Entries tagged with: Dale Crover
J. Mascis / Frank Black
Throughout the 90s and the first half of the 2000s, Dinosaur Jr. was one of the last rock groups you would have expected to get the old band back together, go on tour, and record new music--not to mention new music that's every bit as good as anything the original lineup made in the 80s. When J Mascis unceremoniously kicked out Lou Barlow, his high school friend and longtime bandmate, in 1989, it seemed like a mercy killing of the original lineup, which had devolved into a psychodramatic mess, marred by lack of communication and irreconcilable personality difference between Mascis and Barlow. ("It makes me sick that I spent six or seven years putting my heart and soul into that band," Barlow told Cut zine in 1990. "They're sleazebag snob pigs like no one I have met in my entire life. J's always been an asshole.") Mascis and Murph, and then just Mascis, went on to record a string of major-label records throughout the 90s that, though inconsistent, contain some of Dinosaur Jr.'s best and most well-known songs.
When Mascis killed Dinosaur Jr. in 1997, it seemed inconceivable that, a decade later, Mascis, Barlow and Murph would reunite. Time heals all wounds, I guess. It's perhaps less surprising that the band would be able to ably reprise their sprawling, melodic, blitzkrieg guitar-rock sound. Three records in to the latter-day reign of Dinosaur Jr., the band sounds as good as they ever have.
On Saturday at Terminal 5, Dinosaur Jr. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of You're Living All Over Me, their second album and the one that made nonchalance cool, made the extended guitar solo cool (again), and wedded melodic tendencies with noise and feedback in a theretofore unheard of fashion in the indie rock underground. The band opened their set with "Thumb," from 1991's Green Mind, with Suzanne Thorp of Mercury Rev guesting on flute, before Mascis matter-of-factly announced that now they'd be playing You're Living All Over Me in full.
A sleepy-looking Lee Ranaldo came out to share vocals with J on "Little Fury Things." Guests, some announced ahead of time, would be a recurring theme throughout the night, but not until later. Dinosaur Jr. ripped through the songs on their best album as if it were 1987 all over again. "Sludgefeast" was a punishing onslaught of guitar and staccato, gunfire drums, with Mascis's high lonesome whine cutting through the gain and distortion. "Tarpit" set off joyous dancing, propelled by Barlow's chunky bass chords and a deafening roar from Mascis's Jazzmaster that threatened to draw blood from the ears.
Watching Barlow and Mascis play on stage, it's not hard to extrapolate the personality differences that created their rift. Barlow, with his black Rickenbacker slung low, literally bounces from one foot to the other when playing, the joy at doing just this very thing--playing to an audience--so evident. He smiles, he cracks jokes, he acts as if he's living through the music. Mascis, on the other hand, with his laconic, slowhands style and deadpan announcements ("All right. Thanks a lot. That was side one."), plays as if the music lives through him. He's the hermetic savant tuned in to a frequency no one else can hear.
Barlow brought out a ukulele for "Poledo," the "awkward end to the amazing record," in his words. The cavernous space of Terminal 5 made the strident desolation of the song even more acute.
The second half of the show is the stuff legendary bootlegs are made of. A succession of guests filed onstage to help Dinosaur Jr. play their songs, or to transform them into other bands entirely. The first was Frank Black, who sang and played guitar on "Almost Fare," from this year's I Bet On Sky. Next, the band plus Black covered one of Black's songs--"Tame," from The Pixies' Doolittle. Black roared the chorus, tossed a painting into the first rows of the crowd, and exited. Kurt Vile, whose band opened the show, and Al Cisneros from Sleep were next. Cisneros took over bass duties from Barlow for a couple of songs, including the doom metal glazer "Alone" from 1997's Hand It Over. Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence took the drums for that one.
Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr and Broken Social Scene guru Kevin Drew emerged to play "The Wagon" with J, Lou and Murph. Then they covered Smiths track "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side," the words to which J was, uh, a little unsure of. Melvins drummer Dale Crover relieved Murph behind the kit for a skin-searing rendition of "Training Ground," a song by Mascis and Barlow's pre-Dinosaur hardcore band, Deep Wound. Don Fleming of Gumball and Dante Ferrando of Iron Cross helped the band cover "Crucified," and Kim Gordon gave a tempestuous performance on "Don't", Barlow's song from Bug that directly addresses the fractured relationship between him and Mascis. Gordon screamed, bellowed and cooed the song's one lyric ("Why don't you like me?") over and over again, dropping to her knees and falling to the stage like she was having an exorcism. It was intense. If Sonic Youth is over, she should start a hardcore band.
The encore began with a cover of the Stooges classic, "T.V. Eye," with Tommy Stinson on bass and Fred Armisen (whose show, Portlandia, will feature an appearance from J Mascis in its upcoming third season) on drums. Dinosaur Jr. closed with two classics: "Start Choppin" and "Freak Scene," the song that invented the slacker generation. It was a poignant, circle-closing moment. "Because when I need a friend," J sang, "it's still you," we all responded. The night was an amazing tribute to a great band, 25 years removed from their (so-far) signature achievement and, improbably, still going strong.
More pictures, some videos, and the setlist from the show (which also counted John Petkovic of Death of Samantha as a guest), below...
Dale Crover w/ Melvins Lite in October (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Dinosaur Jr. just keep adding more alternative rock royalty to their upcoming You're Living All Over Me 25th anniversary show, which happens in NYC at Terminal 5 on December 1. They've already announced Johnny Marr (of The Smiths), Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth), and Al Cisneros (of Sleep), and now they've added Dale Crover (of Melvins) too. Kurt VIle, who carries the torch that those musicians all helped light well, opens the show and tickets are still available.
Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis is also one of the many guests appearing on the third season of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen's IFC show, Portlandia, which returns on January 4 at 10pm ET/PT, prefaced by a pre-premiere episode on December 14 at 10:30pm ET/PT. In addition to J, other guests include Dirty Projectors, Jim Gaffigan, Patton Oswalt, Roseanne Barr, Juliette Lewis, George Wednt and more. You can check out the full list of guests for season three and a video clip of the upcoming season below.
Speaking of Melvins, they're playing a New Year's Eve show in LA at The Alexandria with Redd Kross, who released their first new album since reuniting in 2004 this year. Tickets for the LA show are on sale now.
Portlandia video and list of guests are below.
by Black Bubblegum
Rwake (more here)
Shrinebuilder has also announced their participation in a particularly STACKED Roadburn 2010, along with the new Tom Warrior project Triptykon, the reunion of Goatsnake (!), Thor's Hammer, and acid-folkers Comus who will play their First Utterance LP in it's entirety(!). Oh, and did I mention Candlemass will be performing Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and the festival will also feature appearances from Yob, Moss, Altar Of Plagues, Mouth of The Architect, and many more. Must. Go.
Rwake are currently working on their follow-up to Voices of Omens, and are also scheduled to play Chicago with Shrinebuilder. Rwake has also been added to the Hellfest 2010 lineup which also includes Immortal, Atheist, Black Cobra, Bloodbath, Suffocation, Weedeater, with another 80+ bands TBA.
Wino of Shrinebuilder plays with his solo band at Irving Plaza tonight (10/9, tix here) and tomorrow (10/10, tix here) supporting Clutch, and will be back next week with Saint Vitus at Europa (10/16, tix here)!
Both CT (of Rwake) and Scott Kelly (of Shrinebuilder & Neurosis) host weekly podcasts on Combat Radio, and both are highly recommended.
Dale Crover of the Melvins (who plays drums in Shrinebuilder) recently played ATP and Nokia Theater with Down, and have a remix album out NOW entitled Chicken Switch. The LP features contributions from Merzbow, Lee Ronaldo, Matmos, and many others.
Full Shrinebuilder, Rwake and Liturgy dates, as well as a few live videos are below...
words by Black Bubblegum, photos by Ryan Muir
The Melvins, in retro formation, played Webster Hall on Friday (5/15) as part of their 25th Anniversary celebration. As advertised, the band played the complete and slightly reconfigured Houdini, as well as portions from their 2005 collection of early demos, Mangled Demos.
Mangled Demos material leans more toward their hardcore roots, and I was always more of a fan of their heavier Sabbath-y material. That said, it was interesting to see Dale Crover on bass (he was introduced as ex-bassist, and ex-Mudhoney member, Matt Lukin) for a few songs. The trio for this opening portion of the night also consisted of Buzz, and original drummer Mike Dillard. Then Dillard left the stage and The Melvins became just Dale and Buzzo, sans bass (Dale moved back to drums) - all of the low end punch was gone out of the instrumentation.
Luckily, the Melvins-as-hardcore-duo was short-lived, and Trevor Dunn arrived later in the set clad in a camo druidian robe to set Webster Hall a-rumblin'. With Melvins the trio now on stage, Houdini was disassembled and played out of order with the band closing the show with a drum solo (with Trevor Dunn and Mike Dillard providing additional percussion) and a short Trevor Dunn bass solo. No encores (natch). As an experiment, I tried to listen to as little of Houdini as humanly possible before Friday, attempting to try and get a fresh perspective on a record that I had admittedly played to death years ago. Houdini classics such as "Honey Bucket", "Hooch", "Going Blind" were fantastic, and for a moment, they helped erase the fond memories of latter day Melvins with Coady and Jared (of Big Business). Smiles.
Packing in a smidge over two hours worth of material, Melvins finished just in time for Webster Hall curfew, and luckily I had Grey Wolves, Thrones, and Bastard Noise at No Fun Fest (at Music Hall of Williamsburg) to keep my energy and spirits high. More on that later.
More Melvins pics, a couple of videos, and the full setlist, below...
by Black Bubblegum
"So I have to be guarded in a way and kinda prepare myself for what's gonna happen, because when it happens, I don't even know."
From their crust punk origins of more than twenty years ago, Scott Kelly and Neurosis have forged their own path with searing imperial riffery and singular artistic vision. Over the course of nine LPs including 2007's critically acclaimed Given To The Rising, Neurosis's firebrand mix of hardcore, metal, psychedelia, and all-of-the-above has inspired fans and musicians alike, giving way to sub-genres and sub-sub-genres based on their compelling, emotive songwriting.
Outside of Neurosis, Scott Kelly has took on additional projects like Blood & Time, Tribes of Neurot, solo recordings, his online radio station Combat Music Radio, and Neurot Recordings. In addition, Kelly announced his involvement in Shrinebuilder, an underground metal supergroup featuring Scott "Wino" Weinrich, Al Cisneros (Om, Sleep), and Dale Crover (Melvins).
With Roadburn 2009 going down this weekend in Tilburg and Neurosis on board to curate Beyond The Pale, we sat down with Scott Kelly in March to discuss Neurosis, the making of Shrinebuilder's debut LP, and why children's mobiles should come installed with music box versions of Lunar Womb!
Where are you exactly in the process as far as Shrinebuilder is concerned? I know you provided recent updates on your blog, but since then, how's it coming along?
We are basically in the same spot we were... Not finished mixing yet, artwork's not done yet, but getting closer on both. Wino ended up doing an extra day of guitar in Baltimore about ten days after he did the initial recording and Dale's done a little bit of percussion overdubs and we've been kinda dialing in each song a little at a time. Its actually really close to a final mix. Al is recording the new Om album in Chicago, so when he gets done he'll be in there with those guys. I'd expect to have it all mixed probably within a couple weeks... it's really close.