Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene

Feeling a bit rushed lately. I've found that I like to be a day ahead. That gives me some time to tinker with the recording, listen to it a few more times, dig up some information on what the band has been up to since then, maybe even edit my random stream of crap writing style, and so on.

Unfortunately, I've been spending my nights at MGH with my super-fantastic aunt these days, and she'll be there for a while, it seems. The prognosis is good overall, but she's stuck there for a while waiting for surgery, which totally sucks. So I visit after work and get home late. These are going to be a bit more hasty than usual in the meantime, and may stop for a few days, though stopping messes up my plans to be done with this endeavor before baseball season really kicks in, which looks to be more interesting all the time.

Anyway, I came back from my latest visit and found that my somewhat loosely organized piles of 7" (the yet to do living and already done dead had been segregated) on the office floor had all been picked up and put back into a vacant spot in the bookshelf. My weak attempt at organization has been thwarted! Undaunted, I reached into the newly unified pile and pulled this out. I picked a winner. Wow, listening to this brings back a lot of memories. Amazing how music can capture all of these moments in time, store them away, and retrieve them all the moment you hear that song again. It had been a while. I've listened to Dinosaur Jr many times since then, but by default, I turn to their You're Living All Over Me album because the opening punch of "Little Fury Things", "Kracked" and "Sludgefeast" just calls out to me, and I blow right past Bug, which features "Freak Scene" and holds all of these long-lost memories.

These guys were flat-out great, and completely unique for the time. Blue Cheer loud, with excellent guitar and wah pedal work by idiot-savant J Mascis that countered his whiny, kinda stoned sounding vocals. Together, it all worked beautifully. I picked up Bug right after it came out based on some reviews and recommendations and was immediately hooked. 

When I started buying vinyl in 1990 or so, this single seemed like a great thing to grab, and the B-side was something I'd never heard before (the ending is a fun noisy mess). I bought a lot of SST from the mid 80s up until I bought some Dinosaur singles, so this marks the end of the label for me. SST seemed to fall apart after Dinosaur went on to sign with a major. Black Flag, Husker Du, and the Minutemen weren't walking through that door anytime soon, and SST seemed to have some managerial issues, too. Sub Pop took over as the indie label of choice soon afterward. Unfortunately, most of those old SST purchases were on cassette (there are a few exceptions...). I've replaced most of the old tapes with CDs, at least.

A: Freak Scene
B: Keep The Glove

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