Listening to Dinosaur Jr is akin to putting on a jacket you haven't worn in a long time and finding a crisp ten pound note not long after rumaging through the pockets. Now this doesn't happen very often, so when lightning does strike in such a way, it's only right that you act accordingly. What I mean to say is that you want to hunt down all their records and play them over and over again, right? Ah well, i'm afraid I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that their first three albums have been discontinued - and unless your willing to make a fight of it over on ebay this really is bad news - but take heart reader, for I did say there was good news. Yes, you've guessed it - or probably know already - the first three Dinosaur Jr albums are getting the deluxe treatment, the ultimate special edition gloss and fan package of a life-time, or at least until now. Now this might not make an impact on the Jeff Buckley scale, but lets face it, who is blind enough to think that the wealth of Jeff Buckley material avaliable at the moment isn't purely about money. I mean, come on, one great album doesn't equate a legacy - even if the album is "Grace." Stop me if you think i'm being insensitive. Clearly some people actually want to hear Jeff Buckley attempting to joke around on stage; but this, and coupled with all that background noise and problems with the instruments, you really must be a diehard fan to pocess the patience (I mean, agony) that goes hand if hand with listening to live at Sin'e(?).*
The context bit: The history of Dinosaur Jr is a lengthy one, and since I probably won't do it justice i'm just going to focus on those early albums. J Mascis is generally blamed for gradually transforming the group into his own vision, but "Dinosaur", "You're Living All Over Me", and "Bug" demand re-evaluation because these free-flowing noise mongering titans made soloing and layered sonic mayhem an artform and this has never really been investigated since, or bettered - although us shoegazing brits took it down different avenues and other bands like Nirvana were always quick to site them as a major influence. Of course, how these albums conform to remastering remains to be seen, but if anything, they should be interesting if not essential purchases. Also interesting, is news that the band have pledged to reform under their original lineup, and that "Freak Scene" is going to be re-released again as a limited edition single. Oh, and Pitchfork report that the Replacements albums are going to get the SE treatment too. Sha-weet!
*Ok, I have it, but i'm a hopeless completist and clearly in need of treatment. Anyway, reports seem to suggest that there won't be a great deal of additional tracks to accompany these reissues, and I think I was trying to say that this doesn't really matter, in a long winded fashion.
Dinosaur Jr - Chunks
J Mascic & The Fog- Same Day
Official Dinosaur Jr page - Freakscene
Official J Mascis page - J Mascis.com
You can buy the reissues in March on Merge Records. For J Mascis material look to Amazon.