Posts Tagged ‘dinosaur jr’

Ever since the original Dinosaur Jr line-up reunited in the mid 2000s, they’ve been even more prolific than they were the first time around, and they continue to be consistently great, reliable lifers. You always kind of know what to expect from a new Dinosaur Jr album, and they always deliver quality stuff, “Sweep It Into Space” being no exception. There are a few unexpected moments to keep things fresh (plus production and musical contributions from Kurt Vile), but mostly it’s the Dinosaur Jr you know and love.

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Released April 23rd, 2021

May be art

Dinosaur Jr. offered another preview of the band’s upcoming album “Sweep It Into Space” with the new single, “Take It Back”. “Sweep It Into Space” is out on Friday via Jagjaguwar Records.

Following the release of the Lou Barlow-penned “Garden“, this latest single finds singer/guitarist J Mascis back at the helm. While the song opens with bright sonic tones compared to “Keith Richards’ Jamaican explorations” in a press release, these quickly give way to a more conventional Dinosaur Jr. tone. What could be construed as a catchy, radio-friendly hook gets ruffed up just the right amount by J’s raspy delivery to give “I Ran Away” a comfortable edge of grit. Meanwhile, the stop-motion animated video by director Callum Scott-Dyson makes some of the lyrics’ straightforward messaging a bit more ambiguous and abstract.

“[I] really wanted to use the creature on the front of the album sleeve for Sweep It Into Space as an inspiration and springboard for its own little adventure, exploring some simple notions of creation, dependence, coming of age and searching for another like yourself,” Scott-Dyson said in a press release. “I wanted to mix those themes with my style of stop motion animation, everything being very DIY and handmade, using any materials I could get my hands on to bring the idea to life and give it a surreal and otherworldly feel. I’ve always been a really big fan of Dinosaur Jr, so I was working extra hard to do something that could add to such an awesome track and sit alongside it.”

New Album “Sweep It Into Space” will be out April 23rd! Check out the first song, “I Ran Away,”

“Take It Back” the new song by Dinosaur Jr. from the album ‘Sweep It Into Space’, out April 23rd on Jagjaguwar Records.

dinosaur jr

Dinosaur Jr. have shared a new single and music video, “Garden.” The track was written by co-founder and bassist Lou Barlow, and it marks the second single off their forthcoming record “Sweep It Into Space”. The new video was shot in Western Massachusetts. It was directed by Lou and Adelle Barlow, with John Maloney contributing illustrations and Chloe Hemingway providing animation.

“Everyone seemed to want a disruption in the order of American life, it seemed necessary. Then it happened,” Lou Barlow says of the track. “It began as a bitter lamentation but as I was finishing the lyrics, singing over the instrumental version of the song while driving to J’s through the miles of farmland that separate his studio in Amherst and my home in Greenfield (Massachusetts), I saw a sign on a shed: Back to the Garden. I was looking for a resolution, where do we go when faced with such dramatic confusion? Back to basics, back home, back to the garden.”

The single is a wash of colliding influences as ’60s Brit-pop tones give way to Barlow’s ’00s alt-rock delivery. Aesthetically, a certain attitude of apathy coalesces with the paradoxical image of the band exploring a snow-capped garden in Western Massachusetts. The video also features shots of a scenic bend in the Connecticut River, which Barlow noted isn’t far from the site of the first-ever Dinosaur Jr. music video, “Little Furry Things”. In addition to the live-action shots of the band, the “Garden” video also hosts artwork by the band’s tour manager John Moloney, who routinely sketches caricatures of the band.

Dinosaur Jr.’s new record is due out April. 23rd.

Dinosaur Jr. are returning with a new album: “Sweep It Into Space” is out April 23rd via Jagjaguwar Recordings. Kurt Vile co-produced the album and played 12-string guitar on the new song “I Ran Away,” which is out today.  Here is Sweep It Into Space, the fifth new studio album cut by Dinosaur Jr.. during the 13th year of their rebirth. Originally scheduled for issue in mid 2020, this record’s temporal trajectory was thwarted by the coming of the Plague. But it would take more than a mere Plague to tamp down the exquisite fury of this trio when they are fully dialled-in.

