You can now hear the entirety of the newly remastered Weed Forestin album, the debut recording by Sebadoh. OK, for the sake of historical accuracy, it has been re-attributed to Sentridoh, what was then the solo project of Lou Barlow. Either way, it is the debut recording of the Sebadoh mastermind, recorded at home in the late 1980s, during the early days of Dinosaur Jr., the more famous band for which he also sang and played bass.
You can now stream the whole thing here:
As Barlow promised in my interview with him (Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow talks beginning with ‘Weed Forestin’ (soon to be reissued on LP): an Indie Ethos Exclusive [Part 1 of 2]), there is also a limited edition vinyl record. He had told me only 500 would be pressed, “because no more than 500 people want that record,” but that number has now increased to 800. There is an even smaller run of cassettes (only 100). You can also buy a deluxe edition that includes both cassette, vinyl, MP3s and Child of the Apocalypse, a cassette of outtakes from these sessions, recorded between 1986-88. It can all be ordered here, at Sentridoh’s bandcamp:
Finally, if you want to hear the whole remastered package, including Child of the Apocalypse, you can do that as well. Sentridoh’s bandcamp site is also offering a stream of that “second” album featuring many interesting outtakes, including a faster, more countrified “I Believe in Fate” and alternate versions of “Poledo” the catalyst of this album, which first appeared on the Dinosaur Jr. album Your Living All Over Me:
Or you can just download the MP3s, another purchase option. But as this is mastered straight from Barlow’s first generation master tapes, the vinyl should prove to be the most interesting difference as far as reproducing the analog sound of the source. But that will not head out until the end of March (the 27th, to be exact). You can pre-order everything right now, however.
But just listening to the live streams proves a revelatory experience. There are some instantly noticeable differences. As Barlow said during my interview with him: the hiss has been virtually erased. But the character of the album’s lo-fi quality has not been compromised, even if it does sound different. The vocals are clearer and words jump out that seemed obscured in the earlier versions of this album. Still, “Jealous of Jesus” has that weird sound quality shift at the center before the collage tape coda, an idiosyncratic but important mood element to the album’s organic quality. You can hear birds in the background of “More Simple,” something I had not noticed until now. As “Brand New Love” starts, the tape has picked up the sound of crickets, adding to its moody, nocturnal quality. Heck, I just heard a car horn briefly blaring in the distance during “Feeding Evil.”
There are also a few surprises in there as far as true changes to songs. “Ride the Darker Wave” has some extra percussion during its coda. The crazed ending of “Brand New Love” featuring remnants of a trio of widely varying songs from folky country to death metal has disappeared. Yes, this Weed Forestin is different, and there is more to notice by anyone who feels they know the album like the back of their hand. However, the soul of the album remains intact. It still has a youthful, pseudo-intellectual mentality that preceded Bright Eyes’ pioneering of the “emo” scene.
I shall close this post with one more bonus included in the deluxe package. According to the press material, more than a decade ago, Barlow received a VHS cassette from a fan featuring an animated video for “Brand New Love.” You can watch it here: