By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Thursday, April 24th, Lapa’s Circo Voador will host the music festival, Juvenilia Popfest. Celebrating lo-fi indie rock, the lineup for the night features Rio band The John Candy, São Paulo natives Single Parents and very special guests, American lo-fi pioneers Sebadoh.
The night will be the first ever Sebadoh show in Rio and despite being active for almost thirty years, the band’s current tour in support of their 2013 release, Defend Yourself, marks the band’s first gigs anywhere in Brazil.
The tour began in São Paulo with two shows on April 20th and 21st and after the Rio stop, they will go on to Recife on the 25th, Cataguazes on the 26th and Maringa on the 30th.
Sebadoh is an American lo-fi trio currently consisting of bassist and vocalist Jason Loewenstein, drummer Bob D’Amico and frontman and vocalist Lou Barlow, also well known for his time as bassist for legendary alternative band Dinosaur Jr and for his side project, lo-fi band The Folk Implosion.
Along with artists including Pavement, Guided by Voices, Daniel Johnston and Beat Happening, Barlow and Sebadoh are considered to be among the pioneers of the lo-fi sub-genre. Characterized by the use of low-fidelity recording techniques and the intentional inclusion of flawed audio such as background noises, muted strumming and distortion to give the music a raw feel, lo-fi originated as a sub-genre of indie rock in the late 80s.
It was around that time that Barlow, still a bassist for Dinosaur Jr at the time, began work on Sebadoh as a side project. However, it wasn’t until he was cut by the band and musicians Eric Gaffney and Jason Loewenstein joined him, that Sebadoh began to really take shape. The trio’s third album entitled, Sebadoh III, is considered a classic of the lo-fi sub-genre. Produced at home on a four-track recorder and released in 1991, the album combined Gaffney’s discordant sounds with Barlow’s brooding lyrics.
After the band’s fourth release, entitled, Bubble and Scrape, Gaffney left and was replaced by Bob Fay. Barlow, Loewenstein and Fay then went on to produce the band’s popular albums, 1994’s Bakesale and 1996’s Harmacy.
Fay was later replaced by Russ Pollard and the band’s seventh studio album, The Sebadoh, was released in 1999. It would be another fourteen years before their most recent release, 2013’s Defend Yourself.
During Sebodah’s almost thirty year history, the band has proved highly influential on the indie rock scene. In Brazil as well as America they have built a strong following of up-and-coming musicians.
The recently released Tributoh album features eighteen Brazilian artists interpreting nineteen of Sebadoh’s songs. This compilation was dreamt up by journalist and musician Leandro F. Among the included bands is Single Parents, São Paulo natives who are also the opening act for Sebadoh throughout their Brazilian tour. “We are big fans of Sebadoh. Albums like Bakesale and Harmacy have always been an influence to our work,” Rafael Farah of Single Parents told The Rio Times, adding, “having Single Parents as opening band of the Brazilian tour is a dream come true for us!”
Farah also said of his band that they were “heavily influenced by bands like Pavement, Sonic Youth, Nada Surf, Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh and other lo-fi and shoegazer [another indie rock sub-genre] bands of the 1990s. “Formed in 2009, Singe Parents released their first EP in 2010 and followed up with their first album, Unrest, in 2012. After touring with Sebadoh they are scheduled to play the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona in May.
Also taking part in the Juvenilia Popfest on Thursday will be one of Rio’s most popular indie bands, The John Candy. The band has been active for almost ten years and has released three albums which were well received by critics. The festival will begin at 8PM on Thursday and in addition to the music, there will be a fashion fair and DJ Gordinho (A Maldita) spinning vinyl.
Who: Juvenilia Popfest with Sebadoh, The John Candy and Single Parents
When: Thursday, April 24th at 8PM
Where: Circo Voador
Entrance: R$65- R$130. Available at the Circo Voador box office and online at Ingresso.com.