Dino Jr.'s J. Mascis Performs Solo & Acoustic

ATN Los Angeles correspondent Roger Park reports: The audience at the

Troubadour last Thursday was treated to a

very special acoustic set by Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis. A

packed crowd enthusiastically cheered as Mascis walked on the stage

armed only with an acoustic guitar. Mascis tuned his instrument in

a torpid manner as the crowd grew more anxious.

"You know, they have an autographed photo of Joan Baez in the

bathroom," he said before he started his first song. "It's kind of

nerve-wracking to be on the same stage Joan Baez was on."

The songwriter/guitarist, who hails from Amherst,

Massachusetts, played a 40 minute set, which included songs from

earlier Dinosaur Jr. albums such as "Homestead" and "Green Mind."

Much to the appreciation of the audience, Mascis also performed

songs from "Without a Sound," an album which was released last

summer.

Earlier in the evening, Mike Johnson, bassist for Dinosaur

Jr., also played an acoustic guitar solo set. The atmosphere of

the opening set was both mellow and attentive as Johnson's full

tenor proved his talent for songwriting as well strong guitar work.

During Mascis's set, the expression on the face under the

brown Stetson hat remained calm and sedative. However, in contrast

to his reticent between the songs, Mascis' distinctive nasal twang

and guitar playing showed great dynamics. At times, Mascis would

trash on his acoustic and send great booms and chops through the

air, only to change, in a wink of an eye, to a delicate intertwining

of soft singing and fragile guitar lines. Often compared to Neil

Young, both in singing and guitar style, J. Mascis music still

remains the individualistic art of his unique talents.

"I got hooked up with J. back in 1990 when I was living a

friend of mine," Johnson told ATN after the show. "J. was out in

Seattle and at that time, I think, he had an abscess tooth and

wasn't really in good condition. But we got together and I joined

the band."

In the corner, Mascis is trying to close a small suitcase

which is jammed with pages of songs and guitar cables. When asked

what projects he was doing, Mascis said, "I'm working on songs for

an Allison Anders movie. I met her a year ago and we kept in

touch." Finally, Mascis closes the cases and plops down on the

sofa, a bit tired. When asked when the next album is due, Mascis

raises his eyebrows, smiles, then says, "No plans right now, but

don't worry­­there'll be more."