Tied to a Star J Mascis
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- 1Me Again04:25
- 2Every Morning03:58
- 3Heal the Star04:34
- 4Wide Awake03:30
- 6And Then04:14
- 8Trailing Off04:21
- 9Come Down05:33
- 10Better Plane03:51
Info for Tied to a Star
J Mascis’ Tied to a Star, the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut Several Shades of Why. Tied to a Star also features guest appearances from musicians Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).
Here he comes with his long, flowing, greying mane of hair - armed only with an acoustic guitar. The legendary Dinosaur Jr frontman comes at us with his latest solo effort and following on from 2011's 'Several Shades Of Why' this seems much more of a laid back affair.
The reality of this album from the very beginning is that it does exactly what you expect it to. It's pretty much Dinosaur Jr 'unplugged' to be totally honest. That's not to say that this isn't a good record: it hits the spot nicely for a veteran Dino J fan like myself. Mascis's trademark southern drawl is still present and correct, as are a few of the near virtuoso guitar solos, and they actually work quite well in an acoustic scenario.
It's not all wishy washy acoustic cuddles either. 'Heal The Star' ends with an ace Led Zep style kashmir jam, and there are a couple of guest appearances from the likes of Cat Power aka Chan Marshall and Mark Mulcahy on backing vox.
Recorded and produced by Mascis
Mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA
It’s all but inconceivable that J Mascis requires an introduction. In the quarter-century since he founded Dinosaur (Jr.), Mascis has created some of the era’s signature songs, albums and styles. As a skier, golfer, songwriter, skateboarder, record producer, and musician, J has few peers. The laconically-based roar of his guitar, drums and vocals have driven a long string of bands – Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr., Gobblehoof, Velvet Monkeys, the Fog, Witch, Sweet Apple – and he has guested on innumerable sessions.But Several Shades of Why is J’s first solo studio record, and it is an album of incredible beauty, performed with a delicacy not always associated with his work.
Recorded at Amherst Massachusetts’ Bisquiteen Studios, Several Shades is nearly all acoustic and was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark, both in the shape of the tunes and the glorious rasp of the vocals.
“Megan from Sub Pop has wanted me to do this record for a long time,” J says. “She was very into it when I was playing solo a lot in the early 2000s, around the time of the Fog album [2002's Free So Free]. She always wanted to know when I’d do a solo record. [Several Shades of Why] came out of that. There are a couple of songs that are older, but the rest is new this year. And it’s basically all acoustic. There’s some fuzz, but it’s acoustic through fuzz. There’re no drums on it, either. Just one tambourine song, that’s it. It was a specific decision to not have drums. Usually I like to have them, but going drum-less pushes everything in a new direction, and makes it easier to keep things sounding different.”
There is little evidence of stress on Several Shades of Why. The title track is a duet with Sophie Trudeau’s violin recalling Nick Drake’s work at its most elegant. ‘Not Enough’ feels like a lost hippie-harmony classic from David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name. ‘Is It Done’ rolls like one of the Grisman/Garcia tunes on American Beauty. ‘Very Nervous and Love’ has the same rich vibe as the amazing rural side of Terry Reid’s The River. And on and on it goes. Ten brilliant tunes that quietly grow and expand until they fill your brain with the purest pleasure. What a goddamn great album. (by Byron Coley)