By Nancy Woo
Dinosaur Jr., the highly influential alternative rock band birthed in 1982, though thought extinct for a few years between 1997 and 2005, have not only continued their far-reaching stomping through a wilderness of progressive musicianship, (mending deep wounds between band members) but have spawned at least two other mentionable side projects in the meantime.
For fans, the rift between guitarist J Mascis and guitarist Lou Barlow may have been a blessing in disguise (especially since they patched things up and reunited in a creative embrace that has since produced a critically acclaimed new Dinosaur Jr. album Beyond), for after tensions arose between him and Mascis, Barlow formed a band of his own called Sebadoh, which needless to say, did not flounder. Known for their lo-fi technique, nearby vocals and melodic grunge sound, Sebadoh produced albums for a decade. But greedy listeners might still think that's not enough.
This brings me to the question, who's hungry for some more Sebadoh goodness?
If you raised your hand, you may be interested to know that SubPop is re-releasing some of Sebadoh's tastier treats, plus more goodies you never knew you never knew. Today, my dear grunge ghoulies, Sebadoh's fifth and, some say, best full-length album Bakesale will be out as a re-released and re-mastered Deluxe Edition, featuring the original fifteen tracks plus a second disc with a whole yummy mess of B-sides, EP tracks, acoustic versions and rarities.
Seventeen years after the world's first contact with Bakesale, it has stood the test of time and is back for both old fans and new alike. Fall in love with the album for the first time, or reignite your old flame all over again. It's powerful, raw, dreamlike and angry all at different movements in time, a crunchy and wailing guitar, stylistic distortion, close-up vocals and an altogether rocking time for any garage, with just the right amount of reflection and tenderness. I, personally, am always listening while nonchalantly reclining on my mind's green tattered couch with cigarette butts stinking up the oil-greased pavement around me.
Mascis also embarked on solo projects, and since we're sharing our love of Dinosaur Jr., it should be noted that J Mascis recently released a brand new solo album Several Shades of Why, his first full album of solo material in a quarter century. And it is unmistakably Mascis, with that endearingly growling croon, spun this time over a sweeter-than-Dinosaur acoustic background.
Whether you have a preference for one songwriter over the other, one thing is for sure, and that's that the lo-fi, gritty rock movement of the 90s would have been nowhere without both musicians, Barlow and Mascis, and both bands, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh.
For more information about Sebadoh's Deluxe Edition Bakesale, go here.
To see more J. Mascis, visit his website, which has a video sketched in the artistic stylings of labelmate Chad VanGalen.
And please excuse me as my gush leaks all over the place