Sunday, April 3, 2011

J Mascis strums through the South

Mascis goes solo in Georgia, the Carolinas, and beyond

Posted by T. Ballard Lesemann on Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 9:09 AM

J Masics, 2011
Longtime fans of former Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis are quite familiar with his affinity for playing guitar at ultra-high levels of volume. Listening to Mascis’ latest offering, Several Shades of Why (Sub Pop) probably comes as a quiet shock to many devotees.

On the new disc, the singer/guitarist takes a very different approach to the recording, instrumentation, and volume level of his songs. Swapping the crank of the volume knob for a more delicate game plan, he veers away from the usual wall-of-sound toward a more sparse and strummy soundscape.

Recorded in Amherst, Mass., at Bisquiteen Studios, Several Shades of Why is almost entirely acoustic-based. Mascis enlisted a team of musical colleagues to help out on the sessions, including Kurt Vile (with whom he touring this month) and Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses.

j-mascis-cover.jpg
“It’s basically all acoustic,” Mascis says of the new album in a press release. “There’s some fuzz, but it’s acoustic through fuzz. There are no drums on it, either. Just one tambourine song — that’s it. Going drum-less pushes everything in a new direction, and makes it easier to keep things sounding different.”

Mascis plays a string of road trip-worthy solo shows next week, included a gig at the EARL in Atlanta on Thurs. April 8; the Melting Point in Athens on Fri. April 9; the Grey Eagle in Asheville on Sat. April 9; and the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro on Sun. April 10.

Visit jmascis.com for more info.

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