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    A nice fan review of the Melbourne gig: :D

    J MASCIS – CORNER HOTEL, 9/05/03
    by Lucas Packett

    This time round J Mascis is travelling solo, no band, no tour manager, no one even travelling with him; however, I received the complete J Mascis experience, pure & unadulterated.
    After missing J’s last gigs in Melbourne, I was keen to hear him & how the new material off his latest offering, Free, so free, with The Fog translated live.

    Thanks to a somewhat almost believable story, concocted by J’s management(?), about skydiving with his dog, Bob & writing most of the material for the new album in mid-air, was proven to be a fabrication -I was relieved. Although I must admit it was enjoyable tale.
    Mascis is no guitar hero – at least not in the popular sense as adored by many a long haired, leather clad young man in bandanas who stand in awe at frenzied finger work playing super fast pentatonic & chromatic scales. Mascis with his band Dinosaur Jr. shaped the state of underground music in the 80’s, ignoring the trends of the day & although playing guitar solos, did so with a punk rock attitude in place of traditional rock audacity.

    This is what I had come to see, although in a somewhat cutdown version, I was interested to see how Mascis had matured since I last saw Dinosaur Jr. in the mid 90’s.
    Ambling onto the Corner Hotel’s dingy stage, furnished only by a stool & table, Mascis looks like he’s walked the few steps from Richmond station. Backpack slung over one shoulder, greying unkempt hair & thick dated glasses – avoiding any hint of fashion in the coolest possible way [:aliensmile: FC] – he proceeded to empty the contents of his life onto the table & set up. There wasn’t a small army of roadies doing the duties, sound checking, etc – just Mascis & his two Gibson’s – this is what I have come to respect in him.

    After a short period of noodling & tuning, Mascis stood up said ‘thankyou’ after he plugged in his own mic from his backpack & left the stage. Returning a couple of seconds later to an enthusiastic full house, opened by stating ‘….& now for the encore’ proceeded to play a few numbers off his current album. Having not witnessed Mascis in solo ‘acoustic’ mode before I managed a good position close to the front, & proceed to have my ears given a complete clean out.

    The Mascis I have experienced before rose from the darkness in his inimitable form with crackle & noise at extreme volume, launching into Dinosaur Jr. staples, Get Me & Freak Scene. The tone of Mascis’ ‘acoustic’ guitar was sublime, oscillating between a clean sound, coloured only by his lingering melancholic melodies & the extreme fuzz & dirt of what could have easily been a wall of amps driven to their absolute limit – all delivered in true slacker style. Playing for over an hour & delivering a mixture of new songs & older tunes, all offerings gelled together seamlessly to give great continuity to the overall performance.
    Although an appreciative Mascis talked only minimally, showing his gratitude for the turnout, seemed happy to be playing, self-indulging us with his always appropriate & hypnotic playing, coupled with his distinctively scratchy voice.

    Mascis is possibly one of the most poignant songwriter/guitarists to emerge out of the 80/90’s, & still remains relevant today, as proven on Free so free & by his performance tonight at the Corner Hotel.
    I can now rest easy………

    Lucas Packett



    Love that review… :aliensmile:

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