Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions Melbourne show reviews, June 22, 23 & 24/04

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    Cool review( :shock: :twisted: ), not sure about the nothing sexy about the music of J Mascis deal,…matter of opinion :wink:

    Tastemusic.co.uk…cool pic thru this link :wink:

    there is nothing sexy about the music of j mascis. though one of the most influential guitarists of the 90’s who, along with band dinosaur jr and peers the pixies laid the foundations of grunge, his erratic productivity and lack of a marketable image have helped to keep him sidelined behind the very acts he helped to spawn, most notable being nirvana. as a consequence of his floundering profile, the crowd here at the ding dong is remarkably small for a solo acoustic performance from someone once so legendary. the small crowd of loyal, lank-haired and beardy musos wait anxiously for the great man to appear for what they assume must surely be a unique and personal show. i pass the time between trying to spot the cute and impish, size-6 indie-chicks who invariably appear at these kind of dos. unfortunately, there are none. yep, j mascis is definitely uncool!

    when j finally arrives on stage his lack of sex-appeal mirrors the assembled gathering. he barely stirs a reaction from the crowd as he unassumingly walks on stage to assemble his now famous set of guitar pedals from his backpack. his hair now lank and grey, with new paunch and nhs specs, he resembles more my mind’s image of the guy that puts the walnuts in my ben and jerry’s than the granddaddy of slacker rock! after opening with a rushed rendition of ‘freedom’, he breaks into a quickfire medley of dinosaur jr classics. j strikes me as a victim of his own reclusiveness and even in front of such a loyal gathering he rarely seems relaxed or comfortable. from the beginning his playing is beset by technical difficulties – string breakages and tuning problems forcing him to abort one song mid-way and blast on with the next. a common talking point of j’s acoustic performances is that he often challenges the convention of what an acoustic set should be, and this is evident tonight; a delay pedal is often used to record and then play back particular riffs allowing him to break off into one of his renowned, fuzz-driven and monotlithic guitar solos with crunching, distorted powerchords punctuating the prettier riffs and creating an effective substitute for the beautiful contrasts of his songs on record. however, the feat of coordinating all these gizmos seems just too much for j’s stoner-fried neurons and often he comes in too late with a phrase or just misses the guitar pedals altogether, fucking up the song and again forcing him to give up half way. to be honest, for someone so technically proficient with his instrument and with a set of songs that must be as familiar to him as his own mother he doesn’t really seem to know what he is doing! it proves for very frustrating listening.

    amongst the carnage there is a spattering of excellent renditions of old dinosaur jr material (flying cloud, thumb and get me are highlights). but come on j, what else is new!? we know from listening to recent stuff with the fog that you still have enough rock left in you, so why are you just choppin’ out pasty dino-by-numbers versions of old material? unlike current tour buddies sonic youth, tonight j seems content to be a fossil to his past incarnation rather than pushing his own boundaries. he leaves the stage as he entered; repacking his famed goodies and skulking off through the crowd with his backpack like a bored and disowned teenager. but with grey hair.


    [photo courtesy of mary boukouvalas]

    24th june 2004



    He,he,he,he, What a funny review. Jack opens his review with an observation about the lack of sexy in J’s music and later talks about J’s sex appeal. There is something a little funny about Jack :oops:

    Thanks for finding that review Coma Girl. 8)



    oh dear !!

    well, i think it was one of the melvins who once said that the things that get you a good review are the same ones that get you a bad one too :lol:

    … i guess this guy wanted to hear a load of new stuff + that disappointed him, but to many people (myself included :wink:) hearing the old tunes live + acoustically is an experience to be cherished :aliensmile:



    thanks for the link! :)

    I don’t know what jack expected. sexiness, really?
    And for me it’s a throughout great thing, that J is aware of the entire back catalog of his many great songs. it would be such a loss if they wouldn’t be performed live anymore! :shock:
    sorry to hear about the tech troubles, hope he fixed it for the other shows. I’ve seen two acoustic performances so far, and I can tell, he surely knew what he was doing!



    Yeah, the writer certainly had some interesting expectations of J & the ‘coolness’ of the show based on impish size 6 indie girls… :P :lol:

    stoner fried neurons, victim of his own reclusiveness, lack of a marketable image… seems the writer just didn’t get it, probably never will :roll: :evil: :P

    Can’t believe how negative some people can be, god, I’d love to hear that set of songs…any time :!:


    Can’t believe how negative some people can be, god, I’d love to hear that set of songs…any time

    yeah, + with or without the impish girls :aliensmile: :mrgreen: :aliensmile:



    I have a great idea, lets find Jack and give him a guitar and see if there is anything sexy about Jacks music.

