Two things of note popped up on the music Interwebs this morning, one super terrific, one much less so.
The first, above, is the new Dinosaur Jr. video, released in advance of the reformed rock band’s third 21st century album, I Bet on Sky. The clip, for rocking single “Watch the Corners,” is weird and amazing, highlighting the eternal allure of long-haired pixel-faced bad boys on young, impressionable grocery-store clerks. Tim and Eric’s Tim Heidecker plays an awesomely furious dad in it. (“So, they’re not making you work in the meat department, right?” is a classic overprotective dad concern.) The video is good enough to deserve most of the press focus, but we should probably be more in awe of the song, which proves that J. Mascis will never ever run out of technically and emotionally devastating guitar solos. The band’s return to their early power-trio lineup has just been a reliable geyser of quality. Far from a Pixies-esque, creatively dormant cash grab, the records they are making now are in serious contention for their best work. This level of picking up where you left off might be totally unprecedented, actually. Now on their third record in 5 years, these guys are just knocking ‘em out, and making it look easy.
This in contrast to the second item, a new demo from perpetually non-releasing Australian crate-diggers, the Avalanches. “A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart” features some weary Americana poetry from Silver Jews’ frontman David Berman, and is not actually even a song. The Avalanches have been on perma-stall since releasing the totally awesome Since I Left You in 2001. The group has reportedly been working on its follow-up for almost 7 years now, although the list of rumored collaborators (including schnitzel fan #1 Ariel Pink and Danny Brown) is of-the-moment enough to suggest that they’ve only gotten serious about it in the recent past. This Berman demo is just sort of nothing ambiance behind a spoken poem that’s not really one of Berman’s best. It’s insignificant to the point of being weird that they even released it, especially given the rabid interest that makes even an official sketch BIG NEWS. If they are on the cusp of a new record after coasting on old work and inaction, promising that new material was imminent for at least 4 years, they should maybe just clam up until something’s ready, right? Seven years is certainly long enough to make an album. Any album. Ideally, like Dino Jr., they could just commit to a few choices and get on with it.