Beer and Pavement


Posted in Live by SM on November 2, 2011

This is the all-too-brief post I did on Sebadoh this past weekend. It originally aired here. Honestly, there wasn’t much to say. They didn’t do anything new and the old was sort of nonchalant…as you’ll likely gather from my review. After the review, I have some related to Tweets to share.

Sebadoh: Just as I remembered them.

Sebadoh played Mojo’s as part of the endless stream of nineties indie rock reunions that have popped up over the past 7-8 years. I feel like I’m back in college as all the heroes of my youth come circling back onto the circuit. Of course, the real reunion took place a few years back and now the band is just supporting reissues of Bakesale and Harmacy, two albums that were originally released in Sebadoh’s prime. The material still holds up and represents some of their best.

The set was littered with songs from both records, resembling a set list they could have easily written 15 years ago. And with that familiarity comes a bit of nonchalance. Some may perceive it as sloppy or unprepared. I preferred to see it as something familiar, comfortable. As the band whipped through songs they had played hundreds if not thousands of times, the crowd remained glued and engaged even as the band played late into the night, shutting Mojo’s down.

If you’re not familiar, Sebadoh was created as an outlet for frontman Lou Barlow from his other band, Dinosaur Jr. DJ’s output was dominated by J Mascis whose master guitar work intimidated a young Barlow into submission until he was finally booted from the band. Sebadoh continued, releasing cassette tapes and touring New England. Eventually, the band, along with current member Jason Lowenstein, earned gigs opening for the likes of Firehose who toured through Columbia many years ago. This led to Sebadoh signing with seminal label Sub Pop. From there, Sebadoh did the indie, lo-fi thing for which the nineties scene was known. Now, they’re in their reunion/re-issue phase, much like contemporaries Pavement, Guided By Voices, etc.

The show Saturday may have been a casualty of Halloween celebrations all over town, but that was fine. The familiarity of the band and their material was never meant for everyone. I’m sure the band would like to see it differently, but that’s how it is. The intimate nature of the vibe as well as the laid-back demeanor of the band played out the way one would expect. The show wasn’t earth-shattering by any stretch, but it filled the evening as some of us got to spend some valuable time with an old friend. Don’t be strangers, Sebadoh.

Said Tweets are below. There are a few missing, but you get the picture:

There was more, but it all became worth it when this finally came through my Twitter feed:

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