Tag Archives: j. mascis

geezers for weezer….or, a music festival with showers and a private loo

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tomorrow morning i leave for the Weezer Cruise. haHA! my first cruise, my first open ocean nighttime sky, my first time in Mexico…certainly not my first float, but you could call it my first boat load of music.

it’s been a long time since i went to a good music festival. i cut my teeth on the first few lollapoloozas and punctuated those experiences with Woodstock 94. that was the one where, unless you pitched your tent near the Port-o-Johns that couldn’t be emptied because people pitched their tents all around a bunch of Port-o-Johns, the chaos was lovely, the music was mostly great and we didn’t burn things down or trample each other. then there were scads of local festivals down south, punk rock matinees at CBGBs up north, all of which got gross enough to feel like camping in a bear carcass.

as i got older, i got pickier about epic music events. i’ve considered the bonaroos and the coachellas, a few one-day festivals here and there, but eventually, despite my passion for live music, the visceral awareness of the inevitable eau de crusty-kids in wet grass is just a buzzkill.

it’s time. this week and weekend i will revive my drive, pack plenty of deoderant and sequester myself on the sea with what i’m hoping will be more than a bunch of 20-something dudes. my boyfriend and i will split the ages just above and below the grand-daddies of the ship, the hosts who will grace rockin’ and rocking main stages and events over the four day cruise. i’ll watch them play tunes i was spinning as a college radio dj in 1991 and beyond. will this be j mascis and dinosaur jr rockin’ the greatest hits tour like the breeders did a few years ago? will fans of the other fledgling bands consist of more than the adult music bloggers who can afford SiriusXM subscriptions and boat fare? it’s all good, i just wonder.

or, will me and my guy be one of “those couples” i used to see at festivals when i was 21? the ones where the kids are all thinkin’ a) awe, the old people are here rockin! b) they must be with the band or festival crew, or c) um, this the “Weezer” cruise…the Geezer cruise leaves after they finish installing hand rails on your slot machine seats. i wonder if they will realize we didn’t have to “find” an 80’s prom night themed outfit…just open a dusty trunk and squeeze into memories with disintegrating zippers. i so wish i had my doc martin maryjane’s or my old catfish-toed chuck taylor high tops to complete the ensemble.

the coolest thing about the psycho-social aspect of this adventure is that…haHA again!…i don’t give a crap. the self-conscious need to at least blend with the cool kids exited my life some time ago. i’m not single and goofy and shy anymore. i’m even unperturbed at the thought of tooling around the ship in a bathing suit. i’m a cool kid in my own world, where me and my traveler are set to embark, eyes, ears and hearts open, amped to see some great music and sparkling scenery. we are both primed for pleasure. plus with this evolving version of musical mayhem, i’ll be thrilled to take advantage of a refreshing pool, a clean balcony room and a grown up, full-service spa should i need to escape the creeping scent of boy sweat and dreadlock wax…or the din of drunken bunkmates and high seas hookups…or to above-grass accomodations with doors that lock.  there i can also rest my almost geriatric ears between exquisite sets of disabling distortion and furious feedback, pulsing precision and lo-fi licks.

oops, almost forgot…time to chill tonight’s pre-bon voyage champagne! it’s not korbel and it’s not krug…it’s right in the glorious middle, like i am in age, happily and wonderfully good enough. wish me calm seas and competent crew members. plus a constant tropical breeze of orchids and tuberose, salt and tree fruits to freshen the festival air. more the calm seas and competent crew members, though…if you’re prioritizing.

 

a serious aside: my thoughts and heart go out to everyone affected by the Costa Concordia tragedy. avoidable mistakes that can’t be undone are like torture added to grief. reality can be so difficult when acceptance is your only choice. may the sacrifices made here be the last of their kind. 

 

 

 

 

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more punk rock than the sum of its parts

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just to be clear and open, music is a soulful, historied, irrational thing for me. i’m not exactly a “purist” about any of it, whatever that means. i try to give the people what they want…or, at least let them enjoy whatever freakishly horrible mass-media taste they feel the need to express as long as they aren’t around me. as a captive be-vehicled listener, i have no criteria for the range of tunes i cruise to, other than i need to like them. in the end most of my rather large collection is rockin’, bluesy, sentimental, moody, sexy and/or staring-out-the-window-at-the-american-landscape dreamy…all subject to opinion, of course.

so i dj’ed in the car this weekend, as the solo passenger, with a driver whose musical tastes are as varied as mine and whose ears can tolerate “my music” way better than i can tolerate music outside my pretentious, picky little world. i actually brought cds, not an ipod. well, i did have an ipod, but got lost handling liner notes the way i love to do. (anachronism – lovely word.)

i may take the role a little too seriously, but i have so much freakin’ fun doing it when i’m allowed. i was a college radio dj and music manager in northeast mississippi (WMUW 88.5) back when we still played vinyl records along with only a single row of cds in a tiny crate. (it were new-fangled technolology, and played on faincy cd players that barely worked…cd players that were later stolen by my freshman advisor who then disappeared forever into a fog of radio slacker breath and intrigue.)  i went through LOTS o’ music phases (and would like to know, at what point does a succession of “phases” become a credible definition of taste?). one thing i learned is that “punk rock” means myriad things to myriad people…me? i can’t include Green Day or the Offspring (excuse me a second…vomit…back of throat…(guhlp)…shiver) and can’t exclude patsy cline or death metal.

and with this post, i establish my official and final definition of punk rock: n. pure fucking rebellion.

and in honor of all punk rockers and rebellions before me: i give you my blues-heavy, mountain roadtrip musical showcase, Thanksgiving 2011:

  1. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  2. Come Dancing- The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986 (give that a listen using your “today” ears…timeless and oh so relevant)
  3. Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia (one of the best solo projects i’ve ever heard from the classic rock world)
  4. Mazzy Star – She Hangs Brightly
  5. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Trouble is (remember he was 21 when he released this record and as young as 17 as he wrote it)
  6. Girls – Broken Dreams Club
  7. Patsy Cline – Love Songs
  8. KISS – Destroyer…scored on saturday for 5 bucks at a Super Walmart in a Luray, VA! (that’s LOURaey for those of you unfamiliar with southern english. the “ray” is actually pronounced as two syllables in a grammar part i can only identify as lying somewhere between a hiatus and a diphthong.)
  9. Dinosaur Jr – Without a Sound (who i will see on the Weezer Cruise in january…plus all kinds of j. mascis solo glory…teeHEEEE. so excited)
  10. Roger Miller – King of the Road
  11. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

eclectic. also a lovely word. comments please? all jabs, jeers, cheers and how’bouts accepted.