tonight it’s almost the most recent thing by a band that i knew quite well in the 1990s, but never liked enough to get the music. it’s dinosaur jr. i think there were a couple of reasons, one being that there was a form of comparison in my own mind to an established preference i already had for pavement, though they existed a few years after. it’s not the first time i made a judgement and choice about not listening to a particular band because of some quite odd and illogical reasoning (a concept articulated to me by john king called “fuck that band”).
perhaps a second reason was that j mascis always kinda creeped me out. but he does have one of the most distinctive voices and guitar styles in modern rock-ish music. there are moments on farm wherein he sounds a bit like eddie vedder of all people. i’m not sure how i feel about that. i mean, i was never a pearl jam fan either, but again, i knew enough to sing along.
this album is another notable reason for me doing this. i bought it because i thought i should as perhaps an entryway to their back catalogue (which didn’t ensue). i think this is the first time i’ve actually listened to it. it makes me think that you had to be there at an earlier point to get the reputed excellence of this album and some of its predecessors. for one thing, if you track through the first three songs, each one starts remarkably the same. and when you get to see you, there’s a real sense of built to spill on the normal years, particularly the live version of some. another point of reference…
it was always pretty obvious that this was a collection of egotists (or two, at least). it’s arguable that most musos are, to be confident in what they do for their living. but this clearly tore the band asunder. i get that people were delighted to have new dinosaur jr music after such a long hiatus, and that they can seemingly talk about their problems openly now. pavement was similar. i guess the closest i came to wishing a great band back from my youth was the latter, though they didn’t release new music when they did return from the dead.
for whatever reason, i leaned more towards lou barlow’s music with sebadoh and folk implosion, which in hindsight actually seems more affected than dinosaur jr (and no less distinctive). it’s kinda ironic that, by the time i was conscious of the band, lou had long since ceased to be involved.
finally, and i know that hardcore dinosaur jr fans would berate me, my fondest memory was seeing the following video on rage late at night, and so it remains: