J Mascis + the Fog Roll Into Alaska
For 30 years, the infamously mercurial J Mascis has been following his own musical path, confounding expectations (and alienating the occasional bandmate) along the way. This weekend (March 30 and 31), he'll take another left turn, temporarily stepping out from the reunited Dinosaur Jr. to play a couple of dates with his band the Fog -- in Alaska.
The shows, which will take place at the Aleyska Daylodge in Girdwood, came about because someone at the resort knows the Fog's original bassist, Dave Schools. Of course, lineups shift constantly in Mascis' world, and Schools is no longer with the band; in fact, the current Fog roster consists of musicians he met on a previous Dinosaur Jr. tour.
"They were our road crew on our first go-round of the Dino reunion," Mascis explained in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, quipping that "They'd set up the stuff and play and sounded a lot better than we did. We came on stage and all the local people were like 'What happened to the band? You guys suck.'"
One advantage of the current Fog personnel: Fans can expect to hear music from all phases of Mascis' career. "Those guys know a lot of songs of mine," he said. "They sent me a list of like 40 songs."
The shows should serve as a bit of an interlude for what's shaping up to be a busy year for the prolific frontman. He told the Daily News that Dinosaur Jr. is wrapping up a new album, which he described by saying, "I guess it sounds different -- not sure exactly how. It might be a little bit mellower or something." He's also working on a new release with another band, Heavy Blanket, which he summed up by saying, "I don't know who it will appeal to or anything. I don't think girls seem to like it very much. I think it's guitar nerd kind of guys that like it. It's just like one long guitar solo."