Shopping For Records: New Dinosaur Jr. albums, I Bet On Sky

Dinosaur Jr. will be releasing a new album in September called, I Bet On SkyJ Mascis is one busy, busy man.  Thinking about all he did last year touring with Dino and the various projects he pursued, which included his highly enjoyable solo album Several Shades Of Why, the subsequent tour to support the release and then his recent Heavy Blanket project, it's staggering how productive he's been.  Still delivering on quality, though, which is really what matters.

No singles available yet.  All info, links and dates are courtesy of Jagjaguwar.

Dinosaur Jr. Returns With I Bet On Sky September 18th
North American Tour Dates This Fall


photo by Brantley Gutierrez
"There is nothing quite like a Dinosaur Jr. album. The best ones are always recognizable from the first notes. And even though J tries to trip us up by smearing “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” with keyboards, it’s clear from the moment he starts his vocals that this is the one and only Dinosaur Jr., long reigning kings of Amherst, Massachusetts (and anywhere else they choose to hang their toques). I Bet on Sky is the third Dinosaur Jr. album since the original trio – J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph – reformed in 2005. And, crazily, it marks the band’s 10th studio album since their debut on Homestead Records in 1985. Back in the ‘80s, if anyone has suggested that these guys would be performing and recording at such a high level 27 years later, they would have been laughed out of the tree fort. The trio’s early shows were so full of sonic chaos, such a weird blend of aggression and catatonia that we all assumed they would flame out fast. But the joke was on us.

The trio has taken everything they’ve learned from the various projects they tackled over the years, and poured it directly into their current mix. J’s guitar approaches some of its most unhinged playing here, but there’s a sense of instrumental control that matches the sweet murk of his vocals (not that he always remembers to exercise control on stage, but that’s another milieu). This is head-bobbing riff-romance at the apex. Lou’s basswork shows a lot more melodicism now as well, although his two songs on I Bet on Sky retain the jagged rhythmic edge that has so often marked his work. And Murph…well, he still pounds the drums as hard and as strong as a pro wrestler, with deceptively simple structures that manage to interweave themselves perfectly with his bandmates’ melodic explosions.

After submerging myself in
I Bet on Sky, it’s clear that the album is a true and worthy addition to the Dinosaur Jr. discography. It hews close enough to rock formalism to please the squares. Yet it is brilliantly imprinted with the trio’s magical equation, which is a gift to the rest of us. For a combo that began as anomalous fusion of hardcore punk and pop influences, Dinosaur Jr. have proven themselves to be unlikely masters of the long game. Their new album is a triumph of both form and function. And it augurs well for their future trajectory. If I were prone to wagering, I’d say their best days are yet ahead of them. And yeah. I would bet the sky on it."

--Byron Coley


I Bet On Sky, their first since the 2009 album Farm, will be released in North America by Jagjaguwar on September 18th, 2012. Summer festival appearances and fall North American tour dates are listed below!



Dinosaur Jr. 
I Bet On Sky
September 18th, 2012

1. Don't Pretend You Didn't Know
2. Watch The Corners
3. Almost Fare
4. Stick A Toe In
5. Rude
6. I Know It Oh So Well
7. Pierce The Morning Rain
8. What Was That
9. Recognition
10. See It On Your Side


Tour Dates:
06/22/12 Chicago, IL: Subterranean
06/23/12 Chicago, IL: Green Music Festival
07/06/12 Des Moines, IA: 80/35 Music Festival
08/25/12 St. Louis, MO: LouFest 2012
09/24/12 Toronto, ON: Lee's Palace
09/25/12 Toronto, ON: Lee's Palace
09/26/12 Toronto, ON: Lee's Palace
09/27/12 Detroit, MI: St. Andrew's Hall
09/28/12 Cincinnati, OH: MidPoint Music Festival
09/29/12 Champaign, IL: Pygmalion Festival
10/01/12 Nashville, TN: Mercy Lounge
10/02/12 Atlanta, GA: Variety Playhouse
10/03/12 New Orleans, LA: Tipitina's
10/04/12 Austin, TX: Mohawk
10/05/12 Houston, TX: Fitzgerald's
10/06/12 Dallas, TX: The Prophet Bar
10/08/12 Flagstaff, AZ: Orpheum Theater
10/09/12 Santa Ana, CA: The Observatory
10/10/12 San Francisco, CA: The Fillmore
10/11/12 Eugene, OR, WOW Hall
10/12/12 Seattle, WA: Neptune Theatre
10/14/12 Salt Lake City, UT: Urban Lounge
10/15/12 Denver, CO: Bluebird Theater
10/17/12 Omaha, NE: The Waiting Room
10/18/12 Minneapolis, MN: Cabooze
10/19/12 Madison, WI: Majestic Theatre
10/20/12 Grand Rapids, MI: The Orbit Room
10/22/12 Bloomington, IN: The Bluebird
10/23/12 Cleveland, OH: Beachland Ballroom
10/24/12 Millvale, PA: Mr. Smalls Theatre
10/25/12 Washington, DC: Black Cat
10/26/12 Charlottesville, VA: Jefferson Theater
10/27/12 Philadelphia, PA: Union Transfer

Dinosaur Jr. Press Alcove
Dinosaur Jr. at Jagjaguwar
Dinosaur Jr. Official Site
Dinosaur Jr. on Facebook




Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead
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