    Somehow I feel I know the answer already.



    another, erm, conflicting review for one the Melbourne shows with SY (with positive summary for J, negative for SY)


    Up next was J. Mascis, someone whose "career" I haven’t paid the slightest ounce of interest in for roughly 14 years, excluding the "Three Stooges" (that is, Stooges covers) gig he did w/ Mike Watt at the Cherry Bar in 2001 (one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen, and one I primarily saw for the Watt factor, anyway). Now, I’d be lying if I said I was paying that much attention to the guy, but from what I heard in between gossiping with the kind of old hacks one tends to run into at such "events", he sounded pretty A-OK. Solo with merely a guitar, a mic and a stool to sit on, he did a few old Dinosaur tracks (I recognised "Repulsion" from their debut) and what I can only assume was a stack of solo material. Seemingly jumping from song to song at random and interspersing it with occasional bouts of extreme guitar distortion of the Neil Young/Eddie Hazel variety, J. was a whole lot better than expected, which, come to think of it, given my expectations, says absolutely nothing, so I’ll say this instead: J. Mascis was "good".

    These factors are what dragged Sonic Youth down:

    1) No stage personality whatsoever. No "hello"’s, no "ho ya going?"’s, not even a "Melbourne, you rock!". We were treated to a brief, smug anti-Bush rant from Thurston and that’s it. You know, you can’t be on fire every night, and I know that sometimes you go on stage in a foul mood for the stupidest of reasons and act like a petulant turd to let everyone else know it, but that’s me and all the two-bit nobody bands I’ve played in over the years. This is Sonic Youth. People pay a lot of money ($60) to be "entertained" and they acted like they couldn’t give the vaguest fuck. The snooty NYC attitude doesn’t cut it anymore.

    2) Nearly every song played was from Sonic Nurse. This is expected but unfortunate, considering how fucking boring that album is.

    3) Too many Kim Gordon songs. Kim’s a cool chick, but she couldn’t sing her way out of a soggy paper bag, and her voice just gets worse every year. Several vocal moments were nothing less than excruciating.

    4) Jim O’Rourke. He’s a talented guy, but for the life of me I still can’t figure out why he’s in the band.

    5) This is my final and most important point: Sonic Youth’s rampant musical "professionalism". Not a dud note was hit, not a beat was missed. In fact so note-perfect were the band that I seriously should have just stayed at home and tortured myself with my Sonic Nurse CD instead. For some bands, like, say, The Magic Band, musical virtuosity is a must to pull it off, but not for Sonic Youth. Where was the chaos, the unpredictability? Even when they "freaked out" and went into an extended "noise piece" they weren’t fooling anybody, or at least not me. They’d rehearsed every single note a thousand times and it showed, the spontenaiety factor being a big, fat zero.

    The upshot is this: I didn’t hate it, I was just bored. That’s the worst insult I could ever throw at a band. Believe me, I’ve seen some of the worst shit imaginable: the Dayglo Abortions (oh man, more on that some other time!) and Virgil Donati’s Project X ("all-star" fusion muso band I saw as a "joke" a few years back after receiving a free pass. Ahem! More on that in the future…), but at least their unabashed worthlessness was amusing to behold, but da ‘Youth, and I say this as a long-time fan, were dull as dogshit and a snorefest I wish to never repeat.



    it’s weird what people complain about, isn’t it ? well, to each his own in suppose … :roll:



    finally a quite a positive review about the show in Melbourne on June 24/04:

    J & SY review on indieinitiative.com :)

    Sonic Youth, J Mascis
    The Forum, Thursday 24 June 2004 By Simon Braham

    Sorry for the delay readers, but I have just summoned the courage to write a review and critique of one of the world most prolifically renowned rock acts.
    We all know that Sonic Youth has and still is leaving and indelible mark in rock history. Not only are they seen as pioneers of the grunge movement along with Neil Young and Patti Smith (amongst others), they also have created a sound that has undoubtedly influenced musicians the world over. But I have to confess I am not an avid grass roots fan, and only have three albums in my collection, thus feel underqualified to comment, however I’ll try my best.

    Having seen Sonic Youth in the late 90’s, again at the Forum, I was looking forward to hearing them live once more and when they announced J Mascis was supporting it was as simple as “1 ticket please�.

    With a big catalogue of Dinosaur Jnr and J Mascis albums, I have been a bad fan by restricting my patronage of his live shows to just the 1997 Livid Music Festival in Brisbane where I was aghast and overwhelmed with this mans virtuosity on the electric guitar. Sonic Youth have chosen well this time for their entrée into the main performance. Last time fans were treated to a guy on an electric violin or something to that degree. “C’mon less arty-farty and more rockin’ riffs please�! was the gist of that performance.

    Strolling into the Forum a bit charged from an afternoon/early evening indulgence at the GB, I headed straight for front stage where Mr. Mascis had already begun his wails and rhythmic blues anthems. Perched in a chair near the front of the stage he cut a lonesome figure, just J and two Greco-roman statues flanking him from each side. His appearance suggested he be cast in the next Harry Potter episode; hair like it was being groomed to match his kitchen broom, almost what you’d expect a hermit to look like, and armed only with an acoustic axe (or a wand if you like?), microphone and what seemed like a shitload of pedals. But this pin-up boy of ‘Wizard Weekly’ pays no dues to the glamour of pop stardom and simply set the stage alight with his infallible delivery of music – J Mascis style. There were no surprises here, just an enormous musical talent unleashing a cavalcade of acoustic ruptures, fuelled by a few foot breaks all intertwined in a ‘turn it up’ blues extravaganza. How good is this guy? Clocking up a few tracks from D Jnr and his solo offerings, it was definitely an amazing performance from a prolific contributor to the world music scene.