“Sweep It Into Space” follows Dinosaur Jr.’s 2016 record “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not”. They began recording the new one in autumn 2019 at Biquiteen in Amherst, Massachusetts. After the pandemic interrupted recording with Vile, J Mascis “ended up just mimicking a few things [Vile]’d done,” as he said in a press release. “But the recording session was pretty well finished by the time things really hit the fan.”

And Sweep It Into Space is a masterpiece of zoned dialling. Recorded, as usual, at Amherst’s Biquiteen, the sessions for Sweep It Into Space began in the late Autumn of 2019, following a West Coast/ South East tour. The only extra musician used this time with Kurt Vile. Indeed, Sweep It Into Space is a very cool album. As is typical, Lou Barlow writes and sings two of the album’s dozen tunes and Murph’s pure-Flinstonian drumming drives the record like a go cart from Hell. Lou’s songs here are as elegant as always. But there are very few moments where you wouldn’t know you were hearing Dinosaur Jr. in blindfolded needle drop.

“I Ran Away” the new song by Dinosaur Jr. from the album ‘Sweep It Into Space’, out April 23rd on Jagjaguwar Recordings.

A rich modern acoustic album from the main driver behind alternative rock legends SebadohLou Barlow is a terrific singer-songwriter who has been crafting innovative tunes under various guises since the mid-1980s. He has released music with Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Sentridoh, The Folk Implosion as well as under his own name. He is in many ways the poster child for all things “Indie Rock,” even before Guided By Voices became a thing. 

Before I discuss the first time domestic vinyl reissue of Lou’s 2005 album called “EMOH”, lets talk about the notion of the independently made record and whether it could possibly sound genuinely really good, possibly even “demo-worthy.”

One of the hallmarks of modern home digital recording is that it breaks down the economic barriers of the recording studio so most anyone can make music on the go where they live and play. Before the digital revolution, the Tascam Portastudio cassette multi-track recorders in particular opened the flood gates in the early 1980s for affordable independent music making. Remember, Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska was recorded on one of those things! But that was something of an anomaly. Fast forward, last year newcomer Billie Eilish swept the Grammy Awards with her debut album that was essentially recorded in her bedroom! Home recording has clearly come a long way…

For many years, however, there were loads of great but pretty rough sounding “indie” and “LoFi” (aka intentionally low fidelity) albums being released, as young artists learned how to become recording engineers as well as performers. Much good came of this period as artists made albums in unusual environments where natural acoustic reverb laden environments might exists such as kitchens and living rooms and bathrooms. Heck, one of my favourite Guided By Voices tracks (“I’ll Replace You With Machines“) sounds like it was recorded to match the rhythms of a washing machine. 

In a way, this is getting back to the roots of studio recording as pioneered by no less than a Les Paul who made his own home studios in the 1940s and ’50s. Having a studio at home allowed him to innovate new sounds simply by running microphone cables around the house where he needed them. For example on the 1953 song “Walking and Whistling Blues” you can hear the sound of someone walking around the kitchen in rhythm in time for the music (I think it was his wife and performing partner Mary Ford). 

So, back to EMOH, this album is technically Lou Barlow’s first full solo album, released under his own name just before he re-joined Dinosaur Jr.  (so he never really got to promote this album properly). It was recorded across a bunch of different scenarios, from a 16-track recording studio in Nashville to four-track Mini-Disc (!) and elements recorded in his home. In some instances the recordings were started in one location and added to in another so all that contributes to the distinct sound on this record. 

When EMOH  was released in 2005 it was a CD-only release here in the United States. There was a small run of vinyl in the European market but those were next to impossible to find here.

AR-LouBarlowEMOHGatefold450.jpg

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of EMOH — which coincided with the birth of his first child Merge Records has put out a lovely two LP gatefold version of the album for the first time here in the US. It spreads the full album across four sides so there’s plenty of room for the tracks to breathe and it sounds quite wonderful on thick, well pressed, quiet vinyl. 

Largely revolving around Lou’s acoustic guitar sometimes it sounds like a nylon string guitar or even a Ukulele at times  this record has a hushed beauty to it even when it has moments of rocking out. Some of the guitars sound like they are recorded very closely so there is at times a wonderful sense and feel of the wood of the instrument and the strings coming through the speakers. One of the first things you’ll hear on EMOH‘s opening track, “Hold Back The Years” is the sound of the room in which Lou is recording. As you can see from pictures included in the album I suspect that we are hearing the natural sound of the room he was in – a bathroom — a great place for natural reverb which makes for a very interesting production texture. 

