Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Lou Barlow preview

| October 7, 2009

Vic, Chicago
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Barlow_Eric FerminPerez_lo

Lou Barlow’s inability to get a song in edgewise for J. Mascis Band, a.k.a. Dinosaur Jr., led to both his ouster and some fantastic sides for his burgeoning Sebadoh project. After some songs spent blasting Mascis, becoming Folk Implosion, ditching Sebadoh, going “solo” . . . he’s back in Dino Jr. And still releasing solo albums. You can have your cake and eat it, too!

For his latest solo endeavor, Goodnight, Unknown (Merge), he moves backward and forward simultaneously, meshing the dirty mix of early Sebadoh with the tender lilt of 2005’s Emoh. It wouldn’t be a surprise if opener “Sharing” carried an Eric Gaffney writing credit (O.K., maybe a little), and “Gravitate” recalls the rough, dead-string jangle of “Spoiled.” Interspersed with the Sweet Lou acoustic nuggets (“The One I Call,” “Take Advantage”), you hear the influence of latter-day Folk Implosion confidant Imaad Wasif on the title track and “Don’t Apologize” — all that’s missing are the hissing tape experiments that interrupted Sentridoh releases.

Goodnight, Unknown is missing one track to pull everything together, however: there’s no “Home,” “Willing To Wait,” “Soul And Fire,” “Free To Go.” Not for the first time is Barlow counting on ambience as a device, he just forgot to put a filling of sugary icing between the layers. We’d like some cake, too.

Barlow plays bass for headliner Dinosaur Jr.

— Steve Forstneger

Click here to download “Mirror The Eye.”

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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