J Mascis and Philadelphia psych rocker Kurt Vile played at Philadelphia’s World café Live on 3.23.11 showcasing both new material and old. Kurt Vile’s latest album, “Smoke Ring For My Halo,” is a wonderful album filled with gutsy, American rock. It’s a shame that I found myself wanting to hear more vocals during his World Café Live show and wonder why he muddied them up so much with effects.
On the other hand, the long gray haired Mascis pushed an old Gibson acoustic guitar to its limits as he brought to life the magic that is his latest album Several Shades of Why (Sub Pop). Hearing Mascis string together the gentle acoustic folk songs, mixed with long looping squeals of peddle affected guitar riffs was a delight. The highlight of his set was a cover of Edie Brickell’s “Circle of Friends” and an amazing execution of the Fog’s “Get Me.” On the latter, Mascis opened up and soared through a three minute guitar solo that he fueled with a constant bending of his instruments strings. All the while Mascis added new low end portions that he looped together on a slow delay that brought us charging ahead. He rattled off a few more songs before Kurt Vile came back to accompany him on guitar and backing vocals on “Make It Right”, “Not Enough”, and “Ocean in the Way”. Mascis said that the evenings encore was meant for the Vermont show the night before. Before much of the crowd had emptied, he laid out the Dinosaur Jr. song “Quest” and another Fog treat, “Wagon” finishing the night.
You can listen to Mascis’ Several Shades of Why here – http://www.spin.com/articles/full-album-stream-dinosaur-jrs-j-mascis
Watch J Mascis doing “Ammaring” and Kurt Vile joining him for “Not Enough”