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coverpic flag US - Massachusetts - Full Moon 221 - 09/09/14

J Mascis
Every Morning
Sub Pop Records

J is back, and "Every Morning" is a trademark Mascis song. That signature voice; that signature guitar sound (high gain, plus feedback, and distortion); the song itself. Everything. Neat. Let's look forward to the full album, Tied to a Star. Yes, it's already out there, but we'll check it out next moonth. Promise.

The long-haired-gone-grey-haired singer-songwriter and guitar-slinger out of Amherst, Massachusetts is a living legend of American punk/hardcore/underground/alternative/indie rock. Up there along friends and fellow players like Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Meat Puppets, etc. When Mascis reunited the original Dinosaur jr line-up in 2005 (with Lou Barlow and Murph, together for the first time sice 1988's Bug), critics, musicians, and music lovers have rejoiced, acclaimed and hailed their 'newborn' albums after the reformation: Beyond (2007), Farm (2009), I Bet on Sky (2012). Remember, Dinosaur jr were all about making a lazy slush mix on ingredients like Crazy Horse, Black Sabbath and The Cure. But, first and foremost - having, or making a good time. For themselves, and for their listeners.

Tied to a Star is Mascis' second solo album, following 2011's Several Shades of Why (Sub Pop). Yes, there has bee other solo works as well (and J has been sort of a sole worker during most of his career, even when/while being in a band...), but this has been live stuff, rarities, mini albums, spesical sessions, etc, such as: Martin + Me (1996), The John Peel Sessions (2003), J and Friends Sing and Chant for Amma (2005), and J Mascis Live at CBGB's (2006). As J Mascis + The Fog he pu out two albums, More Light (2000) and Free So Free (2002). He also wrote the soundtrack for the movie Gas, Food, Lodging (1992, director: Allison Anders), where Mascis made an appearance as an actor (as 'Cecil'). [In fact, Mascis has appeared briefly in several of Allison Anders' feature films: In Grace of My Heart (1996), J was 'The Riptides' engineer'; In Things Behind the Sun (2001), J was 'Fred' of The Sherry McGrale Band'] However, this is about J the musician, not J the film extra.

"Every Morning" for sure is a catchy song, and a fine introduction to the upcoming album. It is a typical J Masics song: The riff, the arrangement, the lazy guitar, the nasal vocals, the verse/chourus, the solo part - everything's got J written all over it. And it is all fine. It's an excellent morning song, a wake-up song. This is a song for enjoying your morning coffee, or tea. It is a song to sneak-peak outside, throughout your curtains, to check the weather. While in a daze, still wearing pajamas and slippers...late in the afternoon. Chill time. Kool J. Welcome back.

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You may also want to check out our J Mascis articles/reviews: Parkteatret, Oslo, December 18th 2014, Several Shades of Why, Tied to a Star.

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