Tag Archives: Sebadoh

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Dinosaur Jr. Celebrate New Album’s Release at Rough Trade NYC

August 8th, 2016

Dinosaur Jr. – Rough Trade NYC – August 5, 2016

Dinosaur Jr. – Rough Trade NYC – August 5, 2016
Forget about the Olympics. Anyone looking for a classic example of people getting together to produce greatness despite their differences need look no further than J Mascis and Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. Their historic infighting dissolved the band in the late ’90s in what was bound to remain a tale of what could have been. Yet against the odds, they reunited in 2005 sounding as good as ever, putting out album after album like nothing had changed. And in a way, things haven’t: They still don’t get along. Barlow recently admitted that he’s hardly on speaking terms with frontman Mascis. They’re like an indie-rock Fleetwood Mac minus the mountains of cocaine and intraband romances.

Friday night at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC marked the release and celebration of Dinosaur Jr.’s fourth post-reunion full-length, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Notanother ear-splitting album to add to the band’s canon. The humbly introverted Mascis nestled into his stack of Marshall amps while sporting a giant blue Cookie Monster T-shirt. They kicked off the set with the muddy classic “The Lung,” with Barlow’s heavy slaps of bass crashing down like his Muppet mop of hair. The new album’s first track, “Goin’ Down,” followed with Mascis providing buzzsaw riffs reminiscent of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades.” “I don’t think we’ve made it through this song one time,” said Barlow, introducing “Love Is….” And if not for the squelching Mascis guitar solo in the middle of it, the tune could have easily been mistaken for one by Barlow’s other band, Sebadoh.

Mascis’ noodling appeared as effortless as ever—no one shreds as nonchalantly as he does, and it’s not even close. The soloing outro of “I Walk for Miles” was enough to burn down the venue, and even if it had, Mascis would’ve probably just stood there like the This Is Fine dog. The set closed with a tear through the classics, “Start Choppin’,” “Freak Scene” and a massive “Gargoyle” jam, plus a two-song encore of “The Wagon” and “Out There.” Some people believe God scattered dinosaur bones around the planet to confuse us about evolution, to test our faith. Those people are fucking crazy, but not as crazy as the fact that after all these years, Dinosaur Jr. are still together, and not just together but still insanely good. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nricks

Photos courtesy of Pat Tabb | pattabb.com

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Sebadoh – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 17, 2015

March 18th, 2015

Sebadoh - Music Hall of Williamsburg - March 17, 2015

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Two Different Sides of the Same Coin

February 26th, 2014

Sebadoh – Baby’s All Right – February 25, 2014

Sebadoh - Baby’s All Right - February 25, 2014
For any out-of-towners now living in Brooklyn, have you ever felt embarrassed to tell people you live there? Sebadoh’s Jason Loewenstein occasionally does, something he confessed last night at Baby’s All Right, on the final stop of the band’s tour promoting their latest release, Defend Yourself. It’s the band’s first release since 1999. They’ve never actually broken up, it’s just that Lou Barlow likes to put out albums when he feels like he can write one and it’s the right time to do so. The group’s output has cemented their role in the close circle of indie-rock royalty, although you’d never know that just based off the humble way they carry themselves. Barlow still sits at the merch table to sell records—or cassettes, which he says sell better in Brooklyn than anywhere else, go figure—while Loewenstein can be seen near the front row rocking out to opening act Octagrape.

Sebadoh play their music with a degree of nonchalance common among other great ’90s indie acts (think: Pavement or Dinosaur Jr., a band Barlow plays bass in), although their lyrics tend to be much more candid and confessional. The songs on their latest album cover topics as wide-ranging as Barlow’s recent divorce to dropping off his daughter at school to feeling inadequate while looking at the muscular calves of other Los Angeles dads (“State of Mine”). The band also has an uncanny ability to rock off the rails with technically challenging yet loosely held together jams.

Sebadoh let the main riff from “Careful” run absolutely wild, almost seeming like they had little control over the squealing guitars and bass thumps emanating from their instruments, as if they were casually trying to domesticate the noise. Barlow and Loewenstein switched instruments and lead-singer duties several times throughout the night. They ended their set with the hard-hitting song “The Freed Pig” followed by the more down-tempo and sentimental “Willing to Wait.” Two different sides of the same coin, both Sebadoh songs right down to the core. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com

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Sebadoh Doesn’t Miss a Note

November 14th, 2011

Sebadoh – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 12, 2011


The best thing that happened to Lou Barlow was getting kicked out of Dinosaur Jr. If he had stayed with J. Mascis back in 1988 no one ever would have heard his four-track collage experiments that began with collaborator Eric Gaffney and ended up passed around on cassettes. We’d be missing someone, who as a pioneer of lo-fi indie rock, legitimized a new genre of bedroom recordings. We also might not have heard Jason Lowenstein, who, beginning in 1989, added his bass and a dissonant hardcore style of songwriting, making Sebadoh officially a band to be reckoned with and, fortunately, one we could see on Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

It all started for a lot of people with the first track off Sebadoh III, “The Freed Pig,” Barlow’s attack on Mascis, which has become an anthem of frustration. The audience had plenty of songs from the back catalog to request, but this was high on the list. “Don’t worry, we’re getting to it,” replied Barlow a few songs into an epic two-hour set, the final show of a lengthy tour in support of the rerelease of Bakesale. While swapping instruments during the informal show, Lowenstein and Barlow bantered back and forth about ordering too many T-shirts, driving around the country in a minivan again and how Pavement would have filled that venue in Detroit.

It’s clear, especially live, that the balance between Barlow’s catchy, more personal mellow pop sound and Lowenstein’s aggressive punk speed is what kept everyone happy on those records. Unpredictably they played nearly all of Bakesale, often reworking a track entirely like on “Give Up,” where the huge Sabbath-chord-progression breakdown was expanded into an eternity of distortion while the melody was delivered almost unrecognizably fast. After “The Freed Pig,” Barlow, referencing Mascis’ guitar style, said to Lowenstein, “I always get self-conscious when I get to the lead part of that song, you know … the solo? Like someone is waiting for me to miss a note.” —Jason Dean

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Sebadoh – The Bowery Ballroom – April 9, 2011

April 11th, 2011

Sebadoh - The Bowery Ballroom - April 9, 2011

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | DianaWongPhoto.com