DINOSAUR JR.

Here's what you do: Get them to sit down and say, "Listen. Just listen." Then you crank the Dino. I've been getting people to listen to Dinosaur (Jr.) for 25 years now. It used to be my job. In 1982, when we were in High School, I was the kid who couldn't play an instrument, so I booked the gigs. J told me where he thought it might be cool to play, and then I made the phone calls. Back then, the band was Deep Wound: J on drums, Lou on guitar, Scotty on bass, Charlie on vocals. Hardcore punk: fun, loud, fast as fuck. But I wasn't making people listen to the band then. For hardcore shows at The Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield or Gallery East in Boston, kids just got together and put on a show. Everyone pretty much knew what to expect. By 1984, Deep Wound had fizzled. The interim band, Mogo, was over after only one gig on the Amherst Common. It featured Charlie screaming "Fuck the cops!" before the plug was pulled, a total high-point in my personal catalog of rock-n-roll moments. Then came Dinosaur: Murph on drums, Lou moving to bass, and J bringing all his inner Moon and Bonham (Keith and John) to the guitar. And with Dinosaur came the tunes. The first cassette I had to take around to get gigs for Dinosaur was a raw but vital sketch of two tunes, "Forget the Swan" and "Cats in a Bowl," recorded in J's basement on a crappy old tape recorder. J and I were students at UMass but we spent a lot of time at Hampshire College, where the kids seemed hipper and more inclined to dig what Dinosaur was laying down. But this was not always the case. The guy I went to talk to for a slot on Hampshire's Spring Concert line-up, half-way through listening to "Forget the Swan," started talking about how great his own lame 60's retro-poseur band was. In the middle of "Forget the Swan"! I was incredulous. We did not get the gig, but the real disappointment was that this seemingly tuned-in guy didn't get it. Listen to the lead riff on "Forget the Swan" again. If you really listen, it will haunt you. This guy did not listen. And once you get it, you can't do without it. For me, Dinosaur's tunes are indispensable; they are songs that have been rattling around my head for as long as the band has been playing them. "Repulsion," from the first record, still knocks me out. The second record, "You're Living All Over Me," is an exception in that I can't listen to any one tune on that record without needing to listen to the whole damned thing. J once said that he writes songs that he himself would want to listen to, and he's got great taste. I never took the Cure seriously until I heard what these guys did with "Just Like Heaven," a monster of a cover that hits the level of what Hendrix did for Dylan with "All Along the Watchtower." When Brian at Bleemusic floated the original Dinosaur line-up reunion idea a few years ago, I was dubious. J, Lou, and Murph never had a "stable" marriage to begin with. But, of course, the tensions within their layered relationships as a band helped to make them so insanely powerful. Kids seeing the band on the YLAOM tour would come backstage after the show, dazed and transformed. It wasn't just the wall of J's Marshall-driven guitar or Lou and Murph locked in as tight as any bass/drum duo ever has been. It was vitality of the tunes themselves, delivered with emotion distilled to rock-bottom rock-n-roll essentials. After examining it from all angles, the guys decided the reunion thing was worth a try. The thawing out period was especially interesting. At one point I dug up photos from when we were kids, and now, as grownups sitting around at an Indian restaurant with spouses and houses and lives that are more-or-less "established," it felt comfortable and right. And then came the tunes again. "Beyond" was the rejoinder to the worry that Dino was merely flogging the back catalog as a reunion gimmick, and now here's "Farm." I've had this record for a week now, playing it constantly; it's pure Dino, great Dino. These tunes are now in my head for good, along with all their other tunes. This is what these guys do best, and they are really good at what they do. So do someone a favor: sit them down and say, "Listen." Then crank the Dino. Jon Fetler Hadley, MA 2009 Jon Fetler lives in Hadley with his four children and his wife, a girl he put on the guest list in Bedford, England, during the Bug tour of 1988. That same year, he was unanimously voted Worst Roadie of the Year by his fellow roadies in Rapeman and Band of Susans.

