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Sebadoh: Lou Barlow vs. the Riddler

R.J. Smith, Village Voice, The, 4 October 1994

EVERY GREAT music of self-denial depends on a culture of self-denial. Doo-wop's pained, courtly pleas to remote earth angels had their roots in the layered, masked contact blacks had with whites in postwar big cities. Jimmy Scott's celestial "I am only human, but you are so divine," comes from a life of concealment. Al Green said yes and made it sound like no, binding himself up in chains of love then dropping the key in his Bible. In the '80s, hardcore made "guilty pleasure" an oxymoron. And then there's Sebadoh, as willing to flog themselves as any good Jesuit.

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