Tiny

I can still remember the first time I heard Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr on cassette back in 1988. The joyous crashing, distorted guitars of the intro, the thumping drums on the bridge, the stoned vocals and dysfunctional lyrics and that twisted guitar solo. A three minute pop song that invented slacker rock- but is so much more than American kids in big shorts. It has a similar effect on me when I hear it now, a song I can’t get tired of and one of those songs I’d put in a list of ‘songs of my life’ if I had to write one.

Freak Scene

Dinosaur Jr so impressed Sonic Youth they wrote their best song, Teenage Riot, in tribute, a song imagining J. Mascis as President of an alternative USA. Maybe he should run for the real thing given the state of the Republican candidate. This new single, out in August physically, hits some of those Dinosaur Jr highs. I’ve got tickets for their show at The Albert Halls in November which I’m really looking forward to- not that I want to wish the summer and autumn away.

Run For The Sun

Right then- midday today and we’re off, hitting the road and driving to The Jura, that bit of France just above Switzerland, eleven nights in a Eurocamp tent at the campsite pictured above. The vino, the fromage, and the jambon are calling me. Thankfully when we booked back at the start of the year we decided to cross from Hull to Zeebrugge so are avoiding what looks like a nightmare at Dover- Calais.

This Dinosaur Jr song is called Run For The Sun and that’s pretty much what we’re doing. The weather in the north west of England has been poor, nothing in the way of summer except for three hot days at the start of July. So, hopefully France will deliver us some sunshine. In this song Dinosaur Jr channel their inner Beach Boys and turn in something very good indeed. Unlike the video, which is shite. Video only again I’m afraid- I’m putting off making a decision about a filehosting service until I get back from France. Have a good time while I’m away, see you in two weeks. A bientot!

Sometimes I Don’t Thrill You

In 1988 the world’s most dysfunctional rock group released their definitive song, Freak Scene. The song practically invents slackers and grunge. J Mascis’ guitar sound is brilliant- controlled but chaotic, spinning distorted notes off all over the place. His vocals are resigned, almost bored to tears with the whole thing but it’s a love song of sorts too- ‘when I need a friend it’s still you’. Post-indie punk, pre-grunge, with a pop tune. And swearing too. I’ve got its parent album Bug but never really play anything off it except Freak Scene.

Dinosaur Jr were a nightmare to each other by all accounts; passive aggressive, J controlling Murph’s every drum beat when recording, not communicating. Bassist Lou Barlow wrote the lyrics to the final song on Bug, the only one he sings. Over ear splitting noise, aimed solely at J Mascis, he screams ‘why don’t you like me?’

I don’t know what’s going on with my Boxnet bandwidth but either it’s not reset at the end of May or June is already over the limit. I’ll try to sort something out. In the meantime you can watch the video for Freak Scene, filmed in John Robb’s back garden in bohemian West Didsbury. It looks like it cost less than the price of a pint of lager and a bag of chips.

Fade Into You

A dangerously fragile, acoustic guitar-led, somewhat enervated cover of Mazzy Star’s beautiful Fade Into You by J Mascis to start Monday and the first week of autumn. The ghost of Neil Young never far away, memories of Dinosaur Jr beyond reach. Bizarrely, cheapeningly, this cover version was done for a trainer advert, released on limited 7″ single as a sop to the purists.

Fade Into You

Back to work tomorrow- Tuesday’s coming like a jail on wheels, to misquote Mr Strummer.

Dentistry


This isn’t facebook it’s a music blog but still- I got an emergency dentist appointment today. A few weeks ago I lost part of a filling to a chocolate brownie. The only appointment I could get then was for the dentist to confirm I had lost part of a filling and to make an appointment for him to fix it. The nearest appointment was on October 24th. So, unable to get it sorted out for six weeks, I’ve since been chewing on the right, wincing at hot/cold drinks, swallowing pain killers and dulling it with alcohol. Until last Sunday when it got really bad, with shooting pains round my head and non-stop jaw/gum/toothache. I finally got a proper emergency appointment today where I was drilled, filled, capped, scaled and polished. And told I also had a partially erupted wisdom tooth which had got infected. Much of the pain is now gone, replaced by a different, post -treatment pain, which is better. At least it’s different pain.