Thursday, December 13, 2007

In praise of J Mascis

Working on my nasty painting project on the landing upstairs, took advantage of empty house to blast tunes. First Arcade Fire because, after all, it's New Jersey and, as I've said, the guy sounds a lot like Springsteen. But then I grabbed an old Dinosaur Jr. record, Without a Sound, a 1994 release of the "J Mascis Experience" period, after Barlow had left to form Sebadoh and J was playing basically all the instruments himself in the studio. This is not his best record, but still...

J Mascis and Dinosaur Jr mark a singular moment in the development of post-punk tunes, having the courage to step out from the phalanxes of Marshall Stacks and bar chords to sing from the heart and express a vision of self with fretboard and kick pedals. J was perhaps the first lyric punk, if not the last.