Dinosaur Jr, "The Wagon"
Dinosaur Jr, "Turnip Farm"
With all of this talk of Tapes 'n Tapes and Sunset Rubdown and whatnot, it's way past time to talk about one of the godfathers of this scene, Dinosaur Jr. It's also a good precursor to the future selections at Pound for Pound, as I think that I'm going to make a concerted effort to take a look back with the music here. I'm itchin' to get back to Booty Week, as I need Miami bass and ghettotech to reestablish their dominance here. I also want to get into that whole period when music was up in the here, the No Wave, post-punk, electro, hip hop days, end of disco, birth of house, etc.. I keep coming back to that, keep finding inspiration in the 80s, it's time to share my thoughts and the music. Next week, I'm going to focus on artists today who are updating these sounds such Mylo, Tiga, the DFA bols, some snap rap. It's gonna be good, make sure to come back.
Right now, though, the focus is on Dinosaur Jr and their first major label release, Green Mind. This is one of the seminal bands, a key link from post-punk to grunge/alt-rock. I only know this from doing a little research, as I can't say that I was rocking out to this shit when I was a kid. I actually did listen to Green Mind's follow-up, Where You Been At, back then, but I'm not sure that it was able to gain much traction in those Nirvana days. Anyway, the band went through a tumultuous existence, as its original leader Lou Barlow split to form Sebadoh when he felt like things were getting to commerical. These first two major labels see the band moving away from its fuzzy, more experimental independent releases on SST. To put it simply, it went from being Barlow's band to J. Mascis'. This meant a more polished, more riff-y band.
What did I miss by not being up on these guys back in the day? A lot, at least from what I can tell with this album. It's very good, kinda like hearing another sound that everyone's trying to copy and you didn't know it. It's interesting to hear the punk references, as I don't really hear that. It's very guitar centric, as Mascis plays riffs and dominates the band's sound on each track. There's much more of a pop sensibility at work, as there's more attention in writing catchy songs. It makes me really curious to hear the SST-era band, as I feel like that might be more to my liking. Pitchfork takes a look at all three of the band's recently remastered Rhino Records re-released major label albums from Sire Records. Go here to buy Green Mind or any of the band's albums. For more info, Just Like Heaven and Freak Scene seem like the best starting places.
-The good folks at The BM Rant sat down with The Walkmen's bassist Peter Bauer for this two part interview. Great stuff, Matt and Brian taking things to the next level. While you're there, might as well stop and watch some of the cool videos that they have made available. Personal favorite is the one of Secretariat's victory at the Belmont Stakes. I'm not a horse racing fan or a bettor, but I did get to catch one of those ESPN Sports Century jawns a few years ago on Secretariat. For real, your bol was bawling at the end, as the horse got older and passed away. When his owner was talking about how much he was loved, how people came to say goodbye to him, I was 8 years old again, losing my dog. Watching him destroy the competition at the Belmont, the longest of the Triple Crown races, is awe-inspiring. If you don't get goosebumps, you're a communist. Oh wait, I mean, you're a fascist.
-My ankle is feeling better, looking forward to spending some time with MC, that's about it. Sorry for being so lame about shouting out cool events, but I haven't been going on out and haven't been staying up on those things. 51:51 has put together a nice itinerary for all my Philly people this weekend, stick to that plan and you'll be good to go. The rest of y'all are on your own, make sure to enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend.
-Feel free to holler at me on myspace, as my bol BD put that link up for me at the top right. Or just watch this hilarious Daily Show piece on myspace by Demetri Martin.