Dinosaur Jr. back with original lineup

Fans of '90s alternative rock will have more than one chance this year to get their fix. Yo La Tengo, almost 20 years old now, will play Merriweather Post Pavilion in September, opening for The National, natch.

And this Saturday, the seminal three-piece band Dinosaur Jr. will perform at the 9:30 Club.

Formed in 1984, Dinosaur Jr. had a successful decade on the indie circuit before disbanding in 1997 after nearly a decade of major label representation.

Reunited since 2005, they are now traveling with the original lineup: lead singer J Mascis, guitarist and songwriter Lou Barlow and drummer Murph.

Though the band is nearing 30 years old, the double LP it is out promoting, "Farm," is only its fifth with the original lineup.

Formed in Amherst, Mass., in 1984, Dinosaur Jr. first came to prominence a few years later with an album, "You're Living All Over Me," that patented a laid-back, lo-fi sound that some say became one of the influences of the obscure British genre called "shoegazing."

The song "Freak Scene," in their next album, was a creative peak — music website Pitchfork described it as "indie rock's greatest guitar performance and the band's great pop song." The song brought them their biggest audiences, which led to them being signed by Warner Bros., and eventually being lumped in with the grunge movement of the '90s.

Clashes between the band members followed, grunge went mainstream, and by 1997, J Mascis, the band's sole remaining founder, officially retired the Dinosaur name.

Mascis and Barlow, who had fought for years, reconciled in the 2000s, and four years ago, all the original members reunited for album "Beyond," which was warmly — if nostalgically — received by critics.

Though it seemed like it would be a one-off, they followed it up with 2009's "Farm," which finds them uncharacteristically upbeat.

That they're still touring with "Farm" without imploding suggests the youthful infighting that broke the band up 20 years ago is a thing of the past. And all the better for fans, it indicates a follow-up to "Farm" is not as far-fetched as it might have once seemed.

Dinosaur Jr. performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the 9:30 club, 815 V St. N.W., Washington. Tickets, at $30, are sold at 202-265-0930 or on ticketfly.com.

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