Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions MOJO May 2005 : 6-page dinosaur jr article

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    :D :D :D

    that’s all you need to know really … (besides the fact there’s loads of old pics … most of which i’ve never seen … )

    just buy it :mrgreen:



    Thanks for the heads up, definitely gonna pick it up…hopefully our album is back up soon for the pics…:mrgreen:



    hope there is a cool retro cover!!!!




    damn, i went to barnes and noble after reading this today, and they dont have it yet, still got the april edition, any idea when it hits the stands?



    well, officially mojo is supposed to come out mid-month, so i don’t know why this one came out early …

    btw, it’s t rex (marc bolan) on the cover … continuing the ‘dinosaur’ theme :D



    no, i stand corrected ! mojo has changed their release date to earlier on in the month …

    the magazine says the issues now come out on the 6th … so i don’t know why barnes + noble don’t have it for sale yet …



    current mojo cover + all its contents listed here



    15 righteous tracks by Sam And Dave, Ike And Tina Turner, Mavis Staples, James Carr, Etta James, The Mar-Keys and more.

    "Yeah, I want that sound!" From T.Rextasy to self-parody, the 18-month rise and fall of Marc Bolan. By Mark Paytress.

    You think you know this man? You don’t know this man! The frown-faced King of New York goes head to head with our own Sylvie Simmons. Seconds out…

    Psychic battles and proper punch-ups in this fun-filled tale of your favourite self-destructing, hate-driven ’80s noise trio. By Stevie Chick.

    Riots! Hype! Bile! Tabloids! How the ’70s Irish punk heroes lost their way in ’80s media madness. Plus: Live Aid! Bob Geldof and co tell all to Peter Paphides.

    From blues’n’soul to punk’n’ donuts. A dark and twisty tale of race and rhythm in the cradle of rock. By Robert Gordon. Plus: Memphis music heroes by Andria Lisle.

    The Staple Singers’ baritone bombshell and Stax’s queen of heartbreak looks back on a wonderful life. By Geoff Brown.

    From UK tours in an ambulance to US tour casualties, with Neil Innes and The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
    Plus, All Back To My Place with Robert Downey Jr, Kristin Hersh, John Cooper Clarke; farewell to Martin Denny, Tommy Vance, Chris Curtis and Tyrone Davis; Flying B-Boys, Billy Idol on Billy Idol, DFA 1979, Crosby and Nash share a joke, Butch Vig praises Roxy Music’s Country Life, Trent Reznor talks new album, Van Der Graaf Generator talk re-formation, Joe Brown talks skiffle and, in 1972, Graham Bond dies.


    Robert Plant gets altered, British Sea Power go outdoors, The Go-Betweens take it higher and a little Congolese man in a pink shirt makes the heaviest album of the month.

    A Jack Nitzsche Best Of, a Gene Vincent career box set and some Nurse With Wound remixes. Let’s go shopping!

    The art of rapping. And Laibach.

    The Dave Van Ronk Memoir and filthy tales from Simon Napier-Bell.

    DKT/MC5 and Sun Ra. Slint. Delgados.

    …Hawkwind. Whooooosh!



    pt 1 of the article…

    Diary of a mad band

    Inspired by Sabbath, Hardcore and Oi!, Dinosaur Jr lit the late ’80’s with their fireball rock while living in a Gulag, learns Steve Chick.

    It was at the Night Shift, a ratty little club inside a shopping mall in Naugatuck, Connecticut in the early spring of 1988, that the simmering passive-aggression at the heart of Dinosaur Jr’s volatile, punk-country sound erupted in violence. Years of unresolved hostility had fractured the band’s fragile dynamic. Finally, taciturn frontman J Mascis realised he had to act.

    "I kept thinking, Wow, Murph’s gonna hit Lou," remembers Mascis today. "Then I realised Murph wasn’t gonna hit Lou, that it was up to me."

    Bassist Lou Barlow was playing a single note of feedback instead of the bass line to Severed Lips, an act of blatant sabotage. Mascis responded by swinging his guitar at Barlow, who deflected the blow with his bass and fell to the ground. After a few further glancing blows, Mascis sloped off, Barlow leapt onto the drum riser, pumping fist and screaming a triumphant, "Yes!"

    "…Like he had won some psychic battle by making me react continues Mascis, distaste etched on his usually-inscrutable features. "I walked off-stage thinking, Jesus he’s fucked up. Whatever he was going through was too much for me to deal with"

    "I was watching the whole thing and thinking, I should just kill both of them," sighs Emmett Jefferson "Patrick" Murphy III. better known as Dinosaur’s drummer Murph. "I was ready to put them in a headlock and bang their heads together. It was ridiculous."

