new album released Oct 6th

Goodnight Unknown

from the album - Sharing
YouTube - Sharing | Lou Barlow

from amg

Arguably the most prolific songwriter of his generation, Lou Barlow has also been one of the most influential; thanks to his lo-fi legacy, any geek with a guitar, a four-track machine, and an unrequited crush on a girl could become an underground pop star. Although born in Dayton, OH, on July 17, 1966, Barlow was raised primarily in Amherst, MA, where during high school he joined forces with fellow introverted outsider J Mascis in the hardcore band Deep Wound. After the group's breakup in 1983, Barlow and Mascis reunited in Dinosaur (later Dinosaur Jr.), one of the most acclaimed indie bands of the era.

Long-simmering tensions between Mascis and Barlow, who rarely spoke to each another, hastened the latter's exit from the group after 1988's superb Bug. After his dismissal, Barlow turned his focus to Sebadoh, a side project that he had begun with multi-instrumentalist Eric Gaffney several years prior. While Dinosaur Jr. had won acclaim for its monolithic guitar sound, Sebadoh was initially conceived as a bare-bones, deliberately low-fidelity home recording project spotlighting Barlow's pensive, emotional songs and Gaffney's noise collages. Over the course of a barrage of singles and sprawling albums like 1989's The Freed Man, 1990's Weed Forestin, and 1991's Sebadoh III, Sebadoh which later added drummer/songwriter Jason Loewenstein matured and expanded its scope; while still defiantly anti-commercial, the group's music grew more complex and fully developed, and moved progressively away from its primitive origins.

No doubt as a reaction to Sebadoh's growth, Barlow started the first of many concurrent side projects, dubbed Sentridoh, and released the Losers cassette in 1991. For all intents and purposes a solo project, Sentridoh allowed the staggeringly prolific performer room to explore not only his shambling acoustic folk-pop but also whatever other ideas he felt like entertaining. A series of other releases followed, most of them on cassette, although the highlights were compiled on CD collections like 1994's Winning Losers: A Collection of Home Recordings, The Original Losing Losers, and Lou Barlow and His Sentridoh, which featured the sublime love song "Forever Instant." Another Collection of Home Recordings, released under the name Lou Barlow & Friends and featuring Bob Fay (Gaffney's replacement in Sebadoh), appeared in 1995.

In 1994, Barlow also teamed with fellow singer/songwriter John Davis in the Folk Implosion, another home-recording outlet (albeit one marked by odd stylistic detours into blue-eyed funk, Lennon-esque pop, and noise abrasion). Following a series of EPs and singles, in 1995 the Folk Implosion recorded a number of songs for filmmaker Larry Clark's acclaimed feature Kids; the soundtrack's infectious "Natural One" became a surprise Top 40 hit later that year, further raising Barlow's increasingly high profile. After Sebadoh's acclaimed 1996 LP Harmacy, Barlow recorded the Folk Implosion's Dare to Be Surprised for release in the spring of 1997. A steady flow of Sebadoh, Folk Implosion, and collaborative records continued in the years to come, as did the solo efforts Emoh and Goodnight Unknown.

album review

Like the man says, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's been close to a quarter-century since Lou Barlow became the uncrowned king of the lo-fi revolution thanks to his early recordings with Sebadoh, but while in 2009 he has a number of gifted musicians on hand to help him, and a professional recording studio at his disposal, Goodnight Unknown shows his songwriting style and musical direction has remained remarkably consistent with the passage of time. Producer Andrew Murdock, whose previous clients include Avenged Sevenfold and Godsmack, helped Barlow out with these recordings, and Dale Crover (of the Melvins), Sebastian Steinberg (ex-Soul Coughing), and Lisa Germano all sat in for the sessions, but outside of the higher fidelity, most of the tunes on Goodnight Unknown could have been recorded in Barlow's living room on a four-track, given the simple, uncluttered approach he takes to these songs. This might suggest Barlow is stuck in a rut, but that's not the way Goodnight Unknown sounds; instead, these 14 songs are the work of a man who has mastered his defining style, and with this album he's showing he knows how to write a moody but expressive pop song and bring it to rich emotional life on tape just as eloquently as ever. In some respects this is a long way from Sebadoh's early days; "The Right" suggests the grooves of his Folk Implosion work, "Sharing" and the title tune rock out simply but decisively (Crover hardly brings the same level of heaviness to his drumming here that defines his work with the Melvins, but he reveals a sure rhythmic confidence in his performances), and "Don't Apologize" is a compelling run-through the heart of darkness. But most of Goodnight Unknown is built around Barlow's barely accompanied acoustic guitar and his tales of romantic disappointment, and he hasn't run out of heartfelt variations on his favorite theme; Lord knows what will happen if Barlow's muse ever starts understanding girls, but their mystery is still a source of lyrical inspiration to him, and he not only hasn't run out of things to say about the subject, he has plenty of good music that suits his heartache. Lou Barlow is still the poet laureate of hiss and heartbreak, and although the hiss is missing on Goodnight Unknown, that's the only defining quality he's lost with the passage of time.

Track Listing
1 Sharing 03:33
2 Goodnight Unknown 02:23
3 Too Much Freedom 03:31
4 Faith in Your Heartbeat 01:56
5 The One I Call 03:19
6 The Right 02:59
7 Gravitate 02:35
8 I'm Thinking... 02:32
9 One Machine, One Long Fight 02:14
10 Praise 02:53
11 Take Advantage 02:12
12 Modesty 02:22
13 Don't Apologize 02:38
14 One Note Tone 02:37