Back in 2011, Dinosaur Jr did several shows in which they played their Bug album in its entirety. They also brought Henry Rollins along. Not as an opening act–he rightly suggests that rock audiences wouldn’t want to hear him talk for 45 minutes, but as an interviewer. Before each set he asks the band a few questions that a long-time fans might want to know.
In this concert spot he asks some questions as well, although none are all that interesting (I assume he saved the good ones for the paying audience). But that’s neither here nor there because what we care about is the reunited Dino playing songs. And they sound great!
It’s a four song set: “Little Fury Things” an absolute scorcher of a version of “Yeah We Know.” And great version of “Freak Scene” and (a surprise for me) their cover of “Just Like Heaven” (which I think of as a novelty but which still sounds great). I love that it still ends with the roared “YOU!!!”
The band sounds great–the guitar is loud and overwhelming -Murph and Barlow sound great too. And Mascis’ voice sounds exactly the same–which is a good thing. It’s hard to believe they were separated for so long. This set is totally worth hearing.
[READ: October 16, 2012] “Jack and the Mad Dog”
This is a strange story in which the protagonist is “Jack, that Jack, the giant-killer of the bean tree.” This story works to update the Jack story now that many years have passed and Jack is older, less mythical.
It begins with Jack waiting for a farmer to fall asleep so he can have sex with the farmer’s wife (for $4). Then we see that Jack had drunk some moonshine on the way there (he is drunk for the first time). He waits and waits for the farmer to leave, but the farmer is on to him and tells him to go home.
Frustrated, Jack leaves only to run into the Mad Dog. The Mad Dog is sent to bite Jack and give him rabies–in other words, the fairy tale is over. But Jack has a few resources left and he evades the dog’s bite. As he flees, with the dog in hot pursuit, Jack sees a number of maidens and he runs with them until they catch him checking out their asses. They turn tables on him and ask him to defend his past of lechery and debauchery.
As with the Robert Coover stories that I’ve read in which he re-envisions fairy tales, I wanted to like this–even if it was meant to be a very very dark tale of the failure of a fairy tale character but as with the Coover, I didn’t think it was very effective. There were amusing parts, but it had a weird juxtaposition of humor and angst that I don’t think ever really played out correctly. I feel that if you are going to use archetypal characters, you have a lot of work cut out for you, and I don’t think it was done well enough.