Wish they would let me go home
October 8, 2013 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Here is the video for the J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr) and Sharon Van Etten cover of John Denver's song Prisoners (from the tribute album The Music Is You), featuring Aimee Mann and Superchunk's Jon Wurster as two eerily committed John Denver fans. If this sounds like the kind of thing you like, you'll really like this.
posted by Frobenius Twist (12 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Rock on, spirit puppet animals. Rock on.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:45 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love Aimee Mann, so watching her in a terrible wig is great, but I don't really care for the song, sadly.

John Denver was such an odd musical entity; real talent + so much schmaltz + terrible fashion sense. Goofy looking. But his damn songs got in your head and what could you do but sing along.
posted by emjaybee at 4:57 PM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

terrible fashion sense.

You know the people who think about how to make warning signs for nuclear waste pits that will warn off whomever comes a knocking ten thousand years later?

Well, they could start with signs for closets containing forgotten wardrobes of the 1970s. Because that sartorial decade that should never be dug up.
posted by zippy at 5:11 PM on October 8, 2013

I'm still not sure if this sounds like the kind of thing I'd like, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like a lot of the rest of that album, but I did really like this song & video, so thanks, Frobenius Twist.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:12 PM on October 8, 2013

Ah, J. The simultaneously greatest and sloppiest guitarist of my generation. I went on a binge of watching Mascis interviews a while ago on YouTube. There has probably never been anyone less interested in being interviewed than J. Mascis.

My favorite interview moment was when he was asked about his practice schedule. He mumbled that he hasn't practiced the guitar in years. I believe that.
posted by JeffL at 5:19 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

The original, for those of us wondering.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:33 PM on October 8, 2013

I grew up riding in the family car where there was only one eight-track - "Aerie" - and the radio was considered too vulgar. After avoiding JD for many, many years, I've been listening to him a *lot* lately. I find his utter lack of guile, and Jimmy Carter levels of decencyto be really appealing.

That, and "Rocky Mountain High" would have been me, if I were a little less set in my ways...

This video was fun.
posted by notsnot at 6:19 PM on October 8, 2013

J has gone retro before. I for one welcome our new JohnDenverCover overlords.
posted by vrakatar at 6:37 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Rocky Mountain High is such an interesting album. There is nearly ZERO percussion being played on it. It's basically all guitars and bass and piano. It has this airy, open feel which you really don't find in music much these days, let alone commercially successful music. And RMH was definitely successful.

But really, it's a great album. I've had a copy of it for as long as I can remember. (I was given a copy at age four, I still have that vinyl.) If you have never listened to it as an album, I recommend doing that. It's a document of its time, and it is really quite good.

I'm also partial to his Back Home Again album. That plus his A Christmas Together he did with the Muppets. Other than that, his catalog ends up being a bit too schmaltzy for me. But those three albums really show, to me, how great a talent he was before he started buying into all the press about him and started morphing his style to try to fit in with what he thought fans wanted from him.
posted by hippybear at 6:51 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

It has this airy, open feel which you really don't find in music much these days, let alone commercially successful music.

Yeah, I hadn't really thought much about John Denver one way or the other before hearing this cover, but the original version is really great as well. It has a more spare feel than I associate with Denver, only having heard his more cheesy hits.

Also, I just love the way that J Mascis completely Mascisfies every song he plays. His style (and wonderful voice) is so distinctive; I would absolutely have believed that this was originally a Dinosaur Jr song. It you aren't familiar with the classic Dinosaur Jr style, check out these two songs. (And then there's this cover too.)
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:52 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Something about this just doesn't suit Van Etten's strengths. A better example: this Tom Petty cover with the guys from Shearwater.
posted by asterisk at 8:18 PM on October 8, 2013

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