Entries tagged with: Johnny Marr
Morrissey in Dallas in May (more by Tim Griffin)
Remember how last week Morrissey said he was dropped by his label, Harvest Records? Well, apparently the label says that wasn't true. Billboard reports that "a source close to the situation" tells them Morrissey was not in fact dropped and he still owes them one more album to fulfill his contract. (Morrissey: "I Don't Owe You Anything.") Not a great year for Harvest Records.
In less confusing Smiths news, Johnny Marr has released the first single from his upcoming second solo album, Playland, which is due October 7 via Warner Bros. The song's called "Easy Money," and you can watch its video (dir. David Barnes), below.
Johnny Marr @ Webster Hall in February (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Johnny Marr will put out his second solo LP, Playland, on October 7 via Warner Brothers. This comes fairly quickly after Johnny's The Messenger last year. Says the former Smiths/The The/Modest Mouse/Cribs guitarist:
When 'The Messenger' came out I kept on writing. I liked that the band had a momentum going on tour and a connection with the audience, and I thought that energy would be good to capture on the new record.No music has been shared yet, but the LP is up for pre-order now. Album art and tracklist are below...
As you may have caught on our Instagram last night: "Holy mother. Supergroup of the year? Hans Zimmer. Kendrick Lamar. Alicia Keys. Johnny Marr and Pharrell Williams on drums jamming here at the Spider-Man 2 afterparty at Moynihan Post Office Station." The seemingly random group actually all appear on the new movie's soundtrack (Phosphorescent is on there too). Johnny Marr, who also worked with Hans Zimmer in the past, in particular told us about his role in a recent interview we did:
Spider-Man happened because Marc Webb and Hans invited me to do it. Right now we're in the thick of it. I'm sure it will turn out well, because Marc's an inspired person. It's a fun film as well. Of course it's very different from what we did with Inception, but me and Hans have kind of got a thing now. We have a sound that, funny enough, seems to be popping up in a few other movies. For the longest time you wouldn't hear guitar on film soundtracks. Inception seemed to kind of break that mold. I'll be going back there after this tour's finished to continue working on Spider-Man. From a working point of view, it's a very different discipline to writing rock songs and running a band. Mostly because you're given an emotional remit, and I actually really like that. I don't see it as a limitation at all. If anything, it makes things very clear. The great thing about doing movies is that you immediately know when it's wrong.The band was called Hans Zimmer and the Magnificent 6 and was introduced by Jamie Foxx after Jamie and Pharrell performed "Happy" for the VIP crowd. They jammed on the instrumental tracks and then brought up Kendrick and Alicia for their new song from the movie and soundtrack. A few more pictures and some related videos below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bree Roberts
Johnny Marr w/ Andy Rourke @ Irving Plaza, 11/16/2013
Johnny Marr's second tour of North American this year hit NYC on Saturday (11/16) at Irving Plaza. I didn't catch most of Meredith Sheldons' opening set set because the MTA decided that the L train shouldn't run again this weekend, which is a shame. A shame because the MTA is a wanker, and a shame because Meredith Sheldon is a beautifully morose, sulky kind of singer, and with Johnny Marr's son Nile on guitar she really made me wish I had of been there for the whole time.
I'm fairly sure every babysitter in NYC was hired Saturday, because this was the first show I've been to in a long time where I felt young. The average age of the crowd was mid thirties and everyone was out to have a good time, and get wasted on wine -- like classy people do. The Ipad sized phones held up the entire show to record things seemed unnecessary and were really irritating. I heard about two $400 tickets up for sale for this sold-out show on Stubhub three hours before the show -- and they got sold! (Tickets were originally $25).
Johnny was here tonight to promote his new album The Messenger. All the songs he played off that album were fantastic, including the title track, which is full of New Order-ish guitar driven melodies, singles "Upstarts" and "New Town Velocity" - which was lilting and lovely.
Response to the new songs was great -- unlike some shows like this, people seemed to have actually listened to his new album -- but the crowd got very excited for The Smiths songs (I won't call them covers, because Johnny cowrote them all) of which six were played, including "Panic," "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before," "Big Mouth Strikes Again" and, final song of the night, "There is A Light That Never Goes Out." (There was a LOT of singing along.) The crowd went totally nuts, though, near the end of the night, when Marr brought out his friend since childhood and Smiths bandmate Andy Rourke, much as he did at Music Hall back in May. When Andy and Johnny teamed up on the amazingly cool "How Soon Is Now?" and then "Please, Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want" -- goth 90s teen me definitely died a little inside. The crowd went appropriately wild. Video of both and pictures from the show, plus the setlist, are in this post.
