Friday, August 12, 2005

merge the 'chunk the iggy.

if there is one american band that i have dug from the beginning and will likely continue to do so until the end of time other than
Yo La Tengo it is Superchunk.

it is likely because i was in my first year of college that i found out about them and they had both sorta had "breakthrough" records at that time("Painful" and "No Pocky") that i feel this way. but i would say in terms of longevity for whatever reason and their abilities to sustain what they set out to do it kind of puts them both at the top for me.

so i see
Merge Records(the label that Superchunk started) are having their 15th Anniversary!

how cool is that.

the first time i saw Superchunk or even really heard them was when their record "on the mouth" came out. my friend Dan took me to see them play at Northern Lights on University. they signed posters and were really nice but i also remember the bass player, Laura, was too cool for school to play.

so she sat on the side and laughed at the other three fumble through some "acoustic" versions(which in hind sight is very funny).

i remeber them doing "cast iron" after our friend Chris requested it. i saw them that same night in the
7th Street Entry. needless to say it was incredible.(not as good as Stereolab in the Entry!)

tonight i watched a
DVD of a recent Stooges reunion show.

i am not going to say i am not a fan of the Stooges but i am not the die hard that a lot of people are. for me i only knew a few of their songs. i guess i've never really dived into their catalog. but what do you really need to know really i suppose?!

in any case, it is AMAZING! Mike Watt is on bass, so again, there's no question to how cool this is. except to be at the show i suppose it really isn't any cooler. you sort of feel a pride for rock and roll watching it. there is a heartwarming "speech" by Mike Watt as an extra on there too.

my friend,
John Kass, was at this show and to him it is the greatest show he has ever been to. (that's a picture of him at that show 8/13/03)

mine is Tom Waits at the State for "mule variations", but then i am kind of a simp'.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Concert Review: Dinosaur Jr. 2005

Photo courtesy of The Onion AV Club

Artist: Dinosaur Jr.

Date: Saturday, July 23, 2005

Venue: The Quest

Location: Minneapolis, MN USA

Review: Backstory: if I had to pick one band to claim as my favorite among those that released albums while I was in high school, it would have to be Dinosaur Jr. Malcolm turned me onto them just before they released their third album, Bug, playing me both their s/t debut and You're Living All Over Me in his old Datsun. On first listen to the latter, I said, "This is too metal, I like that other one better." This was a dumb comment on many levels, but as of 1988, I didn't really know how to interpret their sound. For those who grew up post-Nirvana, it might be hard to realize how fresh 80s bands like The Flaming Lips, The Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, or Dinosaur Jr. sounded. Of those four, Dinosaur Jr. was the one who lacked any psychedelia or artsiness. And meanwhile, most of the other good indie guitar bands were either the too-sweet-for-me Replacements and REM (I like them much more now as an adult) or post-hardcore bands like Hüsker Dü. Dinosaur Jr. had a classic rock sensibility buried within thier indie rock and punk rock exterior. It wasn't long after Malcolm's introduction that You're Living All Over Me became one of my favorite albums of all time, and it remains so to this day.

I saw them live twice back in their heydey. The first time was promoting Bug at the old Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, featuring the original members. A little later, I saw them with the less-interesting (but not bad) Green Mind line-up at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill. If you can believe this, that concert also featured co-opening act Superchunk and headliners My Bloody Valentine (best concert line-up ever?).

Many of us old fans were a bit apprehensive about this new tour. The fact that they're back in touch and promoting the re-releases was just fine by me. The press had finally answered all those questions about the soap opera between J and Lou, which I had never seen so complete in print before. That was satisfying. It was also exciting to finally get a great CD pressing of those three excellent albums. Thanks to the album extras, I now have three more of their videos in my collection. But a reunion tour just seemed so rash after such a long split and considering that they were such a relatively under-appreciated and ignored band up until 2005. Therefore, it seemed like a money-grab, expertly orchestrated by Merge (no offense to a great indie label).

As a rule, my approach to things that really should get me fired up is one of diminished expectations. It's my self-protection mechanism for disappointment. In fact, my wife had to convince me to buy the $25 ticket. The verdict on DJ05? It was beyond just money-well-spent. Much fun was had by this thirty-something. I went completely solo, and never did see anybody I knew in the crowd. In fact, I was surprised at how young the crowd was. But regardless, I haven't moved my body that much at a concert in years. I considered jotting down the setlist for Ding Gua Gua, but it would have dissolved in sweat. They played an even mix of songs from all three of the re-releases, and played them better than I ever remember them playing them. They were tight, J was on-key, they seemed to be in a good mood (but nothing more than that - audience interaction and a stage show aren't something anyone expects or wants from them). They chatted with each other on stage, made an impromptu shift in their encore, and played a hard 90 minutes or so. The Quest is definitely not my top choice for concert-going, but their sound system is really good.

So, it was a great concert, and I had a great time. Now I can raise a toast to the Dinosaur Jr. reunion tour.

still out there

Artist: 13&GOD

Album: self-titled?

I learned about it...: from my roommate Matt Brown, who likes all kinds of stuff.

Comments: i think this album is bad-ass. it's like a weird combo of godspeedyoublackemperor/outkast/thisheat/portishead. anyways, mostly i just like the overall mood of it - vaguely apocalyptic, night time, or maybe riding glitchy trains with headphones soundtrack. here's a link to more info

Sound clip: Soft Atlas

EDIT: fixed the link to the sound clip.