To paraphrase John Waters: If you’re still full of the same piss and vinegar at age 50 as you were at 20, you’re probably a jerk. While Lou Barlow is six years away from that 50-year mark, he isn’t quite stuck in the indie rock and low-fi limbo of his past. As members of Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and the Folk Implosion, Barlow has steered his entire career toward the anti-mainstream, DIY aesthetic. His most recent solo albums, 2005’s Emoh and last year’s Goodnight Unknown, are smooth, accomplished, and grown-up, but you don’t have to worry about Barlow taking over one of the vacated judges’ seats on American Idol any time soon. His willowy, breathy vocals and pensive romantic ruminations remain fundamental — there’s just less tape hiss and more ripened angst these days. Goodnight Unknown (recorded with the Melvins’ Dale Crover and singer-songwriter Lisa Germano) has the subdued and melodious style of vintage Nike Drake and Simon and Garfunkel. But don’t confuse this dexterity with dullness. Barlow certainly doesn’t. Lou Barlow, with Wye Oak, plays the Grog Shop at 8 p.m. Tickets: $12, $10 in advance. —Mark Keresman
Follow us on Twitter: @clescenemusic
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.