Monday, April 26, 2021

Jurassic sparks

As a man of few words who speaks in a slow-motion monotone, it's hard to imagine J Mascis being passionate about much - other than insane guitar soloing, of course. So credit's due to the Guardian's Dave Simpson for tempting him into talking about the obsessions that dominated his teenage years (when he was, by his own admission, "kind of a dick") - including skateboarding, the film Woodstock and punk bands Eater and The Birthday Party. 

Meanwhile, Stereogum's Larry Fitzmaurice managed to keep our laconic hero chatting for 40 minutes, about everything from his hardcore punk roots with Deep Wound, to appearing on Saturday Night Live, to his house burning down. The interview is a treasure trove of curiosities - I had no idea, for instance, that at one point Kurt Cobain actually asked him to join Nirvana or that he'd been cast in The Double because he's Richard Ayoade's favourite musician. I'd completely forgotten about Grace Of My Heart (a film I haven't seen) and 'Take A Run At The Sun' (a single I've still got on tape somewhere). There can't be many musicians who've been asked to play on an Annie Lennox song (he backed out) and performed with G G Allin ("It seemed good in theory, but when you're on stage and he's shitting ... it's just not that pretty").

So what of Sweep It Into Space, the new Kurt Vile-produced Dinosaur Jr album? I must admit that, a few songs aside, I'm not really feeling it. Maybe it's a matter of time, and any Dinosaur Jr record is of course better than none - but at the moment I'm sensing diminishing returns when it comes to their post-reformation output. Beyond, revisited for comparison, blows it out of the water.

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