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    AGAP
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    lasvegassun.com

    Once-bitter Dinosaur Jr. returns from extinction

    Spencer Patterson covers music for the Sun. [email protected]

    •••
    For more than a decade, the odds of the original Dinosaur Jr. reuniting seemed about as good as the chances of real dinosaurs walking the earth again.

    After all, we’re talking about a dissolution so bitter that it inspired one ex-member to write a series of songs bashing a former bandmate.

    But in April vocalist/guitarist J Mascis, bassist/vocalist Lou Barlow and drummer Emmett Jefferson "Murph" Murphy III shockingly re-formed, and the three have managed to stay on speaking terms and on the road together since.

    "We’ve all done enough stuff since Dino that I think it’s the old cliche of time heals all wounds," Murph said in a phone interview from a hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. "It was enough time that we could get over our differences."

    The reunion of Mascis and Barlow is particularly surprising, considering Mascis booted Barlow from the band in 1989. That move prompted Barlow’s angry retaliation via several tracks with his lo-fi outfit, Sebadoh, including one entitled "The Freed Pig."

    "I was surprised that Lou and J would work together again," Murph said. "The early days were totally horrible, totally negative and really volatile. And they have the singer-songwriter creative differences, which makes things even weirder. When you add that into the mix it’s really hard."

    Fortunately for local fans of the influential indie-rock trio, Dinosaur Jr. has stayed intact long enough to reach Las Vegas, where the band kicks off an eight-date West Coast swing at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on Saturday night.

    Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 18-and-over show, with alaska! and the Omens pencilled in as support acts. Tickets cost $22 to $30.

    From 1983 to 1989, the founding Dinosaur Jr. lineup along with fellow Massachusetts-based outfit the Pixies headed a movement of noisy, guitar-driven rockers that laid down the sludgy blueprint for 1990s grunge.

    Murph remained in the band for four years after Barlow’s exit, then Mascis soldiered on under the Dinosaur Jr. name until 1997, when he released the last album under that moniker.

    Murph joined the Lemonheads for a time. Mascis moved from project to project, most recently J Mascis & The Fog. And Barlow became a lo-fi legend, releasing a stream of indie-rock favorites with Sebadoh, Sentridoh, the Folk Implosion and under his own name.

    The healing process for the three men began in 2003, when Barlow joined Mascis’ Stooges cover band briefly during a live appearance. Last year the two teamed again at a benefit concert, at the behest of Barlow’s mother.

    Then, around the time Mascis got to work on remastered versions of Dinosaur Jr.’s first three albums — 1985’s "Dinosaur," 1987’s "You’re Living All Over Me" and 1988’s "Bug" — Murph received the call he thought would never come.

    "I was at my mother’s house around Christmas time and J’s manager tracked me down," the 40-year-old Murph said. "I was like, ‘Wow … OK.’ So it just started from there, and once it started we kind of opened the doors of communication and started calling each other again."

    The trio returned to the stage at an April gig in Los Angeles, and have been on tour ever since, hitting Europe, the East Coast, Japan and Europe again before returning to the U.S. this week. Another European jaunt looms later this month.

    For his part, Murph is having a blast playing songs he hasn’t performed in 12 years.

    "I think we feel like the live shows are really good. I’m really into J’s guitar playing now, and Lou’s bass playing," he said. "In the old days it was more of a struggle. There was just so much going on, it was hard to really enjoy what we were doing.

    "If anything, I think we’re a lot more powerful. We’re definitely louder now than we were back then."

    As for whether Dinosaur Jr.’s unexpected second coming will last beyond September, or whether the trio will record again, Murph isn’t predicting anything. He learned better long ago.

    "We’re just seeing it as now through the summer and then we’ll see what happens," he said. "We really haven’t planned anything. We’re gonna need a rest after this because it’s been so many dates and so many shows in a short period of time. Then we’ll sit back and reflect and see what happens."

    #112036
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    Annastefka
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    "Coma Girl " wrote:

    "I think we feel like the live shows are really good. I’m really into J’s guitar playing now, and Lou’s bass playing," he said. "In the old days it was more of a struggle. There was just so much going on, it was hard to really enjoy what we were doing.

    I can’t wait for my children to grow up and hopefully feel the same way about each other. They are in a really terrible cycle of "bad circulation" as the Chinese call it, and they are feeding on the negative energy now with lots of arguments, tattleling, slammed doors and pushing.
    The two girls are so mean to their brother, watching and saying things about what he eats, how he sits, even the way he breaths "bothers" them. "geez" thanks for the keeping the interviews coming although they really are covering the same old ground but thats alright.

    #112037
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    fata morgana
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    Is anyone ready to barf yet? :P

    #112038
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    tom_in_chicago
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    man, all these "journalists" are so incredibly f-ing lazy. J’s PR firm may as well just fax them the article as they are all exactly the same !

    Ugh.

    #112039
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    billdo
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    well…

    I am a liitle edgy on writing anything here.I am very much looking forward to the show at the GROVE in Anaheim(anaslime as locals call it).I did get to check out J. and the fog awhile back at the House Of Blues in the same city but in the Tragic Kingdom,as well as a short set at the ALL Tomorrow’s Parties show in the LBC.These are generally not places to see,or rather HEAR anything of any quality such as this.I am a bit nervous as well.These cats are living legends.

    Yes,there maybe musical differences between them,but I do not know a band that does not have at least a difference in opinion.This can ideed make or break some.Lou has made some incredible music along the way as well and I am sure he would not be able to fullfill that side of his own musical talents had he ended up staying/thrown out whatever may be the cause.Dinosaur Jr. is a heavy topic amoungst my circle of friends and bandmates.Most of them say J. is Big Headed while some of us say he is just a laid back stoner attitude type of guy(with a short memory..especially at 2 in the afternoon when asked ?’s at a local record store session).
    My belief is there is more than likely due cause for all of this.I have a hunch that if SST treated people with more respect,as an artist,there would not have been so much tension…sure life is filled with personality clashes,it does not help when the man pushing the buttons..in this case Mr. Ginn..does not give you props,then anger will ensue. >:(

    I really do not know too much of the true background here with the band and SST other than if it is anything like the Minutemen’s BEST OF..There has been trouble.No living memeber of that band had anything to do with it,nor do they get any money from the release that SST owns the rights to all of it.Jello Biafra owns Alternative Tentacles but is still paying his old bandmates for his blunders.I am sure J. feels a sense of relief now that at least he has the first 3 releases in his hands.
    Maybe now justice will be served???

    I can’t wait
    Alaska is a cool band too.
    and Drunk Horse
    I am sure if J. were the jerk that some say.he would not let Lou bring in some friends to play some gigs.

    One thing I know for sure…
    IT WILL BE A " EAR BLEEDING COUNTRY"

    the post
    stay tuned for review and setlist unless someone beats me to that one.

    #112040
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    King Tubby
    Participant
    "billdo " wrote:
    well…

    I really do not know too much of the true background here with the band and SST other than if it is anything like the Minutemen’s BEST OF..There has been trouble.No living memeber of that band had anything to do with it,nor do they get any money from the release that SST owns the rights to all of it.Jello Biafra owns Alternative Tentacles but is still paying his old bandmates for his blunders.I am sure J. feels a sense of relief now that at least he has the first 3 releases in his hands.
    Maybe now justice will be served???

    This is slightly off-topic, but the Huskers have it even worse. They allowed Ginn to put their royalties back into the label so their records could stay in print (!!!!), with a gentlemen’s agreement that they’d eventually be paid back the money they made as SST’s biggest-selling band by far. They haven’t seen a dime, and at this point they’re probably owed over a half-million dollars. Ginn’s a great, unique guitarist and ran the coolest American label of the ’80s, but what a friggin’ dirtbag.

    Enjoy the show — I’m still basking in the afterglow of the ones I saw nearly two months ago.

    #112041
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    fata morgana
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    "arleach " wrote:
    man, all these "journalists" are so incredibly f-ing lazy. J’s PR firm may as well just fax them the article as they are all exactly the same !

    Ugh.

    I know, although some are funny and each one divulges a little more information each time that wasn’t known before. Some are too proper. But I thought about something last night.
    Maybe a title: Chanting Their Mantras–Dinosaur Jr.

    #112042
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    AGAP
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    "arleach " wrote:
    man, all these "journalists" are so incredibly f-ing lazy. J’s PR firm may as well just fax them the article as they are all exactly the same !

    Ugh.

    We’d definitely get some more interesting information if the pr firm faxed it out, the local papers seem to be content asking the same questions, I swear they all have a blueprint they work from. But every article has at least one interesting bit of info for the geeks out there, hopefully more indepth stuff comes out, although I kinda doubt it. I’m getting a kick out of how many use the whole extinction deal in their titles…YIKES ??? :o ;D

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