Back in ’93 a good friend turned me towards the lo-fi sounds of Sebadoh and their initial Sub Pop offering Bubble & Scrape. One listen to the fabulous opening number “Soul & Fire” and I became a forever fan.
Bakesale was released in 1994, and was a slight change of direction for the band in that they had refined the sound now and were becoming more accessible to the alt-rock hipsters. Lou Barlow and Jason Lowenstein were capable of breaking your heart at one moment and smacking you in the head another with their confessional lyrics and fuzzed out guitar work.
“What was that you just said, that didn’t make any sense to me, it’s not the way I see it man, I’m almost tired of listening to you” from the awesome “Not Too Amused” comes off all at once confused, remorseful and angry with the music only adding to the emotional impact. These are themes that play out over the course of the whole record.
Some critics call Bakesale Sebadoh’s finest moment; I’m not sure I would go that far as they have several records that have a giant place in my heart. However, it is certainly a great place to begin if you haven’t listened to them before and vinyl is definitely a great option.
Outside of the original ’94 release, Bakesale was re-mastered in 2011 and has a couple options. The first is your basic black vinyl which also came with a download card and is still available at all your finer record retailers. The second, long sold out edition was on grey splatter vinyl and was sold directly from the Sub Pop online store.
If you are a fan of those essential records from the 1990’s, Bakesale definitely fits the bill. I’m just hoping Bubble & Scrape and Harmacy eventually see a vinyl re-release. Either that or I may have to start hunting down used copies.
Sebadoh is playing at Lee’s Palace in Toronto tomorrow night (May 27).