j. mascis and the fog

Word is that the title of the Sonic Youth song “Teenage Riot” (off of 1988’s epic Daydream Nation) was inspired by an offhand comment from J. Mascis, then of Dinosaur Jr.

I recently stumbled online across his latest musical project: J. Mascis and the Fog. You can download a few free and legal mp3s from Epitonic (“Same Day” is particularly good) and a whole lot more from their official website. If you’re a fan of non-stupid riff-heavy rock, this is the music for you.

I’m not sure if having these mp3s now makes me more or less likely to buy a CD, but I think I’m more inclined to go check out the album featuring “Same Day.” There’s nothing like this being played on the radio right now, so I don’t know how else I would have heard this. Major record labels and commercial radio are clearly now just an irritating appendage to music, rather than something that fulfills any sort of useful function. Well, I guess this has always been the case, but it’s only gotten worse. I hear the same dozen songs or so over and over and over. And as I’ve said before, it’s not that I’m a snob about popular music, but why are we forced to hear such a limited range of artists and styles? It’s frustrating.

So check out Epitonic, a website that bills itself as “your source for cutting edge music” and find something you otherwise might not have heard.

By the way, Mascis’ guitar of choice appears to be a Fender Jazzmaster, but I did find a picture of him playing a Telecaster, albeit one that’s a lot more glammed up than mine. Strangely, there’s something reassuring about musicians you dig playing the same instrument as you (e.g. Radiohead‘s Jonny Greenwood plays a Tele that looks a lot like mine). Silly, I know.

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