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Tuesday, 09 October 2012 10:47

Charting the Music: Dinosaur Jr. 'I Bet on Sky'

Charting the Music: Dinosaur Jr. 'I Bet on Sky'
Written by Travis Dettmann
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Dinosaur Jr. has returned with more somber drawls and resilient guitar solos on its sophomore Jagjaguwar release "I Bet on Sky."

"I Bet on Sky" is Dinosaur Jr.'s 10th studio album, the third album since its original lineup reunion in 2005. This "junior" album is another one for the history books.

88.1 KDHX Chart Position: #5 CMJ Top 30 for the week of October 2, 2012.

Can be heard on: Music at Work with Curt, Uncontrollable Urge with bobEE Sweet and the Space Parlour with Nick Acquisto.

RIYL: Husker Du, the Pixies or My Bloody Valentine

Hometown: Amherst, Mass.

Standout Tracks: Opening song "Don't You Pretend You Didn't Know" immediately gets your foot to tapping. The single "Watch the Corners" transitions into an eyes-closed head bob, complete with hand drumming on the quadriceps. Just wait until the two and a half minute guitar solo.

About the artist: Deep Wound bandmates Lou Barlow and J Mascis started Dinosaur Jr. in 1984 after that group dissolved. Recruiting Murph on drums, the band went on to release three albums before Barlow's departure in 1989. While Mascis remained the only original member of the band until ending in 1997, the trio reunited in 2005 to release three albums to date, including "I Bet on Sky."

About the label: Jagjaguwar calls Bloomington, Ind. home and Darius Van Arman the creator. Since 1996, this indie rock label has been releasing albums by artists including Okkervil River, Sunset Rubdown and Bon Iver.

Album art: "Trippy cloud faces" first comes to mind when gawking at the cover for "I Bet on Sky." Artist Travis Millard's work has also been used by Foundation skateboards, Burton snowboards and Vans shoes.

Did you know?: Both Barlow and Mascis occupy their time with other bands aside from Dinosaur Jr.: The former with Sebadoh and the latter with stoner-metal band Witch.

Play it while: Imitating J Mascis on air guitar, mumbling included.

What the critics say: "J Mascis doesn't so much sing as lie in the gutter and murmur through a pile of dead leaves and gravel. But set against the sleepy crackle of his voice is the coruscating energy of his guitar, which strains at the leash of every song until it surges into a solo of needling, insistent power. 'I Bet on Sky' offers no variations on the grand theme, but pleasures in the detail: a blood-drenched riff in 'What Was That'; a fragile cadence to 'Stick a Toe In.' Wistfulness aches at its heart, as Mascis knowingly soundtracks the mood of nostalgia that sends people rummaging secretly through Facebook to gaze at pictures of their teenage sweethearts and dream about the children they'll never share." – Maddy Costa, The Guardian.

KDHX coverage: Joe Roberts interviewed Murph about the new album and the band's appearance at LouFest 2012. Day one of LouFest, including Dinosaur Jr., was reviewed by Annah Bender.

Official video for "Watch the Corner" (NSFW).

Discover more new music on all the 88.1 KDHX charts.

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