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Pop Music Review

J Mascis Mixes Moods in a Riveting Effort at Troubadour

November 18, 2000|LINA LECARO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A master of effortless yet complex folk-flavored noise, J Mascis continues to live upto the standard he set with the acclaimed pre-grunge pioneers Dinosaur Jr. with his latest project, J Mascis & the Fog. It's another exercise in alternating chaos and clarity, with spellbinding guitar work laying the foundation for lovely 'n' lazy compositions.

The band's performance Thursday at the Troubadour wove Mascis' bluesy melodies with his signature reckless guitar solos, concentrating on material from the new debut album "More Light." It also showcased the talents of the touring lineup, which includes L.A. veteran Mike Watt on bass and former Dinosaur Jr. drummer George Berz.

Even with these charismatic players sharing the stage, the shy, unkempt Mascis shone like a bedazzled metal god as he alternately seduced and attacked his guitars to extract rolling distorted riffs and fuzzy effects that had the mostly college-radio crowd riveted.

On record, Mascis' music can go from sweet and country-fried to numbingly psychedelic, and when amped up onstage these qualities are undeniably effective. He's not the most nuanced singer and the raw atmosphere he creates may not be for everyone, but Mascis' live renditions of his new songs proved he's more than just a prehistoric rocker.

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