Before local favorite Mark Mulcahy rose to kids’ television fame with Polaris and The Adventures of Pete & Pete, he fronted Miracle Legion, a band whose sublime jangly guitar rock made them college radio stalwarts from the mid-’80s to the late ’90s. They got back in the saddle for a tour last summer and will be in fine form for this special homecoming show.
Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh opens the show.
Hi, my name is Lou Barlow. This is Brace the Wave. Here is my short bio. One of my first songwriting attempts occurred in 1983 — it is called Lou’s Anxiety Song,” released by my first band, Deep Wound. The original title was Pressures, but the singer decided to scream “Lou’s anxiety song!!” at the beginning (his commentary on the overly earnest lyrics). The title stuck.
Deep Wound evolved into Dinosaur Jr. While playing in that band I began recording short songs on a baritone ukulele that I modified with heavier strings and flexible tunings. I called myself Sentridoh. My first solo LP Weed Forestin’ was a cassette that I duplicated and gave away. I was too bashful to play any Sentridoh songs for my slightly older, much cooler bandmates. I eventually started a band of my own called Sebadoh. We gained some momentum in the 90s. And then in 1994, I started another band called Folk Implosion.
By the early 2000s, everything had crashed and burned. I was alone again with my 4-track and a basic knowledge of recording. I still had a ukulele and was most comfortable writing uncomfortable songs. I love the cozy self-delusion of the creative process. Finishing songs, making records, and holding the finished piece in hand is incredibly satisfying. In 2005, I made my first official solo LP under my actual name instead of a made-up, nonsense word. Around that time, I sensibly began touring with Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh again which brings me to now… 2017.
Having moved back to Massachusetts (after 17 years in Los Angeles), I recorded Brace The Wave in 6 days with Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab studios in Easthampton. Justin was the engineer for the 3 Dinosaur Jr. “reunion” LPs. My ease with Justin meant I approached the sessions with focus and confidence. Songs like Redeemed, Wave, and Moving reprise my early methods of tuning my ukulele down low and writing the songs during the recording process. Others like Lazy and C+E are traditional-style folk songs that I performed live in the studio.
Here it is, Lou’s Anxiety Song(s) 2015, less fretful, still restless.
What to expect
This event will be “up in the club” with cabaret-style seating. Preferred ticket seats are located by the venue stage. Our café will deliver your dinner, and the bar is always well-stocked with Bright Ideas Brewing and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Be ready to make new friends — our tables seat five, and, if your party is smaller, you might find others at your table. Cheers to live events up in the club!
photo by Kenneth Bachor