Saturday, August 21, 2010

Recording: Lou Barlow + the Missingmen - Live

Lou Barlow is one of my favorite musicians of all time. He's also one of most prolific artists of the last two decades, always on tour in some way and constantly releasing new music. His music career started with his hardcore band from high school, Deep Wound, also featuring future Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis on drums. Dinosaur Jr. of course came next, until his ejection from the band after the release of Bug. Then in the 90's came Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion (with the Top 40 hit "Natural One,") and the solo-moniker of Sentridoh. Despite this lengthy history, it took until 2005 for Lou to release an album under his own name. This album Emoh, received its follow-up last year with Goodnight Unknown. It's really great.

I had previously seen Lou with the Missingmen (originally one of Mike Watt's backing bands) opening for Dinosaur Jr. last year. It was only the second time the band played together, and still three days before the release of Goodnight Unknown. Despite these potential obstacles, the band played an energetic and compelling set. However this time, now that I'm familiar with the new album and given the time the band has now had on the road to hone their act, it was a much better experience. There's great chemistry between the band members, and some stage banter made for some of the night's most memorable moments. The format of the show was excellent as well, with it both beginning and closing with Lou solo acoustic set. Starting off with two Sebadoh classics was a great way to reel the audience in, as well as a song from Dinosaur Jr's last album Farm, and a song each from Lou's two solo records. Very eclectic.

The majority of Lou's band set was from his two solo albums and one EP, excluding a re-arranged version of the old Sentridoh track "Losercore." The encore solo set was all Sebadoh tunes, including the requested "Vampire," complete with a Twilight comment from Lou himself.

I'm very pleased with the quality of the recording itself, though there are instances where it picks up crowd shuffling and chatter louder than I would like. The stage was very close to the bar, so there's also some scattered glass clinks. Though I didn't notice it as much during the set with my earplugs, there's quite a lot of background chatter during "Soul and Fire." As one of Lou's greatest songs, I'm just perplexed to how anyone who would pay to see Lou live could talk during that one. It thankfully dies down by the time he brings out the big guns with "Brand New Love." After the show Lou and the band hung around and were very willing to chat with anyone and everyone. Wonderful people they are. This was a great night!

Recording: Lou Barlow + the Missingmen - Live @ Daniel Street - Milford CT

(Lou Acoustic)
1. Magnet’s Coil
2. The Freed Pig
3. Imagination Blind
4. Puzzle
5. I’m Thinking

(w. The Missingmen)
6. Don’t Apologize
7. Home
8. Sharing
9. The One I Call
10. Too Much Freedom
11. Praise
12. Gravitate
13. One Machine, One Long Fight
14. Caterpillar Girl
15. Faith Defies the Night
16. Losercore
17. Take Advantage

(Lou Acoustic)
18. Soul and Fire
19. Vampire
20. Brand New Love