On December 2, 2008, “J + Friends Sing + Chant for Amma” will be released digitally for the first time at all major digital retailers on J Mascis’ own label, Baked Goods. The album is a collection of devotional songs dedicated to the living Indian Saint, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma).
Amma is a humanitarian and spiritual leader who has dedicated her life to uplifting suffering humanity through her embrace, which she offers to all regardless of caste, creed or religion. In the past 30 years she has hugged more than 24 million people throughout the world.
Amma has also started a vast range of humanitarian projects, including orphanages, charitable hospitals and free homes for the homeless. All the proceeds of Mascis’ CD go towards this cause.
The CD finds Mascis both on electric and acoustic guitar, playing original devotional songs, including “Help Me, Amma,” “Amma What Now?,” “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu,” “Please Remember That I’m Here” and “Take Me Home.”
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” is a Sanskrit mantra meaning “May All the Beings in all the Worlds Be Happy.” The final song, “Ayi Giri Nandini,” is a metalized version of a Sanskrit hymn by Adi Shankaracharya. Written around 1300 years ago, the hymn sings the glories of the Divine Mother as she slaughters the demonic forces of Mahisha Asura, the Buffalo Demon. Mahisha Asura symbolizes the dark negativities of humanity: greed, anger, laziness, pride, etc.
“This self-released disc represents the most beautiful and nakedly emotional music J Mascis has ever created… it’s as powerful as anything ever wrought by Dinosaur Jr, with the crucial difference that it soothes the soul instead of warping the brain.”