J. Mascis is my best friend. Sometimes he’ll come over and sit across the table from me and we’ll discuss politics—ok, I will—he’ll just sit there brooding the way he does. Yes, the number five best guitar player of all time according to Spin will retort with a cold ambivalent stare while I unload my woes over a pint. When that’s finished we’ll grab our skateboards and go out—um—thrashing. When that gets old we hop into my convertible and cruise around town, everything captured in slow motion frames from the spinning wheel wells to my belly-aching laughter at something J. must have muttered between frowns. We’re stylized, he and I through the perspectives of everyone looking on and the over-driven guitars reverberating off brick walls of the city.
None of that is true, of course. I’ve never met the man or any member of his band. But I’ll be damned if he and Dinosaur Jr. haven’t been part of my life from the first time I drove a “Freak Scene”-squealing car by myself to the tour just a few months ago where instead of an opening set, hardcore pioneer and spoken word artist Henry Rollins simply sang their praises. (I used to invite him over too, but could never get a word in).
But of all the ways J. has ever been there when I needed him, nothing comes close to the song he wrote for me: “Over It” from 2009’s Farm. I mean clearly it was for me. He lets the guitar whine like a baby while he crackles through everything that can possibly go wrong and still finds a way to dismiss it all with a barely audible Pffft (I can hear it, can you?). They don’t just rock out with solos they emotionally manipulate their guitars into an empathetic wah-wah-wah-whine-fest and then, satisfyingly shrugs out Oh waaaaa-ell.
This is a song you put on when you need a pick me up. It will rock you into inevitable hope at the worst possible times. Thank you, J! [Fist Bump]
You know, now that I think about it, it’s entirely possible that this wasn’t just for me. But you know what? I’m over it.
Dinosaur Jr. - Over It (Official Video)
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.