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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Shy Sebadoh Underwhelms With Anti-Professionalism

August 13, 1993|LORRAINE ALI

The tousled indie-pop trio Sebadoh seemed to blush in unison as a girl from the audience screamed "I love you!" during the band's show Wednesday at Bogart's in Long Beach. Though the Boston band, which plays sensitive gritty post-punk, is one of the shyest and all-around most likable acts in the underground rock realm, it's not exactly the most exciting live.

As on its under-produced albums, Sebadoh takes pride in anti-professionalism on stage, but while the DIY approach and bum notes have a charmingly naive quality on disc, it gets a bit trying in concert. It's almost like sitting in on a garage rehearsal in Anytown, Suburbia.

The band fumbled around all embarrassed-like before launching into piles of sweet and jangly mess-rock. Visions of the Monkees came to mind due to the band's goofy demeanor and often '60s-sounding pop base. But soon the novelty faded and the music tumbled along, the band seemingly unaware--and uncaring--that anyone was listening.

The three musicians rarely said a word between songs and when they did, it came out in a quiet mumble. The band switched instruments and traded turns at the microphone and while each does a slightly different style inside Sebadoh's fuzzy perimeters, it wasn't enough diversity to make the show memorable.

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