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Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me (1987) & Bug (1988)

November 22, 2019

[Album 695 & 696 /1001]

Bug

English is such a strange language.

For example, catching a ‘bug.’

Meaning:

a) you got sick?

b) you trapped an insect in some sort of container?

c) you got interested in a certain activity, such as catching the theatre bug?

In terms of option c), I initially caught the Dinosaur Jr. bug via their cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven. While it wasn’t quite on par with the original, I did find the noisiness & general scrappiness had a certain je ne sais quoi.220px-DinosaurJrBug

With regard to option b), as of yet, I have not been able to find this Bug in the wild. However, in a way, I suppose I was able to trap/download it through Apple Music & still listen to it offline.

Musically, I reckon The Cure cover foreshadowed the album effectively. Paradoxically, the band has a rare ability to seem both lazy & energetic!

I found I was often reminded of Hüsker Dü & Smeared-era Sloan, which are both far from unfavourable reference points.

Oh, and as for option a), does this Bug make me sick? Hardly.

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effectiveness (5)

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You’re Living All Over Me

After waiting 5.5 years to listen to the other 1001-listed album by Fairport Convention, I waited closer to 5.5 days to listen to the other Dinosaur Jr. entry.

And I’m pleased to report, they don’t seem to be a group plagued by diminishing marginal returns.

However, they do seem to be a group with a similar blessing/curse to Elvis Costello: the low points are relatively high & the high points aren’t all that much higher.

On You’re Living All Over Me, Little Fury Things would be the closest to a standout track. Yet if a track like Lose represents the opposite end of the spectrum, the spectrum is so narrow that the difference is negligible.

Are there other artists that fit the high floor/low ceiling description?

I imagine there aren’t too many low floor/low ceiling combos on the 1001 list & even fewer bands would qualify in the ideal high floor/high ceiling scenario.

And then there’s the high ceiling/low floor, aka, the =w=eezer category.

Rivers Cuomo & co. have the opposite situation to Dinosaur Jr., where the highs are off the charts and the lows…well, even Saturday Night Live has done a skit about =w=eezer’s career trajectory!

So perhaps Dinosaur Jr.’s high floor/low ceiling is a nice problem to have after all?

Just maybe not a career arc that will lead to an SNL skit!

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effectiveness (6)

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Verbalize the Positive

a) I hadn’t realized that Dinosaur Jr. was not the original band name – before legal issues, they were known as Dinosaur.

However, now that I’ve learned about the “Jr.” resolution to the band name lawsuit, they will probably make an appearance in an inevitable Top 5 Lawsuit Compromise Band Names list!

b) Our daughter lives for Peppa Pig (credit where credit is due, it’s a good show, even for the grownups) – and as we’re currently living in that world, now I can’t help but hear George Pig say “Dine-saur” when I think of Dinosaur/Dinosaur Jr.!

From → 1980s

12 Comments
  1. My kids are almost past the Peppa Pig stage. It’s a bit of a shame as it’s pretty funny. I like the recent-ish one when the Queen tries to jump the bridge.

    • I haven’t seen that one yet – in fact, I’ve seen very few as it’s usually on while I’m making dinner/washing dishes. But I’ve enjoyed hearing the voices & episodes many, many times!

  2. I’m so out of the loop of kids shows now Geoff! haha. I like your use of ‘diminishing returns’ as that basically can sum up an album in one sentence!
    The one big difference in Dinosaur Jr and Weezer is the financial statements between the bands.
    Great Stuff!

  3. I know their one big hit, except the name escapes me. They did have at least one hit right? I never ventured into their albums though so never caught that bug and not its bugging me that I didn’t.

    • I imagine ‘feel the pain’ would have been their biggest hit – another song in that ‘good’ category!

  4. Both very good albums, huh? I still dig them out and remain something of a Dinosaur Jr. fan.

    Also, cheers for highlighting that SNL sketch. I found the full thing on YouTube and had a chuckle… I can relate cause I’ve had that Weezer conversation a few times. I’m very much of the opinion that the best stuff was the first two albums and everything after that is junk. Not everyone’s opinion, but I think Weezer fans have settled for mediocrity *holds hands up*

    Also, Peppa Pig is great. I have also been drawn in to the world of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom… pretty much Peppa Pig with fairies and elves.

    • I remember when weezer came out with an album a few years ago, they polled fans asking about which single they should release ‘that would help our career’ – so it appears they’re not shy about chasing a hit!
      Perhaps that’s always been the case & I just liked what ‘hits’ sounded like a lot better in 1994 & 1996.
      And thanks for the tip about Ben & Holly, that sounds like one the kids would enjoy!

      • I’ve had that same conversation with a pal (perhaps Weezer have always chased a hit), but we concluded that they are definitely not as good as they once where.

      • I think that’s a reasonable conclusion!

  5. I enjoyed the floor ceiling ratio observation immensely Geoff.

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