    The dysfunction at Dinosaur’s core was legendary, their friction productive. Hardcore kids and Oi! obsessives, they cannibalised the carcass of classic rock and, like contemporaries Meat Puppets, Husker Du and Butthole Surfers, drew something fresh and strange from the melee. Their intemperate music saw melodic pastorals torn apart by blasts of noise, flashes of hormonal frenzy, the product of weeks the mismatched personalities spent cooped up on tour in a claustrophobic ’76 Dodge van.

    Their differences ran deep. Mascis was one of the few punks in Amherst, Massachusetts, a liberal college town. The schools were progressive, they wouldn’t punish students, making them discuss their anti-social behavior in counselling sessions instead, a memory at which the notoriously withdrawn guitarist shudders.

    "I picked up a copy of Sounds magazine’s Punk’s Not Dead special at a local record store, and ordered in most of the magazine’s Top 100 Punk Singles Of All Time. I love them all, GBH, Discharge, The Exploited,Blitz,…I even liked Skrewdriver. I didn’t know the politics involved, so I could just enjoy it devoid of any moral judgement. I’m sure a lot of the musicians are dicks."

    He shaved off most of his hair and cut the rest to uneven lengths, a style he called "the chemotherapy". Later he’d mimic Nick Cave’s Birthday Party-era hair: "…The’Finger in the power-socket look!" laughs Dinosaur’s first manager/roadie Jon Tepler. "He’d achieve that by frying egg-whites into his hair with straightening tongs."

    While at the record store, Mascis met 14-year old Dee Dee Ramone lookalike Scott Helland flipping through the import punk racks, and posting a ‘Drummer Wanted’ ad on the wall, for local hardcore band Deep Wound. A week later, Mascis’s dad drove J to guitarist Lou Barlow’s house in Westfield, 45 minutes south-west of Amherst, for the audition. Mascis remembers that they had similar music tastes and, "Since Lou didn’t talk at the time, he was easy to get on with."

    Mascis hailed from rarefied Amherst, Barlow from resolutely blue-collar Westfield, a dying factory town. These class differences would create and rule Dinosaur’s dynamic.

    "The kids from Amherst were snots," says Barlow. "I wasn’t at all jaded, I was spastic and excited, saying goofy stuff, reading fanzines. J was adept at making me feel like a fucking dweeb, cutting me dead with a one-liner."

    "He was the classic nerd, the kind who would get beat up by jocks," replies Mascis. "I was an angry young man. If people were looking to be abused, I’d abuse them. Lou was a real victim."

    Barlow was besotted with hardcore, Minor Threat and Black Flag and their like. "All the songs were 30 seconds long, played as fast as humanly possible, the 7-inchers would come with detailed lyric sheets…" he sighs. "It matched my energy level, my anger level." Helland, Barlow and Mascis (on drums, for now) were joined by singer Charlie Nakajima,and the quartet played shows and released an EP. Video Prick, in the summer of 1983. Their thrashing, super-fast punk, won notices in the fanzines, but they split the following year.

    "Hardcore seemed like it was over," shrugs Mascis, who had been writing songs of his own in the downtime from Deep Wound, songs that drew upon different pasions: country music, Black Sabbath, the murkier regions of post-punk, and his beloved Birthday party.

    J was coasting in College, taking courses that fed his interest in Adolf Hitler and World War II; one of his lectuers was a former SS officer. He set about forming Dinosaur, recruiting Nakajima on vocals. To achieve the sound he could hear in his head, Mascis would play lead guitar, asking Barlow to move over to the bass. Mascis’s vacated drumstool would be taken by Murph, an old friend of J’s from high school who had played in the "pseudo-Oi!" band All White Jury. "I was a hippy punk, I loved hardcore but I listed to lots of Hendrix too; they weren’t down with that at all," says Murph. " I smoked lots of weed, they were straight edge. I made them feel uncomfortable, because I’d grown up in NYC going to rock concerts and stealing my parent’s car for joyrides, doing stuff they could’t fathom. We had a mutural fascination: they couldn’t believe I was so wild, I couldn’t believe they never said anything."

    The band played one show with Nakajima on vocals before J quit. Over the next couple of days, he called Murpph and Barlow to play together again. "I said, You’re reforming the band, but he denied it," laughed Murph. "But he was reforming the band, only without Charlie. Charlie was pretty ‘anarchist’, he and J clashed a lot."

    J elected to split vocal duties between him and Lou. "He played me these songs, and the change in direction was obvious," says Barlow. "These were rock songs, not blinding power-chord anthems. There was a country song. J was unafraid to reference classic-rock stuff that wasn’t cool.’ And he had cultivated an idiosyncratic voice, like all the great rock singers:Dylan, Lou Reed, Neil Young."

