Thursday, July 21, 2005

Style is its own reward

Every revolution is a pointless give and take
Its style is its own reward
Any contradiction is a hint of honesty
We're young and sorta free and kinda sleazy

-Dragdown Memory, Sentridoh

Lou Barlow

Warning: Authentic lo-fi recordings ahead. Those allergic to tape hiss should return another day.

After slipping below the radar for several years (unless you count that appearance in Laurel Canyon), Lou Barlow has come back in a big way in 2005. Not only does he have a well-received new solo record, but he's called détente with mortal enemy J. Mascis and has hit the road for a Dino Jr cash-out tour. I guess this means we can expect new Sebadoh and Folk Implosion albums any day now.

If you've arrived late to the wonderful world of Lou, you may have missed what made his reputation as king of lo-fi in the early 90s: rough, sometimes extremely rough 4-track home recordings of song fragments, sound collages and the occasional pop gem released under the Sentridoh moniker. Like that other relentless tune machine, Robert Pollard, Barlow peels off pop hooks while eating his Cheerios and cutting his toenails. And in the 80s and 90s at least, he didn’t bother about song construction, much less about production values.

Unlike British Invasion maven Pollard, however, Barlow's musical touchstones lie in the 70s--among both punks and prog proponents. And as the progenitor of today's so-called emo artists, his lyrics were always about his own miserable, passive-aggressive little self. Some of Barlow's better bedroom musings later became proper Sebaboh songs. Most stayed where they belong--on these hit n' miss scrap collections. There's some great stuff here, but I bet it'll most appeal to Barlow diehards.

From Winning Losers (recommended):

Stronger (mp3) - Sentridoh

Dragdown Memory (mp3) - Sentridoh

From The Original Losing Losers (not particularly recommended--these are the best of the bunch):

Freed Pig (mp3) - Sentridoh

Beyond The Barbwire (mp3) - Sentridoh

Winslow (mp3) – Sentridoh

Unfortunately, I can't post anything from Lou Barlow and Friends: Another Collection of Home Recordings, because I only have it on vinyl and haven't yet mastered the technology to create the digital files. But one on these days . . . For more uncollected Sentridoh work, visit Barlow’s Web site. And for one of the more entertaining interviews with the guy, see this from NME. I love a man who loves his cats.

Speaking of sensitive guitar boys from Massachusetts, PopMatters has a glowing review of the debut album from Luke Temple. If you like singer-songwriter stuff, this is definitely worth checking out.

To All My Good Friends, Goodbye (mp3) - Luke Temple

Someone, Somewhere (mp3) - Luke Temple


Blogger inevitabletriumph said...

Thanks so much for posting these!!! I have lost all of my Sentridoh/ Early Sebadoh stuff. I have been craving this stuff immensely recently. Thanks! The new stuff will never compare to the old. It's all about the memories and the shocking sounds of that time.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous chris hagan said...

"Uncollected Sentridoh"? Such a thing exists? I was under the impression that there was no such thing as an unreleased Lou Barlow song. Anyway, good post. I've always had a soft spot for Dragdown Memory. Now I have it on my hard drive.

9:33 AM  

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