My favorite tune of the night though, apart from the obvious Smiths Johnny and Andy collaborations, was "Getting Away With It" by Electronic -- his band with Bernard Sumner from New Order and Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys. Fucking genius. All in all Johnny seemed thrilled to be onstage in NYC and playing with Andy again, and he appeared to be completely in his element. Looking forward to him returning to NYC.
While in town, Marr (who we just interviewed) stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon again to perform "Generate! Generate!" from The Messenger and then a web exclusive of "Please Please Please." You can watch both below and, as you can hear, Marr does a fine job singing Morrissey's lyrics...and that riff still thrills.
Johnny Marr's tour rolls on and if you'd like to see him at one of his remaining North American dates, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show of your choice. Video of the Fallon plus more pics from Marr's Webster Hall show, below...
Johnny Marr @ FFF Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
You're back in NYC on the 16th at Webster Hall. Now, last time you played here you had a very special guest and Brooklyn resident play with you. Any chance of seeing Andy join you for the show this week?Johnny Marr brings his current North American tour to NYC on Saturday (11/16) at Webster Hall. As our recent interview with the guitar icon notes, it might not be too surprising to see his old Smiths bandmate (and NYC resident) Andy Rourke come out for a song at the show. We're pretty sure he's in town -- he just DJ'd at Alison Moyet's NYC show last night. The Webster Hall show is sold out, but if you'd like to win a pair of tickets to see it -- or any other date on Marr's current U.S. tour -- we've got a pair to give away. Details, and his tour schedule are below.
Well, you know...Andy and I have been friends since we were school kids, and he's always been one of my favorite musicians. We try harder and harder to keep our relationship special, and we've managed to do that against some pretty amazing odds, and we're both very proud of that, and we sound good when we play together. I hope he's not out of town [laughs].
Can we expect a Johnny Marr autobiography anytime soon?
There is gonna be one, yeah. I've had so many offers and so many people advising me that my story is worth it, but I understand it's something that I have to do. I'll do it in the next couple of years. I'm into from the stance that I want it to be so thorough that I don't make a record or tour whilst I was doing it. It is gonna happen, and I've already made an agreement with a publisher for it, so I will get it done.
Marr Merch at Irving Plaza in May (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
We're also giving away a copy of Johnny's new solo album, The Messenger, on vinyl, as well as one of his "JOHNNY FUCKIN MARR" t-shirts. This is separate from the ticket giveaway. Details on that are below too.
photos by Tim Griffin
Slayer/Glass Candy/Polyphonic Spree/Slayer surfer @ FFF Fest 2013
Closing Fun Fun Fun Fest, Slayer treated Austin to greatest hits and then some: "Raining Blood," "South of Heaven," "Dead Skin Mask," "Seasons in the Abyss," etc. They also dug out the aforementioned "Die by the Sword," a high point off their 1983 debut LP, Show No Mercy.The eighth Fun Fun Fun Fest happened last weekend (11/8 - 11/10) at Austin's Auditorium Shores, hosting three days of music and fun (fun fun), with such acts as MIA, Deerhunter, Slayer, Television, Thee Oh Sees, Kurt Vile, Cut Copy. Johnny Marr, The Walkmen, Jurassic 5, Killer Mike and loads more. Many of them played again as part of the FFF Nites shows, including shows presented by BrooklynVegan and Invisible Oranges.
After fooling no one with a false ending of "South of Heaven," the third backdrop of the night unfurled at the back of the stage: a parody of the Heineken logo reading "Hanneman" and bearing his life dates. The top read "Angel of Death." Reign in Blood's terrifying opening track - and closing number on Auditorium Shores - now serves as an epitaph for Slayer's fallen co-founder. - [Austin Chronicle]
We were there in the thick of it and, as mentioned above, you can check out pics from Day 1 HERE and HERE, pics from Day 2 pics HERE and HERE; and pics from Day 3 are HERE and HERE. See you again in 2014 Austin.
