J Mascis is a badass
So I went and saw Dinosaur Jr. a couple nights ago. Holy moly is J Mascis ever a badass.
I first saw Dinosaur way back in ’86 (they were still just “Dinosaur” back then) and was blown away by these three shlubs from Massachusetts. I had never seen a group stitch together the abandon of Crazy Horse-style hippieisms with the urgency of the then-new American Alternative scene this way. Jane’s Addiction were kinda doing this back then, but they were much more metal.
Dinosaur filled the tiny stage with twin Marshall stacks and actually used them. These weren’t props like the metal guys on the Sunset Strip had. Mascis used his Marshalls to bludgeon through sheer volume. It was glorious and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Happily, I can report that the intervening 31 years hasn’t dulled Mascis’s attack in any way. If anything, he’s even more punishing and fuzz-drenched than he was back in the day. He’s indie rock’s Jimi Hendrix and one of the most idiosyncratic musicians of the last few decades.
I had no intention of posting anything about this show, but today I stumbled upon this video from the good folks at Premier Guitar and had to share it. It’s 40+ minutes of J Mascis and Lou Barlow showing off their elaborate and very old-school rigs. J’s famously deadpan nature makes this video as hilarious as it is informative. If you’re as obsessed with the minutiae of rock ‘n’ roll as I am, you’re gonna love this.