05 August 2007
Dinosaur Jr -- Live in the Middle East
In the tenth grade I don't think I listened to anything but Dinosaur Jr. By the time I was out of high school all I didn't listen to anything but Gwar or eat anything but Taco Bell and if I was going to listen to some fucking weenie music it probably wasn't gonna have J Mascis' tired drawl in it. Sure, I'd still play a Dinosaur Jr disc every now and again, but it never meant as much since I spent the entire time convincing myself my enjoyment was little more than learner's permit nostalgia. I didn't honestly like J's voice or that awful classic rock engineering, did I? This pattern continued during the subsequent years and even after I was well aware that 2000's More Light was the best thing J had ever released and was also one of the greatest records of all time. But in spite of all of that, I still couldn't come to terms with why I liked Dinosaur Jr in the first place. Somehow down at the foundation of all those years of cranking these albums the only thing I could see was a 14 year-old's pathetic attempt to instill in himself an indie rock credibility seven years past its prime. So there was me in my twenties questioning the validity of my musical taste from a time when even shaving was years away; the adult me embarrassed by the mere chance that maybe, just maybe, one of my most important bands didn't even earn that title, and instead had it unconsciously bestowed upon them by a teenager trying to be cool. How could I trust myself? I thought. Are all of my judgments potentially worthless? What kind of person would be so easily persuaded by Micheal Azerrad?
But then one day as I sat in the car listening to Free So Free I came to the conclusion that it really didn't fucking matter why I liked Dinosaur Jr, and that there was no point in debating whether or not my enjoyment was genuine or to what extent it was at all. All these songs were just a part of me, they were in there for good. I couldn't shake 'em and why should I want to anyway? They were good songs, dammit, and if they consistently meant something it shouldn't matter what that something was.
And the guitar solos were badass.