CONCERT ALERT: DINO JR. @ PARADISE


On Wednesday June 21, Dinosaur Jr. will be playing at the Paradise Rock Club with special guests OFF! and Henry Rollins (as interviewer). The theme of the show will be them playing Bug, their 1988 LP of which I had zero knowledge of before finding out about it now. I’m down for Dino Jr. once again, having seen them on a bill with Built to Spill and the Meat Puppets a few years back at the Orpheum Theatre. Now if I’m going to make a wild guess, it would be that this thing is going to sell out fast. Ticks on sale this Friday at NOON. It is $33, making it approximately one of the most expensive Dise shows ever.

Classic DVD Review: Dinosaur Jr Live in the Middle East

Full Title: Dinosaur Jr: Live in the Middle East
Director: Philipp Virus
Artists: Dinosaur Jr: J Mascis- Vocals, Guitar. Lou Barlow- Vocals, Bass. Murph- Drums
Year: Filmed in 2005, released in 2006
Set List:
1) Gargoyle
2) Kracked
3) Bulbs of Passion
4) Little Furry Things
5) Lose
6) Forget the Swan
7) The Post
8) Budge
9) The Lung
10) The Wagon
11) Raisans
12) Sludgefeast
13) Mountain Man
14) Chunks
15) In a Jar
16) Repulsion
17) Just Like Heaven

Comments: I’ve seen Dinosaur Jr live and without a doubt they are a tour de force, one of the most powerful live bands in the world. This concert in particular is special for two reasons: 1) It was not too long after their reunion, sixteen years after the demise of the original line up. 2) This concert is shot at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA (for the most part) the home state of Dinosaur. The venue is a small, comfy place and gives the band/DVD a certain character. It makes the performance feel homey and intimate. Typically, most Concert DVDs you see feel the total opposite. Since, the Middle East is my favorite venue, I also felt a greater connection and it seemed like Dinosaur was right at home. Overall, I enjoyed the performance and the band were incredible as usual, playing mostly 80s, You’re Living All Over Me (1987) material, which naturally added its own vibes and made the concert/DVD feel all the more like the good old times of the original Dinosaur years. With that being said, the band really carries this DVD. In other words, the DVD offers very little beyond filming the band and a few crowd shots, not much more. It is akin to a youtube video and for me this is surely not enough. In terms of bonus features, we have some treats: interviews with Thurston Moore, Kim Gordan, Steve Albini, Mike Watt, Mat Dillon, and others. They provide great insight and clear appreaciaton for the group. Here, we also see the lack of dedication for this DVD, for the footage itself is given little treatment and poor audio/lightning, but once again the content saves the viewer from running away. We also see a few performances from the band and a radio station performance/interview, which are decent.

Grade: 7/10- Great band, great show, but not a great DVD per se. Still if you’re a big fan I’d recommend it, I will watch it and enjoy it over and over again, because I’m just one of those kinda guys.

Classic Review: You’re Living All Over Me [1987]

Band: Dinosaur Jr.
Label: SST

1. “Little Fury Things” – (A+)A long-time favorite, I love the smothering of distortion and pop at the beginning of the tune. Of course, the rest of the tune is just as amazing; the solo toward the middle really stands out.

2. “Kracked” – (A-)Interesting solos, but rather dull verses. I do like the proto-grunge chorus.

3. “Sludgefeast” – (B+)Another heavy battering of noise! Of course, a little teaser of a slowdown leads to an even more massive outbreak of…sludge. Mascis’ vocals fit snug on here.

4. “The Lung” – (B+)A tiny bit toned down from the two tracks before it, this is a more relaxed interpretation of distortion.

5. “Raisans” – (A-)Unfortunately not really note-worthy, but it’s still quite listenable. The final long shred is impressive. The best of its kind on here so far, I’d wager.

6. “Tarpit” – (A)Would probably work best as an album closer because it’s just that great and has that whirlpool of noise that gives me a sense of closure.

7. “In a Jar” – (A-)Reminiscent of Pavement in its clean, yet lo-fi waysat least at first.

8. “Lose” – (B+)A little bit of a hassle to appreciate, but Barlow meant well.

9. “Poledo” – (C-)An unnecessary “sound collage” as Wikipedia dubs it. Really not necessary. For throw-aways in the grand scheme of throw-aways, I guess this isn’t terrible.

10. “Show Me the Way” – (A+)Awesome! An instant favorite!