    A short interval and indulgent conversation over the awe of J and Sonic Youth appeared amongst much revelry and applause. The aging rockers still looked as youthful as ever in the dim amphitheatre, with mum Kim still cutting sex appeal after 24 years of Sonic Youth revelry. Having borrowed their latest and 19th release, ‘Sonic Nurse’ it was apparent that tonight’s show would be fraught with a mellow sound and potentially lack some of that aggression and showmanship. I don’t know how they do it, but with almost a full catalogue from ‘Sonic Nurse’ they still managed to indulge us with rock appeal loud and proud.

    Thurston Moore was in fine touch throughout the evening, appeasing any antics the crowd may have been looking for with an armament of feedback and guitar callisthenics. Kim was solid throughout the night, gently flowing across the stage amidst the abundant soundscapes like a Stevie Nicks laden with guitar whilst approaching the mike as it were a friend in need of a much needed chat. There’s definite chemistry in how Thurston and Kim relate on stage and it only adds to the energy the group create. Lee Ranaldo also upfront, was less imposing throughout the performance but was a not unnoticed with one vocal contribution.

    Sonic Youth prevailed against an aging era of rock stalwarts, showing that angst and aggression can be overcome with poise and experience and a delicate rock sound. Although that is not to say there weren’t without their moments of furore such as 100% but a more laconic Sonic Youth you would have to say was the outcome of the night.

    Again I left satisfied but also unduly lost as I was still clinching to that hope that I would one day see ‘Teenage Riot’ performed live by the band that has wreaked havoc on the boundaries of popular music. Oh well can’t have it all can you.



    Cool to see something that focused on the music & not the impish young girls :P :wink: :aliensmile:


    Bucky Ramone

    A review from X-Press Online:

    SONIC YOUTH / J Mascis / Hit The Jackpot
    File under Gig Reviews

    Metropolis Fremantle
    Monday, June 21, 2004

    What a privilege it was to have this ageing band grace us with their presence for one single WA show when many others simply discount Perth as a stopover detrimental to the tour budget. And albeit wet, a balmy Fremantle winters’ night welcomed Sonic Youth, an equally revered J Mascis and Adelaide’s Hit The Jackpot with the crowd rising to the occasion selling out Metropolis by 10pm. Congrats Perth, hopefully news spreads across the US next month as Sonic Youth share a back-stage drink with the best in music as part of the Lollapalooza festival and who knows, maybe even The Pixies will surf on down here soon?

    South Australian duo Hit The Jackpot began their short and sharp set (seven or so one-two minute songs over only 15 minutes) in what looked and sounded like White Stripes fashion, with a female drummer/vocalist centre stage and a long haired chap with guitar by her side. Mid way through the opening song however, it was clear that little of the Detroit duo’s influence exists in HTJP’s gene pool. The sound was an often-schizophrenic blend of stripped back post-rock sounds and grunge-influenced percussion, occasionally eluding description, but the pair definitely succeeded in waking up the room.

    Ex-Dinosaur Jnr frontman J Mascis casually set up and took to the stage with a cool understatement that would only be bettered two hours later by Sonic Youth. One man, two guitars and a penchant for a catchy song is the simple review of a weary looking Mascis. Winding the delay up enlarged his sound to the point where you’d find yourself hunting around for a second guitarist surely hiding somewhere on stage, possibly behind a speaker…
    But it all worked best for J each time he fed on the distortion and took to his guitar with gusto. The crowd responded well to these moments, and with good reason, it was the frantic jamming instances that picked up the live show.

    By the end of Sonic Youth’s rather lengthy double-encore set, it’s safe to say that while the sonic bit is alive and well the youth bit, as highlighted by the greying hair, business-like stage manner and sunken expressions, is clearly not an accurate indication of the band in 2004. The energy manifested itself in plenty of guitar action, experimentation and noodling to the point of annoyance, but not a lot of movement or interaction with the audience – something befitting the grunge ethos and certainly justified at a Sonic Youth show. Thurston Moore likening the security hand signalling to New York interpretive art was a rare and welcome human side to a band that seemed a little to serious for their own good. This is something reviewers have noted about the SY live show for over a decade, so it need not have surprised anyone.

    New string addition Jim O’Rourke, all those ageing vocal chords (Kim Gordon especially), and the entire band in general was a faultless machine from start to finish. While the set list probably didn’t cover as much early ground as many older fans would have liked, few stumbled out onto South Terrace early Tuesday morning disappointed.

    Posted on June 23, 2004 08:46 PM

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