I am on the road with Dinosaur Jr., the mighty trio from the great state of Massachusetts. They're in the middle of a week of shows that feature them playing their breakout 1988 album, Bug.
Thankfully, this is not some act of desperation, or a band cashing in on past achievements. The great news is that there are a lot of Dinosaur Jr. albums -- and none of them sucks.
Oh, there might be that one you play a little more often than the others for sentimental reasons, but you don't wonder what the hell happened on any of them -- they are that good.
The last two albums, 2007's Beyond and 2009's Farm, were excellent, as were the tours that supported them. The band revisiting Bug is just a great night of music for those who know what they are in for. As an added bonus, the opening act is Pierced Arrows, the new band of Fred and Toody Cole of Dead Moon. They are as real as the day is long. What a band. Count me a fan.
Previous to their scheduled shows on the East Coast a few months ago, Dinosaur Jr. contacted me and asked if I would be interested in conducting a short interview with them onstage before they went out to play. Are you kidding?! A chance to see Dinosaur Jr. night after night? I said yes so fast it hurt. It was a great time. And recently, when the band asked me to come aboard for the West Coast leg, I gladly leaped at the chance. What a great way to end the year.
And so here, for the purpose of relaying the 411 to our fabulous Los Angeles readership and the rest of the world, I give you my reportage, written from the side of the stage into my steno pad during the California shows the band just completed.
A Fanatic's Notes Dept.:
12/12/11, Costa Mesa: Band onstage and delivering big-time. Rhythm section extremely together. Drummer Murph has steadily upped his game over the years and is now driving the band forward with great force. There is a happiness I feel whenever I see this band play, that hits me the same way every time since I first saw them in 1986. The waves of sound batter and melt you. It is dense-melodic-carameloid lava punctuated by bass and drum explosions. It is an awesome combination of force and momentum that by turns comforts and smashes.