5 Things Sebadoh Needs to Know to Make It in Today's Indie Music Scene
  • TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012

  • Posted by: Amanda Scherker

Oh hey, '80 babies, word is Sebadoh's alive and kickin'. This offshoot of Dinosaur Jr. was started by the famously shafted Lou Barlow after a blowout with D. Jr. frontman J.J. Mascis tore the original band apart. They haven't released new music in 14 years, long enough for their moody fans to cut their hair, get a real job, maybe even marry and divorce. Still, their new release is likely to be celebrated like it's New Year's Eve by indie diehards. Medium-to-highly anticipated comebacks are never a sure shot, though, and the indie landscape has been plowed down, built up, and gentrified since Sebadoh last strutted their angst. So we've come up with a careful list of five surefire ways Sebadoh can modernize and adapt to this brand new indie world.

FIVE TIPS FOR YOU (SEBADOH):

1. Hire a social media intern.

Spruce up your website, amp up your Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr etc. etc. etc. Fanzines' don't count as publicity anymore, it's all about strategic, though never tawdry, self-promotion. Chances are, you won't even have to pay the kid! (College internship credit; a small business's best friend.)

2. Make some serious noise with a crazy conceptual music video.

Back when Sebadoh was in its heyday, music videos were still a somewhat unchartered terrain. Now, to really get attention, its best to do something wildly creative. We've seen the conceptual, the naked Disney actors, the interactive, and there's even talk of the 3D. We'd recommend something stop-motion animated or a weird dark fantasy to surprise 'em.

3. Make friends.

Collaborate with some buddies who remember you from way back when (Guided by Voices, perhaps?) or recruit some hip new kids on the block to add some young blood to your next album. Everybody's doing it.


4. Find your commercial match-made-in-heaven.

These days, anybody who's anybody has made money by helping someone else make money. No indie band can really afford to thumb their noses at those shark tanks formerly known as advertising agencies. So, it's time for Sebodah to license their stuff to a brand that fits. They're in good company; Grizzly Bear sold themsleves to Volkswagon, The National hooked up with Saturn; Santigold fans have been crackin' open Budweiser's. The pure at heart are probably best suited to Apple nano commercials, though.

5. Radiohead that sh*t.

Nobody's going to buy your music legally anyway, so forget your dreams of makin' it rain royalties, and go the Radiohead path: make a statement. (ain't that what indie's all about, after all?) When Radiohead released their "you pick the price" CD back in 2007, it generated more buzz than an US Weekly. These days, we're used to getting our stuff free and fast. Try an EP or a few free singles at the very least.

Justify your generosity with one of the following mantras:

A. You can't put a price on art.
B. Our music was made to be shared.
C. All our listeners are pirating cheapskates anyway.

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Now that we've brought Sebadoh into the 21st century of indie music promotion, it's time to give you readers a nice nostalgia trip to a simpler time for the band.

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