Sunday, July 2, 2023

Dinosaur Jr., Taipei, and I just don't get it!!

Written by Detroit Jack

In 1991, I was living in Taipei, Taiwan, where I was teaching wonderful little kids at Good Time English cram school, great experience, except for the time one of my eight year old students came to my lesson with black and blue bruises from head to toe, because his father had beat him for failing an exam at his school. I refused to teach the boy that day, though I don't know if that was a good decision, but, I couldn't stand looking at him in that condition. But, I digress. 

There was a Tower Records not far from the school, and they had the best of everything! I could buy William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac books, and the latest CD releases. I used to just look at the covers, and if they looked cool, I bought them as an experiment, to try, seek, you know the routine. One of those CDs was from a band called Dinosaur Jr., you probably know the iconic cover of a young long-haired 80s kid with a cigarette in his mouth. To make a long story shorter, I bought the CD, took it back to the Taipei Hostel, and listened to it . . . , and honestly, I just didn't get it. I tried over and over, over several years, and still, I didn't get this sound! I have the disc in my collection till this day. But, I'd say it was around 2014, I saw the Dinosaur Jr. album 'Beyond' pop up on YouTube, so, I gave it a try. 

I've always been into giving bands a second, third, fourth chance. Well, I have to say, my mind was blown away, and I began searching out every Dinosaur Jr album, and I listened to them ALL, over and over, and I have say, love love! Oh, and then I discovered that Lou Barlow had been in the band, and that started my love affair with Sebadoh, who I actually videotaped (their full live show) in Portland, Oregon in the mid-90s! The moral of the story is, never give up on art, even when you don't get it, because art precedes our so-called cultured minds anywhere from 30-150 years, depending on the art, and the state of ones culture. Here is Dinosaur Jr.

Ps. Just listened to 'You're Living All Over Me' twice, while writing this. Love love!!