for the music that became famous later as Grunge and entered MTV and the hit list mainstream, while J Mascis never made much profit out of it. However, a superstar existence probably would have been hardly his pair of shoes. He prefers to work solitary.
By means of retrieval of the rhythm guitar from the digital memory J. Mascis temporaily accompanies himself. He then puts the "electrical" sound over the acoustic one. The cracking riffs and distorted solo lines are still a splendour without reduction. That is greatly cleft, filled with feedback and wonderful noisy.
Mascis always finds back to those defeating variants of the sound, which one already knows from him for nearly two decades and which stayed practically unchanged. The fact that Alternative and Grunge have a spiritual relative in Neil Young has never been clearer than with J. Mascis. Powerful guitar excursions, which break out of the song structure are characteristic both for the one and for the other. Further, Mascis’ thin voice is similar to Neil Young’s voice. [… about those Neil Young comparisons; FC]
J. Mascis isn’t the kind of guy for great developments. The songs of his new CD, which are more attached towards the world than the previous ones, appear integerly with Dinosaur Jr. classics like ‘Freak Scene’. Strange are the transitions between the purely acoustic company to the vocals and the electrified guitar passages. But what is here called ‘transitions’? Bang, torn off, a grinding halt of the musical flow. End of the electrical part, resume and continue. It appears like an unfortunate temporary solution. As grand the show might have been: There are nevertheless still those moments, in which accompanying musicians would be of advantage.
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