J Mascis with Opener Luluc - 11/28/18Wednesday, November 28 2018 6:00pm Doors / 8:00pm Start / Ends 10:30pm (Estimated End Time)
J Mascis with Opener Luluc - 11/28/18
at City Winery Nashville
- 10:30pm (Estimated End Time)
Best known as the frontman of the influential indie rock trio Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis has also been a solo artist, producer, and film composer. Getting his start as a founding member of the hardcore band Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr. was founded in 1984 and the group emerged among the most highly regarded in alternative rock. By reintroducing volume and attack in his songs Mascis shed the strict limitations of early 1980's hardcore, becoming an influence on the burgeoning grunge movement. Mascis' body of work continues to inspire a generation of guitar players and songwriters today.
In 1991, Dinosaur Jr. disbanded and Mascis released More Light, his first recording under the moniker J Mascis + The Fog. Members and collaborators of the Fog have included Mike Watt (Minutemen / fIREHOSE), Ron Asheton (the Stooges), Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices), Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) Dave Schools (Hard Working Americans / Widespread Panic) and Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk). Aside from his work with The Fog, Mascis finds himself behind the drums in the band Witch, and most recently playing guitar with garage rockers Sweet Apple. He is also known to perform solo acoustic proving that there are truly no limitations to his abilities. Fans of Mascis' huge guitar wails will not be disappointed by his intimate acoustic performances as he always brings in plenty of pedals to pepper these performances with the sonically enhanced solos he's best known for.
In addition to his own work Mascis has been heavily involved behind the scenes appearing on, producing, and mixing records for a string of highly regarded acts like: fIREHOSE, Tad, Buffalo Tom, Beachwood Sparks, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, The Breeders and many others. J Mascis has also composed music for film and has occasionally appeared in films such as Alison Anders acclaimed Gas, Food and Lodging.
When the original line up of Mascis, Lou Barlow on bass and drummer Murph re-formed in 2005 for select live dates it was apparent that the years apart had not eroded any of their vitality. Restoring the sound established by the opening hat-trick gambit of Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me, and Bug, 2007's Beyond continued the band's march into rock greatness by making old ears smile and new ears bleed afresh. The original lineup has now released four studio albums since their reunion, most recently 2016’s “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not” on Jagjaguwar Records. Mascis’ third solo studio album, "Elastic Days," is out November 9th on Sub Pop.
We spray our hair into submission, upright to attention. Marching to no orders, imagination has no borders. Well lucky that.'
"Me and Jasper," from Luluc's third album Sculptor, is a confident challenge to small-town insularity, lilting yet vigilant, and championed by a defiant guitar solo from the band's friend J Mascis. It's a reflection on a common pitfall of adolescence; limitless possibility battling constant obstruction. "My own experiences as a teen were often fraught" says songwriter and vocalist Zoe Randell. "The small town I grew up in provided a great study in gossip, scandal, character assignation and the willingness of people to go along with it." It's a song about fighting for agency on an album that is in many ways about volition and potential; how people can navigate difficulties and opportunities to create different paths.
Sculptor can be consumed loud; because while Luluc's music is at times masterful in it's minimalism, it is anything but quiet in impact. There's a before you hear Luluc's music, and an after -- a turning point that affects people with rare force. Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney says "it's music that once you hear it, you can't live without it." The National's Matt Berninger said that for months, Passerby was "the only album I wanted to listen to." "What first hits is that voice," writes Peter Blackstock (No Depression),"a peaceful serenity that reaches deep into the heart." When NPR's Bob Boilen named 2014's Passerby his album of the year, he wrote: "I've listened to this record by Australia's Luluc more than any other this year. These songs feel like they've always been."
That gripping, imperative quality pulses through Sculptor, perhaps to an even greater extent than on Passerby or Dear Hamlyn (2008). Randell writes with more experimentation and possibility. From the contemplative scene of "Cambridge," to the churning disaster chronicled in the title track, the songs on Sculptor are there for the taking. "Broadly speaking, with these new songs I was interested in the difficulties that life can throw at us -- what we can do with them, how they can shape us, and what say we have," Randell explains. "That potential that is there for everyone, the different lives that are open to us. That's what I love in Ise's poem 'Spring Days and Blossom' -- which form the lyrics to "Spring" -- the brimming sense of spring and it's cycle, the enormity of what's possible and the beauty."
Sonically, the band have broadened their tonal palette following on from the successful collaboration on Passerby, co-produced with The National's Aaron Dessner. Multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Steve Hassett mastered a wider spectrum of instruments to fully realize the album's expansive and daring vision. Randell and Hassett do nearly all of the writing, recording, and producing themselves, but their vision is far from insular. In addition to Mascis, Sculptor features contributions from several friends including Dessner (shreds on "Kids" and programmed drums on "Heist") and Jim White of Dirty Three (drums on "Genius") as well as musicians Matt Eccles (Weyes Blood, Connan Mockasin) on drums and Dave Nelson (The National, Beirut) on horns. Recording took place in Luluc's new Brooklyn studio, which they built themselves. The new studio is volition and potential in action and even incorporates reclaimed cedar from Dessner's iconic former Ditmas Park studio, where The National and Luluc had both lived and recorded.
That everyone has control of their own story is at the core of Sculptor. For Hassett, it's illuminated by the last line of the title track, which is the last line of the record itself: "'The most beautiful, serene sculpture my hands could make, could trace, could break.' All of the songs are playing with those ideas," he says. "Life is something you get, and you can get sidetracked for years and even destroy it, or you can remember that you've got some control over your life." But listeners of Sculptor may yield some of that control, even if for a short time, to the mastery of the music itself.