Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions Spin Interview: DINOSAUR JR.: REDISCOVERING THE GNARL

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  • #51876
    jeremiah
    jeremiah
    Keymaster

    http://www.spin.com/articles/dinosaur-jr-rediscovering-the-gnarl

    gotta love the opener šŸ™‚

    He found it. Flat on his belly, his tiny feet fluttering beneath the couch in his father’s skylit home studio, Rory Mascis, four years old and three feet tall, is stretching to retrieve a miniature guitar. “Do you want to hear some songs?” he asks, his long brown hair alive with static as he stands. “Lou and I are going to play some songs.”

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    #139595
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    King Tubby
    Participant

    That’s one of the very best — maybe the best — article on the band I’ve read.

    #139596
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    Annastefka
    Participant

    Hey Robert I saw your question this morning but didn’t have time to answer it then….I am so all about poop songs. Pooping is an awesome thing…it’s something we all share in common, so you could say it bonds humanity together. I’ve said it before…but pooping can be the best part of the day for a busy mom…so quiet, so peaceful..(please Alvaro, let Mommy poop in peace, I sometimes have to say but for the most part everybody knows how I feel) Pooping is kind of like a gift from God.

    As far as Buddha in the house…so funny…I thought the house you were talking about was the “Variety Playhouse” the other night. (I had not read the article at that point)….and I was thinking…how very psychic of you Robert….because I’ve been doing the Buddha (my slang for herb) like a shetland pony. . . . which is Mississippi talk for keeping it on the “down low”, which is American English talk for “keeping hush hush”…which is another way of saying “I’m not saying a thing”. (which is a total lie)
    Robert, te adoro you, my little Scandinavian breeze, Happy Birthday, for a few hours from now, it shall be, the day that the Sun shares the same degree, as it did on the very day you made,…………… your re-entry (lol, that’s buddha talk baby) .

    #139597
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    maxini
    Participant

    Cool read, Rory seems like a fun kid šŸ™‚
    (This also begins to explain why uncle Lou thanks Rory for being Rory on the album)

    #139598
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    tonas
    Moderator

    Diarrhea doctor… Put your butt in my faaaaaaaaaace.

    It makes you crazy it’s so good.

    Fucking classic! Too funny!

    #139599
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    Obseqio
    Participant

    Again, I’m lovin’ Murph’s details. “Having fun? this was never fun…” It’s cool to hear these guys tell their stories and we can see how it wasn’t easy being in a band with J. Also, though its been told before, J’s weird personality as a teenager becomes clearer the more you hear about it.

    I see a bit of myself in each guy. I’m an extrovert like Murph, but insecure like Lou and J. Maybe that’s why I like these guys so much. In the end J will end up seeing these guys as his brothers/ I’m sure he does now, but why would he want to admit that. It’s the Han Solo in J…

    #139600
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    Hybridge
    Participant

    I also thought it was a fantastic article, really intelligent in style and content, lots of great writing. I had to look up two words in the dictionary.

    @King Tubby, I’d say it was the best piece I’ve read on Dinosaur Jr as well, though I think its focus on their past interpersonal issues was unnecessary. I don’t want to read about it. J, Lou, and Murph aren’t the only bandmates who’ve quarreled; infighting seems more the norm than the exception among bands, especially among extreme talents. What does it have to do with the music, especially at this point?

    I liked the use of comments/anecdotes from Will Oldham, Kevin Shields, etc., made it a bit of an oral history as well as a current snapshot. Weird that Violet Clark is mentioned at the end; she used to be my neighbor as well.

    Overall, this Spin article is about the most respectful, thoughtful, and appreciative piece on the band ever, a great read. Dinosaur Jr gets a killer writeup in a major music magazine on the heels of releasing a great album, right on for them.

    #139601
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    Annastefka
    Participant

    I like how you get a snapshot into the mind of a late June/July personality (Cancer in astrology)…they really are hands on parents and good at it…Lou mentions to do the introduction “just like I taught you/or showed you” (too busy to go back and read it) but you get an idea of how good they are with kids. When I need someone to watch my kids, I ring up my Cancer peeps first…then I know they will be watched over and well cared for. I’m never want to get so old that “butt songs” aren’t funny….and the line, “it’s so good it makes you crazy”….OMG, best line ever about the creative process and I still feel that way about certain songs.

