APRIL 25

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis became slackerdom’s Jimmy Page. More wary of the spotlight than even his most principled peers, Mascis always wore the guitar-god mantle reluctantly, which made him all the more interesting. On Dino Jr.’s best recordings—most notably 1987’s epochal You’re Living All Over Me and the more polished, relatively underrated Where You Been from 1993—Mascis simultaneously lampooned and celebrated the persona of an ax-slinging deity. His solos, inflated by the overwrought emotions of someone who could never adequately express his feelings with words, were cock-swelling orchestrations of raw beauty—the polar opposite of songs inspired by lethargy and weakness. But where Mascis’ music was once thrilling in its suggestion of sensational healing, he has since succumbed to the bombast and languor he used to rise above. Ever since Lou Barlow left the fold, Dinosaur Jr. has been Mascis’ vanity project. On the band’s latest, Hand It Over, as on 1994’s Without a Sound, Mascis’ songs serve less as vehicles for electric rejuvenation than excuses for the malcontent to hump his guitar. To witness someone still trying to find new blood in guitar-rock, arrive early for Sweet 75, Chris Novoselic’s new band, which reportedly sounds nothing like Nirvana. Ditch Croaker opens at 9 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Brett Anderson)