The legend that is Neil Blender returns with his art splashed across a new Black Label series of decks this month. Look out for these with Omar Hassan, Matt Hensley, Salman Agah, and Wade Speyer’s custom shapes!
Dinosaur Jr are back with yet another album to amazing collection of work announcing today that they will be unleashing new album ‘I Bet On Sky’ through PIAS on September 17th.
This new body of work is the 3rd album since the original trio of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph reformed in 2005 and marks the band’s 10th studio album since their debut on Homestead Records in 1985.
UK dates will be announced shortly and we do not have any music to share, but for now, the track listing for this new album goes like this:
1. Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know
2. Watch The Corners
3. Almost Fare
4. Stick A Toe In
6. I Know It Oh So Well
7. Pierce The Morning Rain
8. What Was That
10. See It On Your Side
ATP, or All Tomorrow Parties, have a habit in organising the odd good album show. Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power and Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! by Devo stick out in regards to classic albums. Tonight however is the turn of recent gems by the Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr. and Deerhoof.
Opening proceedings are Deerhoof with their 2004 concept album Milk Man. Despite the quartet’s theatrics the San Franciscans are not fully embraced by the sparse Alexandra Palace crowd. It isn’t until Dinosaur Jr.’s indie rock anthem Freak Scene that the crowd finally awaken from their early evening daze. The opening track of the seminal 1988 album Bug is at its roaring best and attracts a humble cheer. The group’s unity and impeccable timing is apparent through They Always Come. J Mascis’ industrious whammy bar work certainly puts the reclusive Guitar Hero player to shame. This paired with Lou Barlow’s resonant bass guitar is evidence that their flaky relationship of the past is surely a distant memory. Oh and the drummer Murph’s not too bad either!
For the rest of the set Ally Pally is treated to Mascis’ acidic whirls of feedback. Onomatopoeic words would do no justice to the sheer volume of sounds the alternative rock veterans can still produce. With the stage emblazed in red light, the final track Don’t concludes the album with distorted screeches and Barlow’s screams of “why don’t you like me”? Ringing in your ears couldn’t be more satisfying!
In typical Flaming Lips fashion frontman Wayne Coyne opens The Soft Bulletin in his trademark crowd surfing friendly human hamster ball. Confetti, balloons, colourful naked women animations, a clip from The Teletubbies, you name it we’ve got it. This introduction’s as emphatic as you can get. Race To The Prize and A Spoonful Weighs A Ton are passionately echoed word by word around the iconic Victorian venue and the semicircular screen’s colourful visuals compliment The Spark That Bled the most.
Despite the charm of Waitin’ For A Superman the level of energy from the dramatic opening gradually diminishes. This is of no fault of the band but more of a criticism of the general format of the album show for this beautifully collaged album. The change in atmosphere undoubtedly has an effect on Coyne who becomes apprehensive before performing Feeling Yourself Disintegrate. He delivers this underrated track with immense feeling and passion. Following the calming instrumental track Sleeping On The Roof Oklahoma’s finest songsmiths return from the encore with the euphoric Do You Realize??. Rapturous, full of beauty, it’s a memorable ending for a memorable band.
Several Shades Of Why
It’s bizarre to think that J Mascis has released his first ever solo album this month but the Dinosaur Jr front man has returned with a wonderful record where for once he has traded the Marshall amps he is so famous for playing through for an acoustic guitar, a tambourine and a few select guests.
‘Several Shades Of Why‘ sees J at his very best singing classic, Mascis folk tunes and lazy, West Coast songs alongside guest appearances from Kurt Vile, Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene, Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses and many others.
On first listen I kind of just dismissed this as another Mascis record as Dinosaur Jr albums of late have not exactly lived up to the likes of Bug and Green Mind, but after spending some time with this the full 10 tracks make for a very impressive (nearly all) acoustic album that follows J’s electric contributions to the latest Dead Confederate and Sweet Apple albums with a mature but magical presence.
The best way of introducing this to you is by watching Sub Pop labelmate Chad VanGaalen‘s amazing video for the track Not Enough as it will definitely take you on a journey that should lead you to discovering a cracking summer chiller.
Dinosaur Jr frontman J Mascis features in this hilarious video this week, filmed inside his home. This is not your usual video interview though as J discusses his life as a songwriter by a woman called Maureen.
Mascis is one of the hardest people in music to interview due to his laid back nature as I discovered over the phone back in July 2005 (click here for the interview) but this one tops anything he has done before in terms of discussing his life.
Look out for his first ever solo album ‘Several Shades of Why‘ coming out on Sub Pop on March 14th as it’s another wonderful side to the man who will go down in history as one of the best guitar widdlers of all time. He will also play an exclusive acoustic show at Cargo, London, on 14th April.