J Mascis

Though J Mascis officially disbanded Dinosaur Jr last year, his manager recently said that Mascis' next album, now in the planning stages, might yet be issued under the famed moniker.

Jonathan Cohen, Mascis' manager, said the guitarist/singer is considering such producers as Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Brendan O'Brien, Flood and Jack Joseph Puig for the new project, which will not come out on Reprise, the band's last label.

"I think before J moves on to a new label, it's important to get some closure," Cohen said. "We thought it would be a good idea to offer the fanbase some new things to chew on while they wait for the new record to come out."

One of these new things will be a 15-track Dinosaur Jr greatest-hits collection, which also may include B-sides and new material. One possible title is 14 Years, the length of time Mascis and his various sidekicks spent performing under the Dinosaur Jr name.

Dinosaur Jr's leader was born Joseph D. Mascis 33 years ago today. The reclusive Mascis began to develop a reputation as a talented slacker around the time he played with the hardcore band Deep Wound. In 1983, he formed Dinosaur in his hometown of Amherst, Mass., with bassist Lou Barlow.

Though Mascis initially played drums, he switched to guitar when Patrick "Murph" Murphy joined Dinosaur as its skinsman. After recording an LP for the indie label Homestead, Dinosaur moved to SST Records in 1987.

You're Living All Over Me brought acclaim, especially for Mascis' feedback-laden guitar. When it was sued by another band named the Dinosaurs, the group also added Jr to its name.

In 1988, Dinosaur Jr issued Bug, which included the underground hit "Freak Scene," but Barlow soon quit to form Sebadoh. Sans Barlow, Dinosaur Jr employed a series of bassists, including Screaming Trees' Van Connor. After Dinosaur Jr joined Sire Records, Mascis played almost every instrument on 1991's Green Mind. Mascis also moonlighted with the likes of Sonic Youth and produced Buffalo Tom.

Following the addition of bassist Mike Johnson, Dinosaur Jr released the Whatever's Cool With Me EP (1992) and the critically lauded LP Where You Been (1993). The latter featured the popular cut "Out There" (RealAudio excerpt) and the modern-rock hit "Start Choppin'."

Partly because of Nirvana's concurrent success, Where You Been became Dinosaur Jr's first album to chart. Mascis received a great deal of press for having made innovative underground music before grunge's commercial breakthrough.

Murphy soon left and joined the Lemonheads, but the band carried on for 1994's Without a Sound, which produced the alt-rock hit "Feel The Pain." Next for Mascis was his first "solo" album, 1996's Martin & Me,which documented his acoustic tour. He also wrote songs for, and appeared in, the 1996 film "Grace Of My Heart."

Mascis completed Dinosaur Jr's last LP, 1997's Hand It Over, without Johnson before announcing the end of the band.

Whatever happens with his career following the new studio LP and the greatest-hits set, Mascis will be remembered for bringing noise-guitar wizardry to alternative-rock.

Other birthdays: Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy), 55; Ralph Tavares (Tavares), 50; Chris "Ace" Kefford (the Move), 52; and Jessica Cleaves (Friends of Distinction), 50.