It’s no secret that Lou Barlow of Sebadoh, Sentridoh, the Folk Implosion, and other ’90s lo-fi indie-rock bands, strums a ukulele. He’s pulled them out at shows for several years now. But in September, Barlow sat down with SF Weekly and talked specifically about the uke’s huge role in his life, and why the instrument is so prominent on his latest solo album, Brace the Wave.
The first songs I ever wrote — my first like serious offerings — were all written on ukulele. It’s always been a part of the way I write for a really long time. A lot of Sebadoh songs started on ukulele … I have a lot of old recordings done on four-track but I’ve never really sat down and played the ukulele the way I really play it: a little looser, a little more ambitious. I felt like I’d never really captured that in the studio, and I thought now would be a good time to do that.
And Ukulele thought now would be a good time to introduce a live Barlow/uke moment to the community of passionate ukers around the world. After all, we’ve designated today #SebadohSaturday, and what better way to honor the storied indie band than with a look back to when glorious amateurism was the gold standard — the ’90s? So, sit back and enjoy this snippet of Barlow in concert, playing one of Sebadoh’s finest songs, “Soul and Fire,” from the band’s 1993 album of the same name — on a uke.
See — we really do love you! And Lou loves his uke.