    #139602
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    marcoco
    Participant

    What a great article. Best interview of the band I’ve ever read, much more insightful. I wish it could have been longer! I get how some are tired of dwelling on the band’s past infighting, but I think that their past issues just show how incredible and how fortunate it is that they’re making such great music 20 years later. I think their idiosyncrasies and how they’ve made it work is fascinating.
    I liked Lou’s assessment: ‘”I think the thing that brought me back to J was the idea that it’s all fucked up. People are fucked up.” He shakes his head. “If you have musical chemistry, it’s over. That’s it. If you can arrive on a common goal and focus on a song, that’s a miracle.”‘ We’re all glad they did.

    #139603
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    Hybridge
    Participant

    Right on, marcoco, I agree.

    I realize the personal conflicts are part of the story and of some interest somehow, but the topic has been flogged so many times in so many articles, it just doesn’t seem a necessary angle at this point.

    This was such an artful piece, so well written and well constructed, it’s just regrettable that the author went there. David Bevan did detail their conflicts with greater sensitivity and insight than any other piece on the band, but still, not something I’m real interested in reading about.

    Are their personal quarrels and differences what define them as a band?

    Is it what makes them a great band?

    Or are they just a great band?

    Is there something interesting about intense music coming out of intense conflict, yeah, okay, sure. Next.

    Every article and book about Dinosaur Jr goes into such depth about the tensions between Lou and J, the breakup, the animosity, but who cares about that past personal stuff when the music is so amazing right now. Stop programming people to care about that crap, is all I’m saying.

    It’s like reading Walden in an English class and instead of talking about the ideas and perspective of the book, everyone starts in with:

    “Why’d he hate people so much.”

    “I heard Thoreau was gay.”

    “He was living on Emerson’s land. He couldn’t have done it without sponging off other people. Therefore, his ideas are invalid.”

    “I read that he used to go hang out at the Concord pub; he didn’t live out in the woods the whole time.”

    This is all petty distraction from what Thoreau created, from his art, from what he was saying. Let’s look at what he did do, like write these amazing extended metaphors that spiral out for miles and are developed like a musical theme, culminating with an explosion of truth in the reader’s mind. Like his trying to wake up a slumbering humanity. His ability to see, to pay attention, and to have an independent viewpoint. His development of the concept of forest succession. His respect for doing nothing, his love of nature. His work to end slavery. His ability to incorporate Eastern thought into the Western tradition of literature. There’s so much that he did do, so brilliantly and uniquely well, but people focus on the trivial stuff.

    No attention to the gesture of reaching out with his perspective, of holding out a hand to humanity at all.

    Journalists and writers do the same thing with Stanley Kubrick. “He was afraid to fly.” “He wore a motorcycle helmet when he drove his car.” “He was an asshole.” “He was a misanthrope.” “Did you see how he talked to Shelley Duvall?”

    There’s a shallow side of the pool and a deep side of the pool. The author of the Spin article does a full gainer into the deep end, but then swam over to the shallow end and flopped around for a while. ‘S okay. First place anyway.

    Clearly there’s melancholy, discouragement, loneliness, conflict, etc. in Dinosaur Jr’s lyrics/music but there’s also the gesture of putting it out there, of working in a group context, extending the self towards others, of creating something huge and ultimately uplifting for humanity, converting that pain and awareness to something real and heavy through sheer talent, will, and discipline. They’re making art, and doing so collaboratively, which is fraught with difficulty even among easygoing types, and then you have one person asserting control because they have a vision and a plan, so yes, there’s some conflict. Next topic.

    What else could be discussed? Just about anything would be more interesting than the infighting, is all I’m saying.

    Still and all, an awesome piece. Thanks for posting it, Jeremiah!

    #139604
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    marcoco
    Participant

    Those are excellent points, and eloquently stated, Hybridge. I agree with you. I felt that it really became more of a page-turner toward the end (more on the here and now), insight by J into his frame of mind at points in his life, just interesting (for me as a parent) to hear about J and Lou and their kids, families, and making it all work out. This article needs a part two!

    #139605
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    tom
    Participant

    Reading about Lou and Rory was awesome.

    #139606
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    empire3
    Moderator

    That was the best article I’ve read….. Didn’t know Dino were dropped after hand it over ( or I forgot ) learn something new everyday !

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