Lou Barlow's songs were the background music to my college experience. Actually, they were more than the background music...they were more like little saviors, tiny gems that made life a bit more bearable when things got complicated and rough. Barlow's music both described and assuaged situations I found myself surrounded with and confronting back then.
These were also my days of extreme lo-fi appreciation, and Lou was one of the musicians at the apex of my admiration. His songs were so naked. They felt real. His openness was so plain, both in music and words. Those songs were soft and hard at the same time, gentle yet defiant, the perfect combination of sweet melody and roughness -- the way so much of the best music is. I spent a lot of time with my Sebadoh records on repeat in those days, and Lou's contributions were the ones that resounded the most.
A few years ago, I met him here at Amoeba, back when Dinosaur Jr had an (awesome) instore. It was a memorable day, but my sudden nerves around him are something I kinda want to forget! Despite the fact that it'd been years since I'd even listened to those Sebadoh records, it all was still right there and fresh in my mind. Though I was directly involved with getting the band set up and onstage, I barely spoke to or even looked at Lou (which I actually think he appreciated), and in no way even attempted to even engage him in regular conversation, let alone pass on how much his music had meant to me at an important time in my life. Instead, I gabbed away with J Mascis about cereal. Yup.
Sometimes I think things are better left unsaid, and when it comes to these things, that is truly always the case. Better to talk to someone else about breakfast food and enjoy the music.