Thursday, July 1; Former Dinosaur Jr. leader and indie rock guitar wizard J Mascis is giving his ears—and ours—a break this tour. Instead of bringing Mike Watt and four full Marshall stacks to the Launchpad stage and playing so freaking loud some people actually get nauseated, he's playing all by his lonesome. Having seen little bits and pieces of Mascis' solo act previously in Austin, I can say with confidence that just because he's playing acoustic guitar, you shouldn't immediately assume he's not going to rock. In fact, with the help of a distortion pedal and various other effects, you won't really be able to tell the difference at times between Mascis' hollowbodied instrument from an electric guitar.
While his hippie-trip sets certainly have that singer-songwriter air to them, there's something rebellious and (gasp!) alternative about just knowing that it's J Mascis up there, still giving it up for the people in his own, uncompromising way.