Sebadoh is an American indie rock band formed in 1986 in Westfield, Massachusetts by Eric Gaffney and Dinosaur Jr bass player Lou Barlow. Along with such bands as Pavement and Guided by Voices, Sebadoh helped pioneer lo-fi music, a style of indie rock characterized by low-fidelity recording techniques, often on four-track machines. The band's early output, such as 1990's Weed Forestin' and 1991's Sebadoh III, was typical of this style, and wavered between Barlow's wry, introspective folk and Gaffney's psychedelic noise-rock experiments.
Lou Barlow was the bass player for alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr in the late 1980s. While both Barlow and leader J Mascis wrote songs, Mascis' material dominated the group's output because Barlow was intimidated by the guitarist's songwriting efforts. Barlow spent progressively more time recording his own songs at home. Barlow and Gaffney released the Weed Forestin' cassette in 1987 on Homestead Records under the name Sebadoh, which was a nonsense word Barlow often muttered in his recordings.. Both Barlow and Gaffney contributed songs to 1988's The Freed Man cassette. Homestead Records head Gerard Cosloy heard the cassette release of The Freed Man and released it as a full-length album on Homestead in 1989. Soon after the cassette's release Barlow was kicked out of Dinosaur Jr. Over time Sebadoh's releases became a way for Barlow to address the issues of control that manifested as the tension in and his ejection from Dinosaur Jr; Barlow said "I got a lot of hatred out just by writing those songs." Jason Loewenstein joined in summer 1989, the first release that he played on being the "Gimme Indie Rock" single in 1991. Only ten 'band' shows were performed throughout Western Mass, Boston, and New York over the period 1989-1990 before the third album Sebadoh III was released.
After touring with fIREHOSE in 1991, they signed to Sub Pop (Domino in the UK and City Slang in Germany) in 1992, and released the two EPs Rocking the Forest and Sebadoh vs. Helmet released just two months apart. These EPs had their track listings truncated and shuffled around and made into the American full-length release Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock. Their fourth full length album Bubble and Scrape was recorded Summer/Fall 1992 and released in April 1993, which sold 10,000 in its first week of release - confirming that the band were now established indie rock favourites.
Concert at Webster Hall in New York City, 2007
Following 1993's Bubble and Scrape Gaffney left the band. His replacement, Bob Fay, appeared on 1994's Bakesale and the follow-up Harmacy in 1996. Fay was fired before the sessions for The Sebadoh (1999) and replaced by Russ Pollard, a friend of Loewenstein's from Louisville. Following the tour to promote this album, the band went on hiatus, with Barlow concentrating on his other project, the Folk Implosion, and Loewenstein working on material for his debut solo album At Sixes and Sevens, released in 2002. The two reunited to play concerts in late 2003 and the spring of 2004.
In March 2007, the "Sebadoh Classic" lineup of Barlow, Gaffney and Loewenstein went on tour together for the first time in 14 years. This coincided with a new series of reissues which repackaged some of the early albums with extra discs of unreleased tracks. First came a reissue of Sebadoh III, then The Freed Man, and Bubble and Scrape.
The reunion tour continued into 2008, and in May included a live performance of 1993's Bubble and Scrape in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series at London's Koko venue.
In 2010 Sebadoh will reissue "Bakesale" and "Harmacy", and tour in support.
Sebadoh - Sebadoh III - Cassette tape on Homestead Records 1991
III (or Sebadoh III) is the third album by Westfield, Massachusetts indie rock group Sebadoh, released in 1991. Most of the recording was done using a 4-track, which gives the album a characteristic lo-fi sound.
This album is considered by many to be among the best of indie rock. In time, it went on to influence countless bands in the 1990s.
The Freed Pig
Sickles And Hammers
Scars, Four Eyes
Truly Great Thing
Limb By Limb
Smoke A Bowl
Hoppin' Up And Down
God Told Me
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Sebadoh - The Freed Man - Cassette tape on Homestead records 1988
The Freed Man was the debut album by Sebadoh. The title refers to the Friedman Complex apartments at Smith College where Lou Barlow was living with his then-girlfriend Kathleen Billus. As Barlow says in the liner notes, "... we named our first co-headlining tape after the Friedman dormitory where we both were living against regulations, with our girlfriends on the Smith (all women's) College campus .."
Bridge Was You
I Love Me
Carless Mind Hands
Drifts On Through
Wall Of Doubt
Growin Up With You
Sebadoh - Weed Forestin - Cassette tape on Homestead Records 1990
Lou Barlow often seems to record songs in miniature, refusing to repeat phrases or changes, even if they are strong, melodic, pop songs, cut off before there's a chance for you to sing along. Whilst also intimate and confessional there is an almost religious urge to avoid boring the listener.
It features tape samples/collages which link together some of the songs. There are overlaps with some of the songs on this album and later ones because Sebadoh recorded them as a band later on.
Subtle Holy Gift
My Own Religion
Ride The Darker Wave
Jealous Of Jesus
Mr Genius Eyes
Three Times A Day
Gate To Hell
I Can't See, Take My Hand
Pound My Skinny Head
I Believe In Fate
It's So Hard To Fall In Love
Brand New Love
Punch In The Nose
Loose 'n' Screw
Bridge Was You
Stop The Wheel
Wall Of Doubt
Sebadoh - Bakesale - Cassette tape on Sub Pop Records
Bakesale is the fifth and most critically acclaimed album by Westfield, Massachusetts indie rock group Sebadoh, released in 1994. It is considerably less noisy than the band's previous albums. It was produced by Tim O'Heir. The album cover is a picture of one-year-old Lou Barlow, taken by his mother
License To Confuse
Not A Friend
Not Too Amused
Together Or Alone
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