Today is Thursday. I was sitting at work and a Monday New York Times was lying there while I was eating lunch, so I picked it up and starting roaming. A tiny picture of J. Mascis caught my eye in the Arts section. I started reading about the Fender Jazzmaster Anniversary show last weekend with Tom Verlaine, J. Mascis and Thurston Moore among others.
I slowed down at this sentence:
Songs started and ended the concert.
Hmm. Interesting way to write about a concert. The concert started with a song and ended with a song. That’s revolutionary.
I kept reading, thinking it may have been a mistake or perhaps the writer, Mr. Jon Pareles, was writing the whole thing at 4 AM, flying high on amphetemines or crack or sawdust. I let it go. It’s an interesting sentence if nothing else. It did catch my eye. So I kept reading…
I was stopped again when I finished this next paragraph:
Leading Dinosaur Jr. since the 1980s, and on his own, Mr. Mascis has united indie-rock introspection with unbridled guitar jams. On Friday his band was a full-tilt power trio, with Dave Schools (from Widespread Panic) on bass and Kyle Spence on drums. Mr. Mascis sang in a bemused drawl about being bereft and confused. But the music declared otherwise with earthy, distorted riffs — twangy roots-rock marches and choppy postpunk dissonances — leading into brash, extended solos that climbed from chiseled melodic lines to racing, spiraling, frenetic peaks.
Excuse me? Let’s read that again. bemused drawl about being bereft and confused? the music declared otherwise with earthy distorted riffs- !!!! What the hell is an earthy guitar riff? Let’s ask J. Mascis.
SWR: Hello, Mr. Mascis, would you describe your songs as having an earthy feel?
JM: Yea, uh, you could say that.
SWR: Would you also describe your solos as being brash, yet chiseled, but at the same time racing, spiraling and…perhaps… yes.. perhaps even frenetic?
JM: Oh, Most definitely frenetic. I would even go so far to say that our song structres jump between a marching style roots rock with a hint of Neil Young twang and somewhat choppy postpunk dissonances. It’s really all about the dissonances dancing with the choppyness. It’s earthy, Mr Rockin.
SWR: Thanks J!
I’m done. I know my readership is small (hello tigs!) and I don’t make any money with any of my writing, but at least I can be happy I am not Jon Pareles, the god of all the music journalism gods. Keep writing, Jon. I love it.