    Almost immediately, the conflicts that would dominate Dinosaur for the next three albums began to surface. "Rock bands are generally miserable people," laughs Lou now. "I knew my rock n roll history. You didn’t have to get along, that was a ‘hippy’ ideal. Rock n rolls about a bunch of ambivalent people getting together, hating each other and playing loud, nasty, hateful music." Dinosaur seemed to thrive on the tension. They would plays shows around Amherst, but were soon banned from most venues on account of their sheer, brutal volume. "I was breaking cymbals, I was hitting my drums so hard" remembers Murph. "We were into the concept of noise pollution."

    part 2 another day… :wink:



    T. Rex is awesome…just thought I’d let you all know if you already didn’t.



    part 2 of Diary of a Mad Band by…Steve Chick

    "We just kept playing, even though people hated us," grins Mascis. "We didn’t belong to a ‘scene,’ we didn’t have any fans. At Chet’s Last Call [a club near Boston Garden] the soundman threw a bottle at me because I was playing too loud. " They did have one fan, however, and an influential one. Gerard Cosloy had raved about Deep Wound in his Conflict fanzine, and had managed them for a spell. Now he ran Homestead Records, a small indie, and offered to release Dinosaur’s first record. Despite only having played a handful of shows, the band repaired to the basement of Chris Dixon, a local hippy who mostly recorded folk and jazz on his analogue 24-track setup, but adapted his technique to Dinosaur’s hybrid metallic country. They recorded quickly; the entire sessions cost was $500.

    The Songs on Dinosaur’s eponymous first album were wonderfully misshapen, reflecting Mascis’s omnivorous hunger for music. Repulsion and Severed Lips conformed to traditional country-rock structures, but were fringed with fiery noise. Elsewhere the lyrics essayed loneliness and alienation. Mascis declaring himself "embarrassed to be alive" on The Leper as tungsten riffs crackled underneath Dinosaur were reclaiming heavy rock from the scrap-heap of history.

    "The bands coming up through the 1980’s were mostly shying away from what they perceived as the ‘hippy’ mannerisms," remembers Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. "And then Dinosaur came along, combining hardcore with the most beautiful elements of 60’s rock."

    Sonic Youth took Dinosaur on their first national tour, shortly after the album came out. "Back in those days, it was hard to get three sentences in a row out of J," remembers Ranaldo. "There were a log of things bubbling under the surface between them that none of them wanted to deal with in any way." Barlow desperately sought affirmation from the aloof Mascis, who greeted his band-mates neediness with acrid disdain. Murph, meanwhile would goad them both.

    "We were three very big egos, feeling crowded," says Murph. "The tension was:Your space is invading My Space."

    On one of these interminable trips across America, an exasperated Mascis summed up these feelings in an affecting little phrase that became the title of their second album:You’re Living All Over Me.

    In early 1987, Dinosaur decamped to New York to record with Sonic Youth associate Wharton Tiers. Mascis drafted Ranaldo to sing harmonies on the opening track, Little Fury Things, and experimentation was rife. You’re Living all Over Me would have an even broader musical embrace than its predecessor, betraying the influence of Throbbing Gristle in the avalanches of tape distortion that swallowed up the sleepy-eyed Tarpit, and the ghostly, disturbing voices hovering behind Raisins and In A Jar, captured illicitly by Barlow while he was working at a mental institution. Yet more audacious was Sludgefeast, lurching betwen playful folk rock and colossal Sabbath riffage, and the closing track, Poledo Lou’s exercise in suicidal folk and tape manipulations. "I had started smoking weed, and everything sounded wonderful," recalls Barlow. "I saw You’re Living All Over Me as a psychedelic rock record, and figured Poledo would work as the bulshit freak-out track, the album’s revolution #9."

    Dinosaur were cast very much in Mascis’s own image (he would dictate Murph’s every drumbeat), but the frontman claims he was glad Barlow was finally contributing. "Getting Lou to bring songs to the table was excruiciating," he grumbles "He was afraid of getting shot down, or that we would ruin them. Barlow would spend hours smoking pot on his own (Mascis was prone to migraines and didn’t even drink, Murph had been through rehab), playing back the tapes for the album, revelling in what they had created. "I was becoming more convinced of J’s genius and power," he adds. "Unfortunately, I became so in awe of him, I couldn’t bring myself to play him my songs. He had no idea, and was incapable of reaching out to me or encouraging me."

    You’re Living All Over Me would prove a peak for the band. Many of their initial ambitions had been fulfilled. They had signed to SST, home to Black Flag and Husker Du. They’d appeared in Byron Coleys ‘Zine Forced Exposure, and toured with Sonic Youth. "I used to see the same thing in Nirvana, after they broke big," reasons Murph. "We’d given so much, played our last game, and didn’t know where to go next."

