Dinosaur Jr. – In session for John Peel – Recorded November 8, 1988 – Broadcast; November 14 – BBC Radio 1 –
Dinosaur Jr. in session for John Peel tonight – recorded on November 8, 1988 and broadcast November 14th of that month.
Dinosaur Jr.formed in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1984, originally simply called Dinosaur until legal issues forced a change in name.
The band was founded by J Mascis (guitar, vocals, primary songwriter), Lou Barlow (bass, vocals), and Murph (drums). After three albums on independent labels, the band earned a reputation as one of the formative influences on American alternative rock. Creative tension led to Mascis firing Barlow, who later formed Sebadoh and Folk Implosion. His replacement, Mike Johnson, came aboard for three major-label albums. Murph eventually quit, with Mascis taking over drum duties on the band’s albums before the group disbanded in 1997. The original lineup reformed in 2005, releasing five albums thereafter.
Mascis’s drawling vocals and distinct guitar sound, hearkening back to 1960s and 1970s classic rock and characterized by extensive use of feedback and distortion, were highly influential in the alternative rock movement of the 1990s.
Dinosaur Jr has been described as alternative rock,indie rock and noise rock, also noise pop, hardcore punk (first albums), and grunge (early nineties).
Dinosaur Jr. is considered to be an alternative rock band; however the band’s musical style, compared to its underground contemporaries in the 1980s, differed in several ways. This included the influence of classic rock on the band’s music, their use of feedback, extreme volume and the loud-quiet dynamic, and frontman Mascis’s droning vocals. A characteristic of Mascis’s vocal style is frequent use of vocal fry. Gerald Cosloy, head of Homestead Records, summarised the band’s music: “It was its own bizarre hybrid. … It wasn’t exactly pop, it wasn’t exactly punk rock—it was completely its own thing”.
Mascis listened to classic rock artists such as the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys, elements of which were incorporated into Dinosaur Jr.’s sound. In addition, Mascis was also a fan of many punk and hardcore bands such as The Birthday Party, and has frequently noted Nick Cave as an influence. Dinosaur Jr.’s members also combined elements of hardcore punk and noise rock in their songs, which often featured a large amount of feedback, distortion and extreme volume. When the master tape of You’re Living All Over Me arrived at SST, the label’s production manager noticed the level on the tape was so high it was distorting; however, Mascis confirmed it was the way he wanted the album to sound.
Similar to Mascis’s guitar work, Barlow’s bass lines, with their alternating heavily distorted, fast chords and pulverizing lows, draw heavily from both his hardcore past and musicians such as Lemmy from Motörhead and Johnny Ramone. “Johnny Ramone is my hero. I wanted to make that rhythmic chugging sound like he got playing guitar with the Ramones. And, I found that I got a bigger sound by strumming farther up the neck.”
Mascis’s vocals are another distinctive feature of Dinosaur Jr.’s music. He attributed his “whiny low-key drawl”, the opposite of the hardcore punk “bark”, to artists such as John Fogerty and Mick Jagger. His style also resembled Neil Young’s, but Mascis disputed this, and later commented: “That got annoying, being compared all the time.” His drawl epitomized the band’s slacker ethos and relaxed attitude; author Michael Azerrad said “even Mascis seemed removed from the feelings he was conveying in the music”.
-thanks a million, Wikipedia.
Crank it up and relax – tomorrow’s Friday.
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