WATCH: Dinosaur Jr. Music Video Starring Tim Heidecker as Mad Dad

Funny or Die share a hilarious new music video for Dinosaur Jr.’s “Watch the Corners.” It’s your classic scenario: good girl meets bad boy, dad gets aggro. Except this time, Dad is Tim Heidecker rocking the sweetest butt cut. Directed by The Director Brothers and produced by Sean Boyle, the video also stars Olivia Crocicchia, Jordan Martin and Melanie Hawkins. Enjoy at Funny Or Die.

Dinosaur Jr.’s I Bet On Sky will be released September 18. Deluxe bundles still available at SC Distribution; pre-order your copy.

WATCH: J. Mascis Interview with Fred Armisen, Pre-Order I Bet On Sky

This is the sort of thing fans only dream about…until now. Earlier this summer, Fred Armisen and J. Mascis took to the streets of Portland for a very special interview. Fred (or Candice as millions of Portlandia fans have grown to know her) talks to Dinosaur Jr.’s frontman about the new album, I Bet On Sky. Watch the clip above.

The physical I Bet On Sky pre-order is now open to fans! Head to SC Distribution to check out all your options. The deluxe bundle includes a LP version of I Bet On Sky in gorgeous gatefold litho-wrapped jacket, CD version of the album in six-panel wallet, limited-edition 7″ featuring two brand-new, non-album tracks: “Now the Fall” and “Ricochet,” 17″ x 22″ glossy poster featuring artwork by Travis Millard and digital download code for the entire album, redeemable on September 4th.

Early Praise for I Bet On Sky

“It sounds like a record that they could have released 20 years ago… There aren’t many bands that were once really big that break up, get back together and find that original magic. It just doesn’t really happen very often, but this is a band that I think has found that original magic, and this is a great-sounding record.” – NPR’s All Songs Considered

“Reunions don’t usually work out this well.” – Rolling Stone

Stream Dinosaur Jr.’s “Watch The Corners,” from I Bet On Sky, Read New J Mascis Interview at Rolling Stone

Listen up! Dinosaur Jr. brings you the first single off their forthcoming album, I Bet On Sky. Titled “Watch The Corners,” the track premiered today at Rolling Stone, who posted the song along with an interview with J Mascis. “I guess on this record, I wasn’t as worried if we could play the songs live. [On] the other two records [2007's Beyond and 2009's Farm], I was thinking of it being more songs that we could play live and tour more. I guess that’s what’s kind of different about this album: I just did what I felt would sound good,” tells Mascis. Read the full interview and stream “Watch The Corners” HERE.

Dinosaur Jr. begins their tour in August. See full list of tour dates HERE.

Dinosaur Jr Announce New Album – “I Bet on Sky,” Kick Off North American Tour Later this Month

photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Some exciting news people! It’s been 27 years and ten studio albums, but Dinosaur Jr show no signs of stopping. Today they announce a brand new record, the third since the original trio of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph regrouped in 2005. Titled I Bet on Sky, it’s out on September 18th.

“There is nothing quite like a Dinosaur Jr. album. The best ones are always recognizable from the first notes. And even though J tries to trip us up by smearing “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” with keyboards, it’s clear from the moment he starts his vocals that this is the one and only Dinosaur Jr., long reigning kings of Amherst, Massachusetts (and anywhere else they choose to hang their toques).” -Byron Coley

See Dinosaur Jr live in concert. In addition to over 25 venue shows, they’ll play Green Music, 80/35 Music, MidPoint Music, LouFest 2012 and Pygmalion Festivals. All dates listed below! Read the rest of this entry »

Pierce The Morning Rain by Dinosaur Jr.

Watch The Corners by Dinosaur Jr.

Over It by Dinosaur Jr.

I Want You To Know by Dinosaur Jr.

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US:
Steve Kaul
The Agency Group
stevekaul@theagencygroup.com

Europe:
William Morris Agency (London)
Russell Warby
RWarby@wmeentertainment.com

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