 

Lou Barlow’s voice and song writing grabbed me from the get-go when I first saw him on a late night program on MTV — an acoustic set with Husker Du’s Bob Mould. His music won me over that night. I soon thereafter picked up an early album by his group Sebadoh and was absolutely blown away by the song “Soul and Fire” a production which in some ways is a loose template for this album – a raw, emotional tale of a failing love. 

Lou has explained in materials promoting EMOH that it is basically documenting the break up of his first marriage. Accordingly, there is a lot of baring of the soul going on — love and heartbreak, soul and fire. Some of my favourite songs here include the stunning “Mary” which tells the story of Jesus from the perspective of an imagined secret lover.  “Confused” is another great tune which (to my ear) channels at points no less than classic 1972-73 Grateful Dead sounds, mining similar spaces to their classics “Wharf Rat” and “Dark Star”

 

“Round & Round” has such a strong chorus hook, in a different production it might have been a pop hit but here its a sparse, airy acoustic guitar and piano arrangement that is powerful.

EMOH  is a wonderful record and you should check it out.  It’s a rich, round and rewarding as the new vinyl edition. 

Now I hope that Lou can get his fantastic Folk Implosion album “One Part Lullaby” issued on vinyl., 

Recorded at Stockholm’s legendary Vattenfestival, or Water Festival, during a European tour, ‘Swedish Fist’ captures Dinosaur Jr on ear-bleeding form, months before the group disbanded and undertook an eight year hiatus.

Performing material from across their career, including the classic ‘Freakscene’ and long-term live favourite ‘Sludgefeast’, this is a group doing what they do best – playing loud and hard in front of an enthusiastic audience.“Swedish Fist” will be available exclusively on Record Store Day 2020 and pressed in limited quantities on marbled chocolate coloured vinyl.

Today would have been Record Store Day, and though the event has been postponed and stores are not open you can still visit many of your favorite indie stores and support them online! When the rescheduled Record Store Day does come around, look for “Swedish Fist” from Dinosaur Jr. and Cherry Red Records,

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Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

Sure, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis isn’t reinventing the wheel with this latest release, but that’s because he invented the wheel. Where was your outrage when Thomas Edison refused to redesign the light bulb? Exactly. This here is the title track off his latest solo record of the same name, released just last week.

Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J’s own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc)  among others. But the show is mostly J’s and J’s alone.

He laughs when I tell him I’m surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I’d originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I’d play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”

Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze.

J says he’ll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He’ll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he’ll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself – amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I’m so used to playing with stacks. So I’ll stand this time.” I ask if it’s not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it’s weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic. In all things.

There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr’s live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young’s binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse.

Elastic Days (Release Date: November 9th, 2018)

J Mascis - Elastic Days

Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J’s songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool.

Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J’s own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc)  among others. But the show is mostly J’s and J’s alone.

Pre-order the Loser Edition LP on clear with purple swirl-colored vinyl

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Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J’s songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool.

Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J’s own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc)  among others. But the show is mostly J’s .

He laughs when I tell him I’m surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I’d originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I’d play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”

There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr’s live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young’s binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man’s shorthand, but it still rings true.

Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze.

J says he’ll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He’ll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he’ll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself – amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I’m so used to playing with stacks. So I’ll stand this time.” I ask if it’s not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it’s weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic.

Elastic Days (Release Date: November 9th, 2018

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Dinosaur Jr.  have shared a brand-new track titled “Hold Unknown” for Adult Swim’s Singles Program.

The track is the band’s first new music since their critically acclaimed 2016 album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, their 11th studio album. On “Hold Unknown,” frontman J Mascis sings with his typical baritone growl alongside an unfiltered, pedal-to-the-metal sound marked by hurried, melodic guitars and driving percussion.

Artists that have previously contributed to Adult Swim’s Singles Program include Julia Holter, Code Orange, Brian Eno, Kevin Shields, Wavves, Ghostface Killah and more.

UK Tour is just over a month away!
March 21 – SWX Bristol
March 22 – SUB89 : Reading
March 23 – Roundhouse – London
March 24 – The Albert Hall – Manchester
March 26 – Plug – Sheffield
March 27 – Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen- Leeds