New Dinosaur Jr. album shatters my worldview

Beyond goes on sale on Tuesday. This is a big deal to me. Dinosaur Jr. is the best band of the 80's, hands-down. The three albums where it was J., Lou, and Murph, well, they made an emo-boy like me very happy as I went through my nineties, slowly unraveling their psychic bullshit, as Lou and J. went their separate ways.

They're back together now to make money, and you can't fault them for that. The tracks on the new album so far seem alright, though you can tell they're all older now. "Almost Ready" works, and I still can't believe J. let Lou sing a "Dinosaur Jr." song again after all the crap that went down.

Is it any good? These reunion bands tend not to make new albums. Personally, Lou's turn on the one track I've heard sounds good, but it's still not vintage. It seems like a reunion album, and that's okay with me. The Guardian article quoted above casts it in a poor light, sort of. Not sure.

I'm still waiting for a new Pixies album, one that will never come because they know better. Still, I'm disappointed they weren't willing to push the nostalgia one step further, and feel free to piss off their diehard fans. For that, I consider them weak and complacent.

But, I'm glad Lou and J. made a new record. I will buy it on Tuesday from iTunes.

Of course, I don't really believe it, so I've gone back to listen to "Poledo" off of "You're Living All Over Me" which may as well be the first track off of Sebadoh's first album. And, Sebadoh's first album is the one disk I would take with me if I knew I was going to be on a desert island.

I've always been a Lou kind of guy, until he went way too emo for my tastes. He's a more interesting song-writer, and I used to eat up every single tape I could find of his. When I lived in New England, you could find homemade tapes of his on sale at Newbury Comics.

I can appreciate the tension between him and J., given that I had my own rifts with other men in my late teens/early twenties. Of course, my frenemy of late high school died in a motorcycle accident, so I never had the chance to make up with him. I wish I could. He was a great guy, and for some stupid reason (a girl) we had a falling out. I wish he and I had had the chance to talk about bands like Dinosaur Jr., and how their reformation means something.

Life is short. I keep saying that. And it's true. You don't get to wake up every day in perpetuity. It comes to an end. Every day is precious.

I've stopped listening to music, for the most part. I didn't make it to the Trans Am concert. I made up excuses, and I'm sure they were valid. I think, though, it has something to do with not wanting to admit I'm older now, not wanting to admit that I don't know where music fits in with a lifestyle where I work 12 hours a day, every day, even weekends. How did I end up here? Why do I keep making up excuses?

The Dinosaur Jr. reunion just reminds me that people can at least for a little while give up their pigheadedness. We think we're so scattered, but we're so connected, and we have to figure out


Eric said...

I heard a lot of good things about Dinosaur Jr. when I was in my twenties but never bought an album of theirs for some reason. The Replacements were my desert island band back then, and probably still are. Let it Be and Pleased to Meet Me were the albums that I liked the most, but I also had their earlier punkier stuff and their later folkier stuff, post Bob Stinson.

I also don't listen to music much these days. Don't play much, either, which is something I am struggling with. There are all kinds of valid reasons why it just doesn't fit into my life but man, I miss it sometimes.

Sean Tubbs said...

I didn't know who Dinosaur Jr. was until my friend Jeff made me a mix tape in 1991 that had some songs off of Green Mind on it. That was actually J. Mascis' first album post Lou, and it was a very good album, I would say the most even out of any of the albums. I didn't hear and then love the albums with Lou Barlow until much later, after I had gone through my Sebadoh phase. Sebadoh and I got along well because the general lo-fi weirdness of the first album (The Freed Man, to be re-released this year) continues to amaze and astound me. Having said that, it's not for everyone.

I bought Beyond, mostly as a sign of support, and it's the first album I've purchased in a long time. I have a Rhapsody subscription, so I can listen to most new releases. But, this is one I felt like celebrating with. Also, it's yet another example of how I'm celebrating my new job.

Now, if I could just make it to see a live show sometime, anywhere. I can't make myself pay to for live music anymore, mostly because it starts too late and I have early work to do.

DavidVTHokie said...

Hey, congrats on the new position at CT. Sounds like you've really found your groove there in C'ville. I knew you'd end up there eventually, and would likely have a gig that was part Dennis Miller, part indie radio journalist.

Good work on this whole podcasting effort. That embeddable player is sweet, inobtrusive, minimalist.

Thanks for the tip on DJr. I've heard mixed things on TMBG The Else - but haven't heard anything myself.

If you're ever down in Chapel Hill, I'll buy you an IPA.

-Dave Falwell

Sean Tubbs said...

Hey Dave... I'd take you up on that if there was any chance of me ever making it out of town. With the summer, most of our free weekends will be spent at Smith Mountain Lake.

What are you up to these days?