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Several Shades of Why

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Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis doesn’t simply turn off the amps for this acoustic record, but actually crafts the songs to fit the acoustic medium. For Mascis, this is a major statement. During past acoustic excursions, he played his acoustic guitars like they were hooked up to Marshall stacks. But his gentler side takes over for these positively pleasant sing-alongs. Yes, while “Listen to Me” sounds like a Dinosaur Jr. tune, “Not Enough” could be punk meets Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Similarly, “Very Nervous and Love” pushes forth the Neil Young comparisons with its deeply wounded feel. Only a few musicians are added for spice. Kurt Vile on guitar. Sophie Trudeau on violin. Pall Jenkins on keyboards. No one takes up much space. “Make It Right” and “Can I” flesh out nicely, while “Too Deep” is a sparse number that’s catchy and compact. J Mascis was never expected to make music so soothing. Yet, he has. A great surprise from an alternative rock legend.


Born: 10 December 1965 in Amherst, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as the remote frontman of the influential indie trio Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis has also been an occasional producer and film composer. Born December 10, 1965 in Amherst, Massachusetts, he first emerged as a member of the hardcore unit Deep Wound, founding Dinosaur in 1984. Over the course of acclaimed LPs like 1987's You're Living All Over Me and 1988's Bug, the group emerged among the most highly regarded in alternative rock, with Mascis' creaky, Neil Young-like vocals and monolithic guitar...
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