    The tour to promote the album was disastrous, trashing the fragile ceasefire the You’re Living All Over Me sessions has signalled and cutting short the lifespan of the original line-up. The van broke down on the first day, 90 minutes outside Amherst, Murph was feeling "undervalued", and talked about punching Mascis. SST hadn’t distributed the album to stores yet, so shows were sparsely attended. Their personal habits began to grate intolerably, especially Barlow’s oral fixation. When he began sucking on the eyeball of Mascis’s Cookie Monster dooll, something shapped.

    "We were the first Sesame Streeet generation, and J took genuine offence at Lou licking the eyballs of this childhood relic," observes jon Fetler an english graduate who mixed roadie duties with those of an unofficial group therapist. The services of the latter would be called upon when the van broke down again in Idaho, enforcing a four-day-lockdown in a cramped hotel room. "We had too much time on our hands, which I spent picking Lou’s life aprt," remembers Mascis. "I think we pushed Lou over the edge.:

    It was Murph who broke, however. "Murph was the body of that band, he felt the pain on a more fundamental level," says Tepler. "We were argying over who got to sleep on the floor. Murph finally broke down and trahsed the room, chucking things about, lamps, chairs. After Idaho, there was a definite realisation that this couldn’t continue any longer. After the boil, you get the cool and that’s what you can hear on Bug. The intensitiy has totally diminished"

    Mascis recorded the original line-ups final album mostly on his own with engineers Paul Q Kolderie and Sean Slade (who would later work with Radiohead, Undle Tupelo and most of Boston’s indie-rock scene): Murph and Lou were in the studio for three days, recording their tracks and then leaving. Serious new rifts had developed with this already fractured unit. "The lyrics, the title, all spelt out that J was unhappy." Barlow says. "There was a Bug in the ointment, and the ‘bug’ was me."

    In addition to discovering drugs, Barlow had got himself a girlfriend, Kathleen Billus, whom he moved in with. "I finally had someone to listen to me talk," remembers Barlow. "I was happy to have an emotional life outside of the band. Being around J was like living in a gulag. At no point would anyone get excited about anything, and I decided I needed that in my life."

    Barlow had also now found an artisitic outlet outside the band, via his home recorded music, later released under the Sebadoh, Sentridoh and Folk Implosion monikers. "I felt the music of the underground had become one-dimensionsal, noisy, and I wanted to fashion my own response to that. I knew I was on the right track,when people said I was a ‘pussy’ for playing an acoustic guitar. I’d found my new passion: quiet was the new loud."

    "He did a 180 turn when he met Kathleen," winces Mascis. "He began talking all the time. I decided I preferred him better when he didn’t talk at all. His priorities shifted, treating the band like a job."

    Mascis isn’t a fan of Bug. "I interviewed Ozzy Osbourne once, and he said he hated Sabotage, that it just reminded him of Sabbath recording with lawyers sitting in the studio. I guess I feel the same way about Bug." Freak Scene, a song of relationship confusions, ignited by J crunching hard on his Super-Fuzz, was a semi-hit single, and the band toured Europe alongside Sonic Youth, Rapeman and Band of Susans. The UK music press read the band’s social catanoia as middle-class American apathy (the slacker paradign was born) but the audiences responded to the lacerating decibellage with glee.

    John Robb, frontman for the Blackpool punk legends The Membranes, helped organise the Uk tour, and let the band crash at his flast in Manchester, where they filmed a promo for Freak Scene. "J just sat on the settee for three days, Lou spent hours on the phone arguing with his girlfriend," remembers Robb. "So Murph and I would go round the corner to my mates Keith’s house, which was always a 24-hour party. The one thing J would talk about was Oi! music. It was weird to meet a guy who looked like Tiny Tim, but knew all the words to Discharge Songs,"

    Compared to YLAOM, Bug was unadventurous, though it later came to define America’s burgeoning indie rock-sound. Mascis padded out the slender album, closing it with Don’t, a self confessed filler with Barlow bellowing "Why Don’t you like me?" over a mordant swamp riff. Barlow exited the session coughing up blood. A tour followed, dogged by Barlow’s withdrawal, the psychic warfare becoming untenable. "I recently found letters I’d written my wife on that tour" says Barlow, "I hated them! I channeled all my ambivalence info "Fuck J, Fuck this lazy-assed band.’ We setteled into playing routine shows."

    part 3 tomorrow…



    Thanks for posting this! I almost bought the magazine but it’s like $12. I was just planning on going into Borders one day and reading the whole thing but now I don’t have to!



    Thanks for posting that too! :D



    This is really fascinating stuff… can’t wait till tomorrow :!:



    very cool read! thanks a lot for making this available, Coma Girl!



    yeah but your missing out on all the cool pics. isnt 7 bucks (12?) worth seeing some dinosaur pics you havent seen? it was for me. :D

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