Johnny Marr @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Having influenced everyone from The Stone Roses to Radiohead to Deafheaven, Johnny Marr's guitar sound is easily one of the most recognizable, unfolding and swelling its notes, layer upon layer, with a melody that's as dense in its bombast as it is playful in its simplicity. A mere twenty-six years after leaving The Smiths, Marr released his first solo record, The Messenger, earlier this year. It's not to say there wasn't anything going on for Marr during the time between, however. In fact, while much of Smiths fandom has continued to revel in mourning and reunion speculation, Marr has spent the time since simply defining the terms of his own artistic progression. Membership in bands such as Modest Mouse, The Cribs, Electronic, The The, and innumerable guest spots for those artists who mince no words concerning the obvious influence for them has allowed Marr to properly illuminate the evolutionary arc of his career as a thankfully unfinished piece. I had the opportunity to talk with Johnny, who is on tour now, about The Messenger as well as his creative process and what his thoughts are on writing an autobiography.
For The Messenger, I'm curious as to what kind of worked as a creative catalyst for you with the album. Why a solo album now? Was the creative process for the album different here than with your other projects?
Johnny Marr: Well, the reason the record happened when it did is because I had the ideas for the songs. I always have ideas for music and riffs and guitar parts, but over the touring years with Modest Mouse and The Cribs, I got a lot of ideas for things I wanted to sing about. It's a good start, so this album is actually driven mostly by lyrical concepts - ideas for what I wanted to sing about. That kind of ruled out the idea of me handing over the music to someone else to write lyrics, so it just fell together that way. It certainly wasn't my thinking that now would be a good time to do a solo record or have a solo career and then try and go about doing it. I just heard the songs first. I couldn't wait to get in the studio after coming off the road and just see if these things would turn into tracks. And the actual writing and recording of the record happened really quickly. I was demoing a song a day, and I ended up writing almost thirty songs - like, twenty-six or twenty-seven songs for it. It was a very inspired time. As for the creative process, I'd forgotten that I would be the producer. I was just working in the studio with my friend Doviak, and I had decided to do these songs. As I said, the demoing started to happen pretty quickly, and then I realized that the decisions of what microphones to put on the cymbals and what bass sounds to use was on me, and I'd not been in a position before where I was writing the lyrics and singing and playing the guitars and keyboards and finding the right microphones for cymbals. Technically, I was kind of a challenge I hadn't considered. It made me a bit of a grumpy person to be around for a couple of weeks [laughs]. Whereas in the past, you see, I was always fine with doing that - with being the first person in the studio and the last person to leave. It's a different thing when you're singing and writing the words. You need to be in a different headspace. I found that somewhat of a challenge for the first week or first few weeks. But now I've done it, and I'm proud that we managed to pull that off. I roped Doviak as co-producer to stop me going completely out of my mind or killing everybody in the building when I couldn't find the mic to put on the kick drum [laughs].
photos by Chris Tuite
Johnny Marr @ The Fillmore
Johnny Marr performed "The Right Thing Right" from his solo album, The Messenger on Conan on 11/5, four days after his North American tour with Meredith Sheldon (ALAMAR), which started on Halloween in Anaheim, hit The Fillmore in San Francisco, a show we have pictures from in this post. There's more of them below with the video from Conan too.
Johnny's next tour stop is Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin this weekend. NYC gets a show at Webster Hall on November 16 and tickets are still available. If you're going and want to keep the Smiths vibes going, save your ticket stub for an afterparty at Knitting Factory where your ticket will get you $5 off a ticket to see Morrissey/Smiths tribute band The Sons and Heirs play. You can also then yell, "That's not how Johnny Marr played 'Panic' earlier tonight!!!" If you want to be a jerk.
Dates, pictures and setlist from The Fillmore, and Conan video, below...
How many Neko Case bandmembers can you squeeze into a dressing room?
We've already posted a bunch of videos this week like The Weeknd's Portishead-nicking new song, Earl Sweatshirt, Titus Andronicus covering "Glory Days", David Bowie, and more. But unfortunately we don't get to all the cool videos that come out during the week (or weeks), so here's our attempt at playing catch-up. Check out videos from FIDLAR (featuring more of Nick Offerman than you may be ready for), Johnny Marr, Braids, CocoRosie, Coliseum, Mikal Cronin, The Flaming Lips, Neko Case, one of Vampire Weekend giving advice to teenage girls, and more, below.
Johnny Marr @ Irving Plaza in May (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Johnny Marr, who was last here in May, will be touring North America again this fall, promoting his first-ever solo album, The Messenger. (The one with The Healers doesn't count, apparently.) Those dates include a stop in NYC at Webster Hall on November 16. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/19) with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (7/17) at noon.
