Emil Amos of OM, Grails, and Holy Sons says:
In 1990, I was 13, and already a grizzled veteran of the Chapel Hill music scene. During that period, it seemed like Fugazi played the Cat's Cradle every few months. Around the third time they came through, I headed down to the club early to catch Superchunk, who was opening up... along with another strange name on the bill no one had heard of, called Sebadoh.

I wandered in and walked through an utterly confused crowd... two guys were on stage playing toy instruments, moaning quietly, and occasionally breaking out into guttural screams. In that period of (still) '80s-based, aggro-rock stylings, a relatively linear mode of thinking still ruled [as to] what was expected from a show, so the crowd wasn't totally sure that these two random dudes hadn't just bum-rushed the stage to mock the audience. Someone whispered that one of the guys on stage had been in Dinosaur Jr., and that only furthered the confusion. As some life-changing events often occur, you may not know they happened to you until way after the damage has been done.

By 1992, I knew every Sebadoh song and how to play'em... Smash Your Head had come out and I returned to the Cradle for another Sebadoh show, this time to a dark and dismal room. They had to go wake Lou up to get onstage and the sparse "crowd" was pressed back against the walls in the shadows in a klassic display of Chapel Hill skepticism. There were only 3, very heavy ladies right up front, standing alone and getting very excited as Lou rubbed his eyes and started tuning up in the awkward silence. Eric and Jason were turned away from the crowd, and seemed to be moving in slow motion when, from behind the stage, a little athletic dude dressed like someone straight out of an old Youth of Today concert video came running past the band members and did a full-frontal flip off the lip of the stage, landing perfectly on the girls and knocking them all down like bowling pins. In one fluid motion, he ran off with his hands in the air like an Olympic champion. And again, from that moment on, my life changed... that guy became my best friend, and it felt like the first day of the rest of my life again.

Such were the times! And such was the flashpoint that created me. Experiencing Sebadoh was, for me, not unlike the effect The Beatles might've had on a kid in the front row in the early '60s: watching each member trade instruments and exhibit their own style under one banner of musical freedom in what seemed to suggest a boundaryless attempt to investigate yourself in the format of a 3-minute song. If I had to boil down Lou's contribution for future generations I'd say that, using the basic/minimal ingredients of home-recording, he expanded the template to some of its most orchestral and beautiful pinnacles in songs like "Total Peace", "Kath", "Hassle", "Subtle Holy Gift"... The list is endless really.

With this "Masterpiece Theatre"-like tone, I present to you a tribute to Sentridoh... and I hope the deepest possible love reverberates in it for Lou's amazing and radical music.

Tags: emil amos, om, grails, holy sons, sebadoh, guest artists, guest posts, audio

Posted by alteredzones on 11/23/2010 at noon.

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