Sunday To-Do: Sebadoh | Rock Candy

Sunday To-Do: Sebadoh

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SEBADOH
8:30 p.m. Stickyz. $15.


A good introduction to Sebadoh is a video you can find on YouTube of the band making their "network television debut" on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in 1994. Conan stumbles over the pronunciation of their band name and says their album "Bakesale" has spent several weeks atop the college radio charts (people used to notice these). Frontman Lou Barlow, the only remaining founding member after Eric Gaffney left a couple of years before, looks like an unkempt Daniel Radcliffe and is wearing a Seventeen magazine T-shirt, while behind them there's a strange video projection of close-ups of children's faces. It takes them two songs to fill their three-minute slot, and both sound absolutely terrible.

This is a major part of their legacy, this consistent willingness to sound terrible. Their earliest releases, made while Barlow was in the process of being kicked out of Dinosaur Jr., were vast collections of very short and poorly recorded indie rock, and even when they stepped up the production values in the mid-'90s, they were loose, disinterested and funny. If they lack the name recognition or selling power of peers like Pavement or Guided By Voices, they are as important and as influential as either.


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