Lou Barlow and Dinosaur Jr. Tour Diary - 10/16/09 - Louisville, KY

Music Features Lou Barlow
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Lou Barlow and Dinosaur Jr. Tour Diary - 10/16/09 - Louisville, KY

I spent a lot of time in Screwyville 97-99 when Sebadoh were more or less based here. We had a practice space downtown that we shared with Pavement for awhile. It’s a cool place. It’s got a cosmopolitan vibe mixed with the kinda Kentucky you may expect, shotgun shacks and anti-abortion billboards.

We, myself + the missingmen, have a lunch-time show on the University of Louisville campus for WFPK public radio, part of their “live lunch” series. Hot dogs and hamburgers are grilling and an interesting cross-section of U of L students and WFPK regulars arrive. About a third are retirement age. Of the 200 people they were expecting, maybe 50 show. Opening for Dino, we must seem very tame, low volume, even country-esque. Here, in this context, we come off like an art-punk band. Children in the venue are quickly removed, hands over ears. My lyrics bouncing off the back walls sound insinuating and downright dirty. We play for about an hour, live on the radio. A young man next to a PA column does a tortured interpretive dance. We end to a smattering of applause and a woman, my mother’s age, offers a few words of encouragement, “That was very nice.” One woman was disappointed that the CDs we are selling didn’t have “On the Face” on them…the filthiest dirge we played. I love doing things like this, no matter how exquisitely uncomfortable they can be, for moments like that.

The night show in Louisville is at Headliners, near the Butchertown district, a trace of the nearby slaughterhouse in the air. Living here turned Jason Loewenstein from Sebadoh (currently Fiery Furnaces) into a vegetarian.

The atmosphere for Dino is rowdy, the club is full. the missingmen set goes well, we’re definitely over the hump; the songs are lived in. We’re bonding. I’m feeling relaxed. The only problem now is that my sweaty socks (I have to take off my shoes to play the pedal keys) are leaving a gnarly odor on the instrument. It’s intense. The first week of shows had me secreting the nervous perspiration that lingers.

The Dino set is sloppiest of the tour owing to Murph and I drinking whiskey. It was a social night for me and I wanted to take the edge off, Louisville style. It wasn’t necessary.