The former member of Smiths/The The/Electronic/Modest Mouse/Cribs has released a new single from The Messenger, "New Town Velocity." The single's b-side, "The It Switch," can be streamed over at Pitchfork.
All tour dates are listed below.
Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 (more by Keith Marlowe)
As discussed, Fun Fun Fun Fest is returning to Austin's Auditorium Shores from November 8-10, and now the full lineup was finally announced. It includes Television, Slayer (again!), Quicksand, Descendents, The Dismemberment Plan, Body Count, Jurassic 5, MIA, MGMT, Death Grips, Kurt Vile, Cloud Nothings, Snoop Dogg/Lion, The Locust, Subhumans (performing Cradle to the Grave), The Men, Title Fight, White Lung, Retox, Chromatics, XXYYXX, Mykki Blanco, Cut Copy, Washed Out, Merchandise, Lemuria, and many more.
Tickets for the festival go on sale today (7/10) at 10 AM CST.
Full lineup and flyer below...
Johnny Marr w/ Andy Rourke @ MHOW 5/3/2013 (via @fabiomoretti)
Johnny Marr played the second of his two sold-out NYC shows last night (5/3). The setlist was the same as Irving Plaza, but there was one big difference: he brought out Smiths bassist (and lifelong friend and current Brooklyn resident) Andy Rourke out to play on "How Soon is Now?" That's about as close to a Smiths reunion as we're likely to get these days. Video of that is below.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Johnny Marr @ Irving Plaza, 5/2/2013
Everyone obsesses over why the Smiths broke up. But can you tell me about one of your happiest memories in that band?Johnny Marr's solo tour hit NYC last night at Irving Plaza, the first of two sold-out shows here. The former Smiths guitarist, who has spent time in Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs as well, is supporting his not-too-shabby solo debut, The Messenger, but wasn't shy about recognizing his past either. Irving Plaza got five Smiths songs: "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "London," "Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before," "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," and "How Soon is Now?," which was the final song of the evening. And he did a bang-up job, too, and seems to be having a blast playing them. To quote our photographer, who has shot Moz more than once, "he sings them so much better than Morrissey!!!" Marr also did a few Electronic songs (his collaboration with New Order's Bernard Sumner), including their discofied hit "Getting Away with It." Setlist below.
Tons of them! When we gate-crashed Glastonbury festival '84 or '85 -- I can't remember the year, but I remember the situation. Glastonbury was very different then, of course, but it was nevertheless an alternative festival. And we were outsiders. We'd had a couple of hits by then, but just kind of stood out on our own. I felt part of something new. It's easier to be alternative at the Grammys. But to be alternative in a field full of English snobs was quite a feat. There were many, many amazing times that filled me with pride like that.
And all of a sudden, your following became fanatic. And legion.
When we gained success, we had that thing going, like a lot of bands did, where people jump out in front of cars and pull you off the stage. They climbed on the outside of hotels to try to get into windows. Those kind of things. Used to go on quite a lot, really. That was kind of freaky, especially because I was so young.
And now you're going to be 50. How do you plan to celebrate your birthday?
Probably in a tour bus between Nottingham and Liverpool. [Laughs.] I'm not freaked out by getting to 50. I never really paid too much attention to those things. But it's also because I've been able to mark out periods of my life with records and bands and those kinds of things. That's always what I've wanted. I have to say that playing the Inception soundtrack with an orchestra at the Cannes Film Festival was probably a bigger kind of marking point in this period of my life. I'll remember that more than a day on the bus with some candles. As long as people [book] me decent gigs, that's all I'm about, man. - [Vulture]
Johnny Marr and tourmates Alamar play NYC again tonight (5/3) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (sold out). Seeing how it's his second night here, maybe he'll switch up the Smiths songs. Toronto got "The Queen is Dead" instead of "London." More pictures and the setlist from Irving Plaza below...
by Bill Pearis
Johnny Marr @ Coachella 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Guitar legend Johnny Marr is currently in NYC for two sold-out tour stops -- tonight (5/2) at Irving Plaza and Friday (5/3) at Music Hall of Williamsburg -- and last night he stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform live. On the show he performed the title track to his new solo album, The Messenger. But then for the online exlusive, he and his band pulled out The Smiths' classic "How Soon is Now?" (aka "the indie Stairway to Heaven"). Marr is one of my heroes, and I love the Smiths as much as any sane person does, but it's a little strange (but not really so) to see him sing Morrissey's lyrics. I didn't watch his Coachella performances and wasn't expecting him to do any Smiths songs at all. He does a pretty good job though, and it's a thrill to watch him play those riffs for sure.
