He did, perhaps, learn the art of channelling melancholic energies the hard way. In the mid-Eighties, he was relieved of his guitar duties in acclaimed rocksters Dinosaur Jr. Frontman J Mascis told him the band was splitting up. He was lying. Lou Barlow wrung his hands, publicly, for years afterwards. He has admitted that the scars only started to heal in 1993. Coincidentally, that was the time when Sebadoh (right) - from 1988 onwards largely a low-key, sombre affair - started taking off in a big way: Glastonbury and Lollapollooza high-profile dates, heavy touring, plus albums Sebadoh vs Helmet (Fire) and Bubble and Scrape (Domino).
Now the band is back with another album, Bakesale (the Seb-machine can rattle off a batch of songs faster than it takes Mascis to get through one of his guitar solos). More torn-out diary pages, more battered-heart lullabies set to scorching melodies, more boxes of Kleenex to buy. . .oh well. They're worth it.
Sebadoh plays at the Grand, tonight, 7pm. See pop, South
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