Video by Lou & Adelle. From Reason to Live, out May 28 on Joyful Noise.
Sure, there’s a new Dinosaur Jr album out today, and everything we’ve heard from it so far is awesome, but hey, Lou Barlow’s got a new solo album on the way as well, so check out the new song. (And they called us the slacker generation!)
Barlow says the leadoff single “came from the general longing of my teenage years” and it’s “based on one melody and lyric fragment I captured on cassette back in 1982 or so. In 2019, I decided to resurrect and expand this nugget for my ‘Artist Enabler Series’ for Joyful Noise. I used some of the original lyrics: ‘I knew everything about you. I knew nothing about you’ and built on that feeling, the phrase ‘over you’ became the chorus. I recorded the basic tracks for the new version onto cassette in an attempt to mimic the atmosphere of the original.”
It’s Lou’s specialty to pack a lifetime of emotion into a two-minute pop song. The longing, the regret, that feeling of being haunted by memories. People tell you to “get over it” but there are things it’s impossible to get over; some memories are just an intrinsic part of your being.
“When considering the video I talked to my wife, Adelle, about things in our lives that we’ve never been ‘over.’ We moved from California six years ago, a place that we both loved. We started compiling home videos from our times living there (17 years in my case) and scenes from some 80’s movies that were filmed in LA. When we combined the footage it seemed to work with the song.”
Lou Barlow has teamed back up with Jason Loewenstein and recorded a new Sebadoh album with Bob D’Amico on drums.
Barlow says, “The first line of this song: ‘I get the feeling you don’t feel me’ is pretty good. It could be a line in an Ariana Grande song, I like it. I followed it from there through some general complaints about a composite character in my life, someone I could never crack. Sometimes the walls are too high. If you think about it, the resistance was always there, even in the very beginning. What to do? Pick endlessly at the seams? Replay moments in my head looking for a way to explain it all? No, stop, there is no one answer and that’s OK…Celebrate the void.”
Lou recently posted a funny (and kinda bitchy) story on his Instagram about his original Sebadoh partner:
“Eric Gaffney, then a full fledged member of the band (receiving equal 1/3rd of all (inc. merch) proceeds according t band constitutional decree) made his -own- band t-shirt and sold them discreetly at each show, keeping all profits t himself etc. a brazen move that only a genius such as himself could pull off.. of course we knew what was happening and didn’t say much.. shortly afterwards he demanded 1/3rd of all recording advances t record his own material and -not- tour with th band (ala Brian Wilson) that didn’t go down as well.. to his credit we were never quite th same band after he left, we reached some wonderful peaks of chaos and beauty w him behind th drums and on guitar..”
Many, many years ago Johnny Loftus made me a Sebadoh mix because — for whatever reason — I had totally skipped them over at the time. I had always liked Lou Barlow’s songs on the Dinosaur Jr. albums, but I just never followed the thread. Listening to Johnny’s mix I realized what I’d been missing. Lou Barlow is a really good songwriter! And Jason Loewenstein is good too! (Plus he’s a Jason who goes by “Jake” which is exotic and cool.)
Anyway, that’s how I got into Lou Barlow’s stuff. And now he’s a got a new song. And because he’s old school punk rock, he’s releasing it as a seven-inch like a decent human being.
Lou’s got a new band—the Missingmen, featuring Tom Watson and Raul Morales—and he’s dusting off the “Sentridoh” moniker for a new 8-song EP to go along with their summer tour (dates below). “Losercore” is classic Barlow, but the video from “On the Face” makes me wonder if he and Luke Wilson are starting to morph into each other. Maybe AT&T should should use a little Sebadoh in their next U-verse ad.