In fact he's also been playing a lot of Smiths on this tour: "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "London," "Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," in addition to "Getting Away with It," "Get the Message" and "Forbidden City" which he wrote with Bernard Sumner for Electronic. So expect trips down Memory Lane if you're catching him live.
Meanwhile check out those Fallon videos below.
photos by Wei Shi
Passion Pit / Alt-J / Purity Ring & Danny Brown / crowd
Coachella 2013 is currently going down in Indio, CA for its second weekend after kicking off this past Friday (4/19). We've already posted pics of day 1 (HERE and HERE), day 2 (HERE) and day 3 (HERE) from weekend 1, and now we've got pictures of day 1 from weekend 2 in this post. This time around we caught sets by Passion Pit, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Youth Lagoon, Purity Ring, (who were joined by Danny Brown, whose new album they appear on), Foals, Modest Mouse, Alt-J and more.
Check out more pictures from 4/19, along with a "Coachellavated" video of the festival filmed from the top of director Chris Crutchfield's head and a video of Passion Pit's full set from weekend 1, below...
Stone Roses / How to Destroy Angels / Johnny Marr
Friday's lineup was teeming with such line-jumpers, performing with various degrees of laurel-resting. Early in the day came the Shouting Matches, a shambolic blues-esque outfit whose sales pitch is that it includes Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The group took almost a half-hour for sound check, and its set was almost as loose. Mr. Vernon, such a precise and processed singer in Bon Iver, was here far more at ease, pushing his vocals no harder than the amiable songs demanded.There was also Divine Fits (Britt Daniel of Spoon + Dan from Wolf Parade), Deathfix (Brendan Canty of Fugazi on drums), Grinderman with Nick Cave, Johnny Marr of the Smiths, Trent Reznor of NIN in How to Destroy Angels (who made their live debut days earlier), Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys with his band The Guantanamo School of Medicine, and more. And of course reunions and britrock galore with Blur, The Stone Roses, Sparks, and Jurassic 5 all also playing Friday. Here are our pictures from day one (which do not include Polica, but check out our instagram for a shot of Justin Vernon joining them on stage).
Later, in the dance-centric Sahara tent, Dog Blood performed a loud but not thunderous set. It's a collaborative project of Skrillex and Boys Noize, and does not quite live up to Skrillex's typical punishment or Boys Noize's characteristic exuberance.
Day One pics continue at BV Chicago and below...
Check out the dates, Coachella, Irving Plaza and Music Hall of Williamsburg included (ticket info forthcoming), below...
by Bill Pearis
Among the many acts announced for Coachella 2013 was indie guitar royalty Johnny Marr, and his appearances on the two Fridays (April 12 and 19) of the fest are his first-announced solo shows in North America -- but a proper tour has been promised.
After the Smiths broke up in 1987, Marr became a guitar-for-hire, playing with Talking Heads, The Pretenders, The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse and The Cribs. He also briefly formed The Healers ten years ago who made one record and toured (anybody go see them at Bowery Ballroom?) but The Messenger, due out February 26, is his first solo album. While he moved to Portland, OR a while back, he relocated his family back to Manchester to make the album. He told MOJO:
I had to come back to Europe to make this record. It was like wehn I moved THe Smiths from London back to Manchester to write Meat is Murder and The Queen is Dead -- I knew the vibe there. I needed to get rained on, I needed to be around people playing The Velvet Underground in the next room, sitting in cars with the windscreen wipers going, all that lovely stuff.For those longing to hear him pull out those Smiths-style riffs, The Messenger is rife with them and generally steeped in his post-punk upbringing. ("European Me" is especially Smithy.) As a lyricist and singer, Marr does a pretty good job, though I caught myself thinking a few times, "What would Morrissey have done with this tune?"
Videos for "The Messenger" and "Upstarts," plus a stream of album-opener "The Right Thing Right," are below...
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned before, Johnny Marr's solo debut, The Messenger, is out February 26 and finds the guitarist pointing the spotlight on himself after years of taking a backseat in bands such as The Cribs, Modest Mouse, The The, and Electronic. (The Smiths were okay too.) Unlike his band The Healers from 10 years ago who made Oasis-style Britrock, the tracks released so far off The Messenger have some of the flair that made Marr one of the most influential guitarists of the last 30 years.