GRADE: A-/B+

Classic Album Review: III

Artist: Sebadoh
Full Title: III
Year: 1991
Label: Homestead
Grade: A-
Tracks:
1) The Freed Pig- 9
2) Sickles and Hammers (Minutemen)- 7
3) Total Peace- 8/9
4) Violet Execution- 9
5) Scars, Four Eyes- 9
6) Truly Great Thing- 10, Best Sebadoh Track, Hands Down!
7) Kath- 8
8) Perverted World- 8/9
9) Wonderful, Wonderful- 8
10) Limb By Limb- 8
11) Smoke A Bowl- 7/8
12) Black-Haired Gurl- 9
13) Hoppin Up and Down- 8
14) Supernatural Force- 8
15) Rockstar- 9
16) Downmind- 7
17) Renaissance Man- 8
18) God Told Me- 8
19) Holy Picture- 8
20) Hassle- 8
21) No Different- 8
22) Spoiled- 10
23) As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger- 9

Comments: This album is the definition of Lo-Fi! This is just about as low as it gets. We hear very raw recordings of what some slick shit would masacre into a clean, traditional pop song. Not Sebadoh! This enormously influential group/album unleash a lengthy LP of noisy, loud, quiet, and everything in between sounding numbers. Singer/Guitarist, Lou Barlow (formerly, at the time, now presently, of Dinosaur Jr) and crew utilized a Portastudio cassette tape recorder to achieve this distinct, lo-fi sound and it absolutely gives the album a certain feel/vibe. I’ll admit, this is the kind of record, you don’t listen to track by track over an over again, but there is much to be appreciated here. With that being said, there are many notable tracks. From the get go, “The Freed Pig,” is rather catchy and serves as a memorable opener. “Violet Execution,” “Scars, Four Eye,” and others continue in this fashion. Then, you have your bizzarre, quiet, incredibly lo-fi tunes in “Total Peace,” “Kath,” “Smoke A Bowl,” and several others. Lastly, there’s the “low pop” songs, as I have dubbed them lol. Two strongly stand out and thefore I have granted them the highest of scores, with a 10. First, we have “Truly Great Thing.” One of the most passionate, yet simple songs I have ever heard. First thing that came to my noggin, THIS IS A FUCKING ELLIOT SMITH SONG! Seriously, this sounds just like ES. Being a fan of him, this works very well. You could say, it is a truly great thing ;) Secondly, we have the classic, “Spoiled,” as seen/heard in Larry Clark’s disturbing film, Kids. If I was asked to point to the best example of Sebadoh’s lo-fi style, I would have to place the Burger King hat on “Spoiled”‘s little dome. The final track, “As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger,” showcases Barlow’s wide vocal range: from line to line he SCREAMS and then softly sings, back and forth. It’s also a very humorous ditty, my favorite line is, “EVEN MY GRANDMOTHER LOVES TO GET HIGH!” He shouts this with all his might. Overall, some songs are better than others, but it is worthy of at least one listen and has become a respectable addition to my record collection.

Chris

Cole Alexander on Playboy

Cole Alexander of The Black Lips playing acoustic guitar on the same website where naked playmates and cybergirls frolic?

Apparently, it’s very, very true, and it will indeed occur in the not so distant future! Playboy.com launched its ”Uncovered” video series today where guest artists perform cover songs from bands that influenced them. The series, exclusively created for Playboy.com, will show fresh videos on the second Tuesday of each month for 10 consecutive months. Confirmed artists thus far include The Black Lips, Dinosaur Jr., The Dears, Drive-By Truckers, A Camp (Nina Persson of The Cardigans) and Phosphorescent.

The complete lineup—with four additional artists—will be available on Playboy.com August 1. – BlackBookMag.com

Haha this is going to be awesome.

CD Review: Farm (Dinosaur Jr)

Band: Dinosaur Jr.
Album: Farm
Release: June 23, 2009

1. “Pieces” – [8.8]
2. “I Want You to Know” – [9.3]
3. “Ocean in the Way” – [8.9]
4. “Plans” – [9.2]
5. “Your Weather” – [7.7]
6. “Over It” – [8.5]
7. “Friends” – [8.4]
8. “Said the People” – [7.9]
9. “There’s No Here” – [8.6]
10. “See You” – [9.0]
11. “I Don’t Wanna Go There” – [8.5]
12. “Imagination Blind” – [8.2]

Final Grade: 8.6