Entries tagged with: Tommy Stinson
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...
The Replacements back in the day
The Replacements, who haven't recorded material since 2006, will be reuniting this year to record an EP of covers, Rolling Stone reports. ...Well sort of. The reunion includes two of the three surviving longtime members (guitarist Bob Stinson passed in 1995), frontman Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson. According to Westerberg, drummer Chris Mars, "didn't want any part" of the reunion. "I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed," he added.
The EP is being pressed as a limited 250 copies on 10-inch vinyl, and features covers of Dunlap's "Busted Up," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from the Broadway musical Gypsy, Gordon Lightfoot's 1965 song "I'm Not Sayin'" and "Lost Highway" by Hank Williams. It's being auctioned online and the proceeds will benefit onetime Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered from a stroke earlier this year, and who also inspired the reunion. "You guys get together," Dunlap said to Westerberg, "Go play a song."
This news comes just after Paul Westerberg released his first new solo song in two years. If you haven't heard that yet, you can listen to it below.
The Replacements documentary, Color Me Obsessed, is also getting a DVD release this November.
And speaking of Replacements and covers, have you checked out Touche Amore's cover of "Unsatisfied"? If not, you can stream that below as well.
photos by Erik Erikson
"While Bad Brains sound has shifted from hardcore and punk to dub and reggae, they still mix it up for the audience coming to see them. Opening with a pounding set of their signature aggressive sound, the music of guitarist Dr. Know and bassist Darrel Jennifer along with drummer Earl Hudson was tight and very intact. Yet, one of the more interesting experience's to everyone was watching singer H.R., dressed in a valor jump suit with a dress shirt and tie underneath and knit hat, H.R., who has battled drug addiction and years of abuse to his body doing this profession simply looked burnt out. Slurring many of his words and mumbling in between songs, at points Jennifer would look at him and laugh, yet while his annunciation skills were not as top as the band's sound, it was still an overall experience watching him perform."Bad Brains played the second of their two night stay in NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg with GZA on 4/18, just one night after the band played Irving Plaza with H2O. The NYC shows were part of a short run of dates for the band who also played Philly with GZA and who will be at Bonnaroo this year. Pictures from the Brooklyn show adorn this post.
-[Officially a Yuppie]
Meanwhile, HR will be presen at a Benefit for Lucinda's Children, a two-night show to help out Lucinda Gallagher in the wake of her passing late last year.
Last December our close community of friends, musicians, and music lovers lost one of its own when Lucinda Gallagher took her own life, leaving behind two amazing children. These young teenagers, now in the care of Lucinda's dear friend, both have their mother's rock and roll spirit. Like her, they are bright and soulful and have a deep appreciation for music as gifted budding musicians.The first night of the benefit will feature performances from Marah, Jesse Malin, Jimmy Gnecco & Dave Milone, Jim Boggia, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Petter Ericson Stakee & "very special guests" (tickets for 4/29), while the second night boasts appearances from Tommy Stinson (of The Replacements & Guns n Roses), HR (of Bad Brains) , Alan Vega (of Suicide), James Maddock, Aaron Lee Tasjan and more (tickets for 4/30).
In order to raise funds for these children a two-night concert spectacular will be held at The Bowery Electric on April 29th and 30th... [and] in addition to the live show, an auction and raffle will be held which will include items donated by Mary Louise Parker, Fender, Bob Gruen, Danny Clinch, The Morrison Hotel Gallery & many more. 100% of the proceeds from the auction and concerts will be placed in a trust for Lucinda's kids.
Pictures from the Bad Brains show are below.
photos by Ryan Muir
G N' R @ The Ritz
Guns N' Roses (Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal) completed a short intimate tour that mostly happened in NYC in February. It hit Roseland Ballrooom, Terminal 5, Webster Hall (which they renamed 'The Ritz'), Hiro Ballroom, House of Blues in Atlantic City, and Chicago's House of Blues along the way.
They played over 30 songs at Webster Hall, starting around midnight and ending after 3am, working in almost anything you would want to hear including a handful of covers like the James Bond theme, Pink Panther theme, "Riff Raff" by AC/DC, and their usual takes on "Live and Let Die" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." The full setlist is below, along with more pictures and a video from the 2/15 Webster Hall show that the Toilet Boys opened.
The band's next show is Monday (3/5) in Miami which is followed by some California shows which all happen before SXSW which is where GN'R member Tommy Stinson (formerly of the Replacements) will play at least six solo shows. Tommy then heads out on a short East Coast tour with Kurt Baker in April which hits Union Hall in Brooklyn on April 12. Guns N' Roses head to Europe for a tour later this year.
All tour dates (GNR, Tommy Stinson AND Slash too), more pictures and the other stuff, below...
DOWNLOAD: Tommy Stinson - "Meant to Be" (MP3)
Tommy Stinson, an original member of The Replacements, and more recently a member of Guns N Roses, will release his second solo album One Man Mutiny on his own Done to Death Music on August 30. The album is the followup to 2004's Village Gorilla Head. Grab the track "Meant to Be" off the album above via Spin.
Tommy kicks off a three-week residency at Bowery Electric tonight (8/11). The residency will continue on Thursdays for the next two weeks, hitting the NYC venue again on August 18 and 25. Tonight's bill also includes Vanessa Bley and The Veda Rays. The 8/18 bill includes La Dolce Vita and The Liza Colby Sound and 8/25 has The Jay Vons. On 8/24 he's at Maxwell's.
Check out the album art for the new album below...