Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fuckin' Genius

I wonder when J Mascis and his bandmates came up with their band name, they'd realize the irony of it 20-some years later. I wonder if they thought about it when they reformed 16 years after releasing their last album. Probably not. Despite his sad sack image, J Mascis doesn't strike me as the introspective type or one who relishes ironies. He just wants to thrash his ax. That's fine by me.

Band reunions usually are a bad idea, unless you look at it from the economic perspective of the band. Dinosaur Jr proves to be the exception. This reunited power trio have released the two best albums of the noughties, certainly the two best rock albums of the noughties. Listening to the first of the two, Beyond, reminded me of the pure visceral power of rock music. We seem to be in a baroque state of popular music, with prog and other cerebral genres back in vogue. No one seems to be making stupid rock music anymore. Not that Dinosaur Jr are stupid. They're inspired in a way. What separates Dinosaur Jr from other good bands is J Mascis' soaring guitar solos, which belie his lovable loser's voice. Mascis reminds me of Art Pepper in this way. They're both sad miscast geniuses of their instruments. Neither men are particularly articulate in person. But when they play, it seems they become conduits for some celestial voice. I imagine this is personal to a certain extent. You can judge for yourself.

The vinyl pressing of Beyond only has eight tracks, compared to the CD, which has twelve. The vinyl record comes with a 7-inch "single" that has the four extra tracks found on the CD. The 8-track album is just that, an album. I can't imagine anything following the eighth track, "We're Not Alone". I haven't listened to the four bonus songs yet. Someday.

No comments:

Post a Comment