Exploring The Reunited-Sebadoh Dynamic

Earlier this week we wrote about Lou Barlow crediting email for facilitating the reunion of both Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh, with Lou stating it helped him and Eric Gaffney put aside their differences and get back to their lo-fi indie exploits. So maybe it’s not surprising that, in person, the Sebadoh dynamic may be precarious and democratic to a fault. To wit, Stereogum reader Evan G. was at the band’s second show of their first tour in over a decade and had some sharp criticism about what transpired. He writes:

Just thought i would drop you a quick line and tell you about the Sebadoh show I saw last night at Great American Music Hall in SF. Man was it bad. I love Lou Barlow and Lowenstein, and was psyched for the original line up show cuz i assumed that meant all old songs. I couldn’t care less about Gaffney – he’s not a particularly good musician, and his Sebadoh songs were always the ones that you had to skip (a real pain for the ones I have only on vinyl). But I assumed they would stick to the old material that was their best stuff (i.e. the Barlow and Lowenstein songs). Instead, we got probably 8 Gaffney songs, 3-4 Lowenstein songs, and 6-7 Barlow songs. It sucked. The Gaffney songs were so boring and painfully average. No one in the crowd was into it. After the show, everyone gathered outside cuz some ice cream guy was giving out free Dove bars (i have no idea why), and you could hear everyone basically say the same thing simultaneously: “too much Gaffney!”. I think Lou is maybe kissing this dudes ass so that there won’t be any strife on the tour and they can collect their riches in peace. It’s quite sad really. On a positive note, they did play “Brand New Love,” which was fucking amazing.

After we asked a few questions and mentioned Lou’s prior comments about the power of email, Evan elaborated on the crowd’s response and the band’s song selection. The rest of his comments after the jump.

I certainly wasn’t the only one to make that observation. It just seemed way too deferential to Gaffney – at one point he played some terrible song called Moldy Bread that he said he wrote in 1984 – now, maybe that song is somewhere on an old Sebadoh record, but regardless, do you think anyone in the crowd was actually excited to hear that song? I mean, there are SO many amazing Barlow/Lowenstein songs from III, Smash Your Head…, Bubble & Scrape, Freed Weed, Bakesale, and even Harmacy. Given the choice, I doubt that there was one person in the crowd who would have rather have heard “Moldy Bread” than Magnet’s Coil, or Sister, or Vampire, or…you get the point.

So if those are the terms on which they get to do a Sebadoh reunion tour, is it really even worth it?


Maybe we should buy ‘em all Blackberrys?