There’s nothing better than discovering a one off collaboration between your heroes, and today see’s Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and ex-Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon joining forces on a fuzzed out new track called ‘Slow Boy’.
The track’s taken from the upcoming third volume of Converse’s CONS EP Series, which has previously seen collaborations from Trash Talk, The Dillinger Escape Plan, BadBadNotGood and many more. Stream ‘Slow Boy’ below and check out the full EP series here.
Some were shocked when J Mascis used a synth on the opener to recent Dinosaur Jr album I Bet On Sky. Some were more surprised that the man behind the ear-bleeding band had released a (whisper it) “folky solo album”. Many were amused to see J dressed as a cult leader in the video for lead single ‘Every Morning’ from his second solo album Tied To A Star on Funny Or Die. Those people didn’t know the might of Mascis, but it’s been obvious all along to those who’ve looked close enough.
This album may be solo but it doesn’t lack punch, just like the adventures in synth didn’t turn Dinosaur into Depeche Mode. J’s always been able to craft a great song, ranging from the pop-like ‘Freak Scene’ to emo-ish ‘Out There’, it’s just that where it was once wrapped in a maelstrom of noise, here it’s more exposed, and, (without sounding wet) more beautiful. He’s also always had a sense of humour – think of that great Spike Jonze directed ‘Feel The Pain’ video with its urban golf and J’s plus fours and Pringles. And just look at that white beard which he wears so well. J was made to be a cult leader if ever I saw one.
There’s some real stand out moments on Tied To A Star, including opener ‘Me Again’ (lest we could ever forget) which displays his trademark vocal range which has aged like an oak-smoked whisky, and the aforementioned ‘Every Morning’ featuring Chan “the greatest” Marshall from Cat Power. There’s also the appealing Shangri-la-la-land of ‘Heal The Star’ and the poignant ‘Wide Awake’ – two ends of a phone call between lovers from a more innocent pre-Snapchat era. J Mascis’ star in rock music is assured, but it’s still shining brightly, even with the amp turned down below 5, and I’m still happy to hitch myself to it.
Following his fantastic Sub Pop solo album Tied to a Star, J Mascis has announced he will return to the UK in January 2015 for a full album tour.
After you’ve booked your tickets, watch J’s latest interview in which he joins Little Punk People for an unusually revealing conversation. Favourite albums, foods and meditation techniques are layed down before 8 year old journalist Elliot Fullam likens J’s songs to a big musical hug. A heartwarming watch, check it out.
January 2015 UK dates
7th Bristol, The Marble Factory
8th London, The Scala
9th Brighton, The Haunt
10th Manchester, The Ruby Lounge
14th Cardiff, The Globe
15th Cambridge, The Junction 2
16th Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
18th Newcastle, The Cluny
19th Glasgow, School Of Art
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
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.