Posts Tagged ‘Mike Johnson’

The entire sequence of EPs is available as a single cohesive twenty-song anthology. Titled “5EPs”, the collection spans the existential folk of Windows Open sung by Friedman, Douglass’s future soul on Flight Tower, Longstreth’s endless melody on Super João, and the recomposed orchestral glitch that backs Slipp across Earth Crisis. As everyone trades verses on Ring Road, these closing four songs serve as conversations among a group where “every member is talented enough to be the lead” (Time). With three- and four-part harmonies, dual guitar lines, ecstatic hooks and the propulsive drumming of Mike Johnson, the emotional and sonic threads of the previous entries are filtered through classic signatures of full-band Dirty Projectors. As Entertainment Weekly says, “[5EPs] captures a more intangible motif: the celebration of creativity and the fortuitous bonds that form.”

It’s a strange coincidence that Dirty Projectors’ founder and sole core member David Longstreth would switch up his approach in 2020. As a musician and songwriter whose defining modus operandi for the last eighteen years has been that of multi-personnel collaboration (save for 2017’s self-titled, which is the project’s only solo album to date), he found himself increasingly drawn toward changing the band’s sound to one that emphasizes its individual members, rather than the sum of its parts, following the release of 2018’s Lamp Lit Prose

This question of whether “[everyone] could be the lead singer of this band” eventually fermented into the project’s latest release5EPs,wherein Longstreth sat for individual sessions with each of the group’s singing members, working both musically and lyrically to create four-track extended plays that highlight each performer’s abilities. The end result is a varied final effort, one that represents the project’s most diverse offering to date. From the stripped-down acoustics of Maia Friedman’s Windows Open, to the cool electro of Felicia Douglass’ Flight Tower, to the glitching orchestral fanfare of Kristin Slipp’s Earth Crisisthe landscape of 5EPs feels like a decidedly focused experiment in honing the outfit’s scattered, genre-averse sound into concise suites.

Moreover, 5EPs represents, in Longstreth’s view, a novel approach toward song writing, one that involves “trusting where the words fall” and enabling lyrical improvisation that’s porous and non-meticulous—a decisive break from his methods on the last two records.

Documenting a series of slow-motion smiles, spinning heads and splashes of water to the face, “My Possession” marks the sixth official music video Dirty Projectors have shared since the start of this new chapter. They’ve also released a breathtaking short film for Earth Crisis, remixes from Chromeo and Felicia’s father Jimmy “The Senator” Douglass, a timely and tasteful cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation,” and a multitude of live performances ranging from pre-pandemic acoustic jams in Dave’s living room to remotely-recorded productions for Full Frontal with Samantha BeeNPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts and more.

5EPs was produced, mixed and recorded by Dave Longstreth, and lyrics were written in collaboration with the respective band member featured on each installment. While the limited edition, foiled and numbered box set has now sold out, 5EPs is available as a standard black double LP,

Band Members: Mike Johnson (drums), Felicia Douglass (percussion/vocals), Maia Friedman (guitar/vocals) and Kristin Slipp (keyboards, vocals), and David Longstreth (bandleader, guitarist, and lead vocalist).

Dirty Projectors – My Possession (Official Video) Out now on Domino Record Co.

Formed in 1984, Dinosaur Jr carved a singular path through the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s, issuing a number of highly influential albums in the process before finding a home with Sire Records. Cherry Red Records has announced details of an epic Dinosaur Jr. album reissue campaign coming this September: The four Warner period ’90s albums ‘Green Mind’, ‘Where You Been’, ‘Without A Sound’ and ‘Hand It Over’ have been lovingly remastered, expanded and reissued on coloured double vinyl and double CD editions, with related singles, b-sides and previously unreleased material. The entire collection is available now

Dinosaur Jr. consisted of J Mascis on guitar and vocals, Lou Barlow on bass and Murph banging the drums. Their first album came out in 1985 and they had a huge underground hit with the 1988 single Freak Scene. Lou Barlow left shortly afterwards to form the highly regarded Sebadoh,

“Without A Sound”, was their sixth record, emerged in the summer of 1994, in the wake of personal bereavement and the departure of longtime drummer and founder member Murph.

Performed primarily by J Mascis, “Without A Sound” continued the band’s growth in popularity and commercial achievement, reaching #44 in the US (their highest ever album placing there) and featuring the hit singles ‘Feel The Pain’ and ‘I Don’t Think So’. Released to positive reviews, “Without A Sound” also took Dinosaur Jr around the world, including dates in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and into the mainstream as the group contributed ‘Blah’ to the hit US TV show Melrose Place.

Collected together with related B-sides, unreleased mixes and a complete live recording made in London in 1994, and accompanied by in-depth sleevenotes from Mojo’s Keith Cameron (based on recent and exclusive interviews with J Mascis), this edition provides a glimpse of a band at the height of their international appeal and accessibility.

“Hand It Over”, their seventh record, appeared in the spring of 1997 following a lengthy absence, and would prove to be the band’s final album-length offering for a decade.

Performed primarily by J Mascis, “Hand It Over” appeared at a time of declining international interest in American alternative rock, but nevertheless received widespread approval and appreciation amongst critics and reviewers. The album was accompanied, unusually, by an EP of non-album songs recorded for the Matt Dillon movie Grace Of My Heart and, later, a vinyl only ‘I’m Insane’ 7” single, all of which are collected here alongside a previously unreleased concert recording made in Stockholm and two tracks performed for ABC TV in Australia.

Dinosaur Jr carved a singular path through the latter half of the 1980s, issuing three highly influential albums in the process before finding a home with Sire Records, who issued “Green Mind” in 1991 as the alternative American rock scene the band had long been part of exploded globally.

Produced by a stripped down line-up of the group (in fact, J Mascis himself plays almost everything), the album and Sire’s international reach took Dinosaur Jr’s reputation to a new level, aided by the singles ‘The Wagon’ and ‘Whatever’s Cool With Me’, a non-album EP of new material and live recordings, all of which are included here alongside a previously unreleased live recording capturing the group at the Hollywood Palladium in June 1991.

Critically lauded on release, “Green Mind” remains one of the band’s strongest collections, and a firm fan favourite.

‘Where You Been’, their fifth record, emerged in 1993, at the height of enthusiasm for grunge and the alternative American rock scene the band had long been part of.

Produced by a new line-up of the group (longtime drummer Murph and new bassist Mike Johnson completing the three-piece), the album became the band’s most successful up to that point, reaching #50 in the US (where it sold over a quarter of a million copies) and #10 in the UK album charts, and spawning the hit single ‘Start Choppin’.

Released to unanimously positive reviews, and containing many tracks that would become staples and fan favourites, ‘Where You Been’ continued Dinosaur Jr’s global ascent, being issued simultaneously across the US, Europe, Australasia, Asia and South America.

Collected together here on vinyl for the first time with related singles, B-sides and John Peel session recordings,

To celebrate the deluxe reissue campaign of Dinosaur Jr.’s classic Warner Years albums ‘Green Mind’, ‘Where You Been’, ‘Without A Sound’ & ‘Hand It Over’ via Cherry Red Records, singer & guitarist J Mascis spoke to Keith Cameron from MOJO Magazine about recording these much loved albums.

Order the Warner Years albums reissued on deluxe gatefold 2LP & deluxe expanded 2CD editions