Saturday, March 04, 2006


Sebadoh - Beauty Of The Ride

Riding - Sebadoh

From the "Beauty of the Ride" 7" single on Domino.

One of my all-time favorite covers, Sebadoh's melodic, indie rock version of Will Oldham's "Riding," was trapped on vinyl until a few weeks ago. I shared this as soon as I could.

Covering someone as self-conscious and aware of the possibilities of his own music as Oldham, may seem like a fool's errand. After all, Oldham recorded a couple fine and very different versions of the song. But Sebadoh's cover also makes good sense. Bassist Jason Lowenstein had already contributed his own creepy paean to incest ("Sister") to Sebadoh's Bubble and Scrape. And not long after "Riding" was broadcast as a BBC session in May, 1994, Lowenstein would work with Oldham on Viva Lost Blues.

But what's really essential about the Sebadoh cover--besides those trademark power chords--is Lou Barlow's vocals. Both a curse and a blessing, Barlow always sang with a sincere, perfect-pitched tenor (as much as he sometimes tried to disguise it for the sake of punk rock cred). Nothing could be more different from Oldham's disturbing redneck-preacher-on-Qaaludes delivery. Barlow, of course, had his own demons. But he usually held them in reserve for live show temper tantrums and long-running feuds with former bandmates.

Riding - Palace Brothers

Riding (electric version) - Palace Music


Blogger kickpleat said...

nice sebadoh cover. i never heard it before as i'm only familiar with the palace brothers original. nice!

2:43 PM  
Blogger unknown said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the Sebadoh cover... new to me too. C.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it and haven't heard that one before... Thanks!

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Interesting comments. I picked this one up on a Domino single about halfway through its life (err... about 6 years ago). Didn't think it compared well with the Palace Bros. original at the time (I thought Sebadoh played it way too fast), but in retrospect, it's really not so bad. Will's live performances of this song are sometimes cast in a similar style--not that I think Sebadoh influenced him in that regard.

Side note: I always hated Jason's drumming on Viva Last Blues, so it's hilarious to me that he once made fun of the drum machine on Arise Therefore. I do love Jason's music in general, though. He should have a new album out this year and I think has been playing some shows with the Fiery Furnaces.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yeah, Jason was underrated as a songwriter in Sebadoh. He always got overshadowed by Lou (and I'm a crazy Barlow fan). I didn't know he was playing with FF. That seems like a bizarre pairing.

Oh God, Oldham's drum machine days--don't remind me...

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Hey, I love the drum machine.

As for FF... when I saw them at Logan Square Aud. last fall, I remember telling my girlfriend that their new guitarist looks uncannily like Jason L. I only just realized last week that it was actually him.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there any chance of this mp3 posting again? i can't seem to find a copy of it anywhere...thanks!

12:17 PM  

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