Cover Models: J Mascis's 'Tied to a Star'

(Photo Courtesy of ) (Photo Courtesy of Maura Jasper)

During the original incarnation of Dinosaur Jr., the band worked primarily with the artist Maura Jasper. Jasper’s gothic imagery fit Dinosaur’s revolutionary sound in the mid-1980s — never before had a band combined classic rock sensibilities with hardcore intensity the way that J, Lou and Murph did on their run of “Dinosaur,” “You’re Living all Over Me” and “Bug.”

Since their reunion, Dinoasur has fostered an equally as strong relationship with Marq Spusta — an artist characterized by his vivid depictions of dreamlike creatures with childlike wonder.

The marriage of Spusta and Dinosaur has played a large part in defining the post-reunion output of Dinosaur Jr. By and large, the bite is gone from the songs — forgone in favor of epic song structures and a more matured take on pain.

Aside from Dinosaur albums, Spusta has done the artwork for J Mascis’ solo acoustic albums — including “Tied to a Star,” Mascis latest album released also week via Sub Pop.

“Tied to a Star” is nowhere near as good as 2011’s “Several Shades of Why,” and while I would venture to say that the album artwork isn’t as good either — Spusta is one of the best in the game right now.

Since 2009’s “Farm” artwork became a favorite among the cult who obsess over artwork, Spusta’s reputation has preceded him as both an artist and a poster designer.

Spusta’s contribution to “Tied to a Star” may actually be the best part about the album — but that speaks more to Spusta than J.


Reach the reporter at or follow him on Twitter @Jordan_Bohannon

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