Saturday, March 27, 2010

More Light

Another highlight of my trip to Austin was finally getting to witness J Mascis play. Our paths had criss-crossed at least a dozen times, in the last decade, and due to some bullshit or other, i kept missing him, as my devotion to his squall grew.
More Light, the first record from J Mascis and the Fog featuring Mike Watt on bass and guest-starring Kevin Shields (!!!) and Robert Pollard (although i'm not exactly sure where), came out in 2000. I was just getting out of a marriage, and just about to turn 21, finally able to get into bar shows, after waiting (impatiently) for about 6 years. With my new found freedom, i dove feet first into the indie underground, let the undertow take me away.
One of my first loves, which continues to this day, was shoegazer music. I'd gotten into Slowdive early, and the lush, psychedelic soundscapes wedded to beauty and melancholy were definitely my herbal cup of tea. Loveless blew my fucking head open (still does), and was one of the key components in my decision to start making my own music, to follow this path as far as it would take me. I got into The Fog due to the Kevin Shields connection, never having heard Dinosaur Jr a whole lot. I'm still not all that familiar, to be honest, but i'm working to remedy that.
More Light documents a phase in J's life, in which he was investigating Amma, a Hindu saint, and was seemingly finding a modicum of peace, trading in some of his trademark bitterness and self-hatred for light-hearted jams like 'Same Day' or 'Ammaring', dedicated to the Saint and my personal favorite (which he played in Texas, which has made my year thus far). Make no mistake, however, this record flat out fucking rocks. J's burning, dirtyohsonasty guitar flailing is as choice as ever, if not more so. As i've become more of a fanatical 6 string enthusiast, this guy's skills impress me and draw me into his various projects even more. Not all nastiness, here, some sweetness, some light, some depth; psychedelic flourishes, some tasty tripped out synth (an example can be heard on Ammaring), or the last track, 'More Light', featuring Kevin Shields in all his jet-plane glory. I swear to christ, every thing that man touches turns to dark magick plutonium. This track could be a lost MBV outtake, and for those of us still waiting for Loveless 2.0, we gobble that shit up.
This record conjures a special time in my life, when everything was new and interesting, and i feel that way. It has held up well, over the years, and i still get a tingle when it comes on the speakers. A last trivial footnote, the touring for this record pretty much led directly to The Stooges re-union, as the Asheton brothers would occasionally sit in on the European tour, and they would play classic Stooges' tunes. If anyone has recordings of any of these shows, i'd love to hear 'em.
More Light

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