The new single off album is "Upstarts" and the video for that track just debuted and you can watch it below. For more on Johnny Marr, check out the February issue of MOJO which has him on the cover. A North American tour is in the works as well.
Johnny's old songwriting pal Morrissey just played his first-ever Brooklyn show.
"Upstarts" video is below as are two other tracks from The Messenger, plus album tracklisting.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bill Pearis
Morrissey at BAM, 1/11/2013
Morrissey made his first trip to Brooklyn on Friday night (1/11) for a show at BAM, the second of four shows the former Smiths frontman is doing in the NY area this month. Opening the show with new-ish song "Action is My Middle Name" (which he performed recently on Letterman) and a handful of different oldies ("How Soon is Now," "Please, Please, PLease," "November Spawned a Monster") swapped in, the setlist was different enough for Moz fans to justify going to see him again after he was just here in October. (Setlist is below.) Of course for some, the only justification needed is he's playing. And those are the people who try and get on stage and hug him.
Like the shows in October, Kristeen Young opened. Morrissey plays House of Blues in Alantic City tonight (1/12) and The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on January 19.
In other Smiths-related news, Morrissey former co-writer Johnny Marr is on the cover of the new issue of MOJO. The issue comes with a CD featuring many of Marr's colaborations over the last 25 years, including Sandy Shaw's somewhat rare version of"Hand in Glove" which she recorded with Marr and the rest of the instrument-playing Smiths in 1984. It's also got "The Right Thing Right," the opening track from Marr's upcoming solo album, The Messenger (out Feb. 26), and you can stream that below.
More pics and setlist from BAM and that Johnny Marr song stream are below.
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...
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Al Cisneros with Om at Bowery Ballroom, Nov 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Sleep is honored to perform at Maryland Deathfest 2013.Good news, which hopefully also means the return of Sleep for recorded material as well. Wow. More details on the way including, hopefully, tour dates outside of their appearance at 35 Denton and at MDF.
Al Cisneros (Om, Sleep), Matt Pike (High On Fire, Sleep) and Jason Roeder (Neurosis, Sleep) have been carefully balancing busy touring schedules to push forward with Sleep as a full, reunited band...
We look forward to MDF and beyond.
Praise thee who accept The Iommic in thine heart
Current Sleep bandmates have been busy with their other projects as of late. Jason Roeder just celebrated the release of the new Neurosis LP in Oakland (pics). Matt Pike is currently on tour with High on Fire, and will play two NYC shows this weekend. And last but not least, Al Cisneros played with Om at Bowery Ballroom on 11/21 (pics) and will return to join Johnny Marr (who has a new solo album coming) and Kim Gordon at Terminal 5 on 12/1 for Dinosaur Jr's celebration of You're Living All Over Me. Tickets are still available.
Dinosaur Jr recently added a grip of European dates to their current slate of shows. Check out those dates alongside a stream of the new live album recorded in 1987 titled Chocomel Daze (out now on Merge).
Dinosaur Jr at FYFest, August 2012 (more by Debi del Grande)
The initial announcement of Dinosaur Jr's performance of You're Living All Over Me at Terminal 5 on December 1 teased "Very Special Friends Sitting In". One of those is now announced. Johnny Marr is set to appear at Terminal 5, where he'll appear for "a song or two" along with opener (and likely guest) Kurt Vile. Tickets are still available. All Dinosaur Jr. dates are listed below.
Just like Dinosaur, Johnny Marr has a new LP as well though his isn't available until the new year. Marr's solo debut, titled The Messenger will be released on 2/26 via Sire/ADA, and will feature twelve new tracks by The Smiths/Modest Mouse/Cribs guitarist recorded in the UK and mastered at Abbey Road with Frank Artwright.
All tour dates and some video is below.
At Coachella a few years you complained about the waft of burning flesh from a nearby barbeque. Has that been a problem since at outdoor shows?The Moz always has to get in a little barb at Smiths rhythm section Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke, doesn't he? For more on the Smiths, you can pick up the October issue of MOJO which details the band's formation. And of course Morrissey will be in NYC next week for three sold out shows on his upcoming tour.
Not at all, and interestingly the agents for Coachella offered a 100-per-cent vegetarian event for the following year if I would agree to headline with Johnny Marr as the Smiths. Fascinatingly they made it clear that they would 'not require' the Smiths' bass player or drummer ... which I thought certainly said something.