By Mark Kemp
on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 8:54 AM
Photo by Hedwig Plomp
Gaffney, Barlow and Lowenstein
Think of some of the great trios in rock: Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Band of Gypsies, Death, Husker Du, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Nirvana, Bikini Kill, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the list goes on. One of those great trios was Sebadoh, the band that singer and songwriter Lou Barlow turned to after he got the boot from another great trio, Dinosaur Jr. That legendary firing was the kick Barlow needed to pen such classics of indie rock as “The Freed Pig,” an early Sebadoh song in which Barlow unloaded on his former Dino band mate J. Mascis with passive aggression spurting and gurgling like bloody entrails. “I tried to bury you with guilt, I wanted to prove you wrong / I've got nothing better to do than pay too much attention to you / It's sad, but it's not your fault... ” With lo-fi production and eclectic material that veered from noisy, post-hardcore skronk to tender and sublime singer/songwriter fare, Sebadoh went on to define the scrappy, emotionally raw indie rock of the ’90s forward, putting its stamp on acts from Pavement and Liz Phair up to Bright Eyes. By the end of that golden decade of alt-rock messiness, Sebadoh was done and Barlow moved on to other projects. Then in 2007, the band's original line-up — Barlow, Eric Gaffney and Jason Lowenstein, the trio behind such early Sebadoh classics as III and Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock — reunited for the first time in 14 years. Last month, the trio released its first new batch of songs as the EP Secret (which you can download here). Seeing this Sebadoh lineup is well worth a road trip to the Triangle.
One of Barlow and Sebadoh's finest moments was the 1996 track "Willing to Wait."