Free Music Friday – Dinosaur Jr. July 10, 2009Posted by Matt in free music friday.
Tags: Dinosaur Jr., music video, Over It
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Has anybody else noticed something strange about the music world in 2009? With excellent new releases by the Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, and Sonic Youth; albums to come by Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and the Beastie Boys; and even announced comeback releases by long-forgotten bands like Marcy Playground and Third Eye Blind, it’s like we’ve somehow been transported 15 years in the past. Being a lover of gen-x 90’s music, I’m excited by the prospect of a return the last golden age (well, maybe not when it comes to Marcy Playground and Third Eye Blind, but you get the idea). One more band to add to the list that has just released their second stellar album in a row is Dinosaur Jr., and band whose fuzzy distorted noise has been sorely missed. J. Mascis is still an incredible guitar player and the band is rocking just as well as ever. Check out the video below for “Over It.”
Ten for Tuesday: Upcoming 2009 Releases June 23, 2009Posted by Matt in Best of 2009.
Tags: 2009, alice in chains, Beastie Boys, Best Of, Coldplay, Dinosaur Jr., Matisyahu, music, Pearl Jam, The Avett Brothers, The Dead Weather, The Flaming Lips, upcoming releases, Wilco
Last week I gave my top music releases for the first half of 2009 – you can see parts 1, 2 and 3 here – so today I wanted to continue that trend a bit longer and tell you what albums I am most looking forward to for the rest of the year. Let me know what you think.
10. Matisyahu – Light (Release Date: August)
What is not to like about an Orthodox Hasidic Jew as a reggae artist? His last album, 2006’s Youth was an interesting piece of work that even someone like me who is fairly ignorant about both the music style and the branch of Judaism’s tree from which this came can appreciate and really enjoy it.
9. Dinosaur Jr. – Farm (Rlease Date: June)
For more than two decades J. Mascis’ band has been trucking along beneath the surface, creating some of the most incredible noises to be found in the music industry. After finding some success in two minor hits (remember Keep Choppin’ and Feel the Pain?) in the early 90’s, the band again slipped into obscurity. But the band with the prehistoric moniker never quit and their last release, 2007’s Beyond, was a much-needed blast from the past, with the fuzzy distortion of J. Mascis’ guitar and his Neil Young-like vocals helping the band again find their groove. If this one is anywhere near that level of greatness, it could be among the year’s best.
8. Alice in Chains – Black Give Way to Blue (Release Date: September)
With their first album in 14 years, Jerry Cantrell & Co. are finally looking to bounce back from the 2002 death of singer and founding member Layne Staley, this time fronted by William DuVall. I had the chance to see them live last year and, let me tell you, they still rocked. Hard. There are few bands that survive and thrive after the departure of such an important member, so it will remain to be seen how they will fare in today’s music environment. But, as a fan from the early days, I’m hoping their comeback will be one for the ages.
7. Coldplay – untitled (Release Date: November)
Sure, the band plays safe, radio-friendly tunes devoid of anything too challenging that are custom-built to appeal to the masses, but, despite my outright music snobbery, I can’t help but like them. Their songs are catchy and stadium-ready, with sound that many compare to an early U2 without those pesky social causes or, frankly, too much thoughtfulness. Nevertheless, they almost always make for a good listen and I’m sure this will be gracing my Ipod soon after its release.
6. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee (Release Date: September)
After nearly a quarter century, the Beasties just keep trucking on, despite the fact that they likely used up most of their inventiveness on their classic albums from the 1980’s and early 90’s (Seriously, Paul’s Boutique is one of the greatest collections ever recorded). 2004’s To the 5 Boroughs was a fine return to form, but it was apparent that their well of creativity may be running dry. This album doesn’t need to be a music landmark, though, it will no doubt continue their legacy of enjoyable white boy hip-hop.
5. The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You (Release Date: August)
The Avett Brothers’ 2007 release, Emotionalism, was one of my finest discoveries of that year (thanks to some combination of Scott, Greg, and emusic) and for some time I listened to it on an incessant basis. The band morphs genres as diverse as bluegrass and punk rock into a fantastic whole, immediately broadening the musical horizons of the listener. If you’ve never heard someone rock out on a banjo before, then you obviously need the Avett Brothers in your life.
4. The Dead Weather – Horehound (Release Date: July)
I’ve been a disciple of Jack White for several years now, but his status was forever concreted among the pantheon of rock deity after I saw the White Stripes live in 2007. As a dedicated follower, I am resolved to immediately gobble up any release bearing his name, whether it be through the White Stripes, Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose, the Raconteurs, or, his latest outfit, The Dead Weather, an indie rock supergroup consisting of vocalist Alison Mosshart (The Kills), guitarist Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs) and the aforementioned Jack White on drums/vocals. Make no bones about it, this will be awesome.
3. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic (Release Date: September)
Over the past 15 years the Lips have evolved from their mainstream gimmick-song beginnings to releasing two of the best albums of the past 10 years (1999’s The Soft Bulletin and 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots). 2006’s At War with the Mystics was a good piece of sonic guitar psychedelia, though perhaps not to the standards of their earlier work. So, I eagerly await the latest work with hopes for something as strange and inspired as they have recorded in the past.
2. Wilco – Wilco (The Album) (Release Date: June)
There are few musical groups working today as wildly inventive as Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco. Every album seems to take a step in a slightly different direction, as though Tweedy is feeling out every aspect of the rock universe just because he finds it so darn interesting. 2001’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the greatest albums of the new millennium and the two following recordings, A Ghost is Born and Sky Blue Sky, have been excellent pieces as well. You can always expect great things from Tweedy, so I eagerly await him to continue his musical exploration in ways that will continually challenge us to think outside the box.
1. Pearl Jam – Backspacer (Release Date: September)
What more can I say of my love and devotion for Pearl Jam? They are a band that helped define my generation back in our formative years in the early 90’s and that continues to astound us today, nearly two decades later. Eddie Vedder is, hands down, the preeminent rock vocalist of the past 20 years and I expect the band to continue to blaze a trail for all bands under the umbrella of rock music to continue to follow. If their recent performance on Conan O’Brien is any indication, this album is going to blow every one of us away…and I couldn’t be more excited.
What about you? Is there anything in the music world that you are looking forward to?
Free Music Friday – Dinosaur Jr. May 16, 2008Posted by Matt in free music friday.
Tags: Beyond, Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis, music, video
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Some dinosaurs just refuse to become extinct….and that’s a good thing. Dinosaur Jr. was one of the most important bands of the grunge era in the early 90′s, but they somehow missed the boat that their peers – Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc. – road to success and stardom. Recently J Mascis reformed the band and their newest album, Beyond, is a great blast from the past. You may remember them for the minor hits they scored back in the day – “Start Choppin’” and “Feel the Pain” (as well as probably others that I can’t remember) – and the new recordings fall right in line with what they were doing 15 years ago. Below is a live performance of “Almost Ready” from their latest album. Check it out.