Lou Barlow (Half) Week!
One of the four people who read this site mentioned the idea of posting about Lou Barlow a couple of weeks ago. My first request, if you will. I figured, "No problem, I'll mash that one out in an hour this week."
But once I started going through Lou's catalogue... all the bands -- Dinosaur Jr, the Folk Implosion, Sebadoh -- I just couldn't narrow it down to a 4 or 5 song post. I started to realize, like I was in some bad Molly Ringwold movie, how much the guy meant to me. I think Lou would appreciate the analogy.
I talked to my roommate about my dilemma. He's a huge Sebadoh fan, and in trying to come up with his own version of what playlist he'd want to share with people, he managed to narrow the catalogue down to a whopping 44 songs. My list is shorter, but I felt his pain.
In honor of the release of Lou's new album, EMOH, I'm going to spend the remainder of the week passing around some of my favorite Barlow songs. Come back daily through Friday for more:
Deep Wound "Dead Babies": Historically, it all starts here. Deep Wound was the hardcore band that Lou started with a friend in the early 1980s. The band hired drummer J Mascis and recorded an EP, but disbanded before recording a full length album. That was far from the end of J and Lou...
Dinosaur Jr. "Show Me the Way": This cover of the Peter Frampton dinosaur rock classic is from Dino Jr's second album, YOU'RE LIVIN' ALL OVER ME. All Music Guide gives the album a 5-star rating, and I don't think I'd argue there. Along with 9 big chunks of Mascis's insane guitar heroics, the album features "Poledo," a noisy, folk-and-psychedelia number that would map out the future of Lou Barlow's home recording experimentation. Apparently, the MERGE record label is reissuing the first 3 Dinosaur Jr. albums with bonus tracks, to commemorate band's upcoming 20th anniversary.
Sebadoh "The Freed Pig": To say things between Lou and J didn't go too well in Dinosaur Jr. would be putting it lightly. Barlow, kicked out of the band in 1989, began to focus on Sebadoh, a small side project he had started with drummer Eric Gaffney. "The Freed Pig" is a huge middle finger to Mascis ("Now you will be free / With no sick people tugging on your sleeve") is from the utterly fantastic SEBADOH III, the first album to feature Jason Lowenstein and the first to solidify the group as a trio sharing songwriting duties. This dynamic would remain throughout the band, even as Gaffney left and other drummers entered the fold.
Lou Barlow "The Ballad of Day Kitty" (Demo?): I'm not even sure where I found this one, but it was either at another blogger's page or at Lou's own site. This is a bare bones version of a track on Lou's EMOH album. I bought a few tracks today while browsing iTunes, and I'm loving what I've heard so far.
Stay tuned this week for more from Lou, Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, etc.
FOR MORE ON LOU:
Extensive EMOH liner notes, lyrfics and bonus material from Lou's site
Sebadoh's official page
Free MP3s from Sebadoh, including a great full length show
Lou's ex-enemy, J Mascis
This isn't actually the Lou Barlow we're talking about, but it's cracking me up right now.