Sebadoh is an American band formed in the second half of the 1980s in Amherst, Massachusetts, by Lou Barlow and Eric Gaffney. The band was one of the pioneers of the lo-fi style, characterized by low fidelity in recordings, which often used four-channel recorders. Among the main supporters of this style, Pavement, Beat Happening and Guided by Guided by Voices.
In 1987, Lou Barlow – at that time bassist for Dinosaur Jr. – released in cassette format a collection of songs, entitled Weed Forestin, recorded at his home using a four-channel recorder, under the name Sentridoh. In Weed Forestin, he played guitar and bass, and Eric Gaffney contributed percussion. The following year, the duo released The Freed Man, also in homemade cassette format. The Freed Man was revised and expanded, and released on Homestead Records as Sebadoh's first album in 1989, the year Lou Barlow was kicked out by J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.. Also in 1989, drummer Jason Loewenstein was added to the band.
Homestead Records released in 1990 a revised and expanded version of Weed Forestin. The following year The Freed Weed came out, a compilation bringing together Weed Forestin and most of The Freed Man's songs.
The band released new songs in 1991 on the EP Gimme Indie Rock! and on the Sebadoh III album. In 1992, Sebadoh signed with Sub Pop, who released the compilation Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock, bringing together songs from the Rocking the Forest and Sebadoh vs. Helmet EPs, both released that same year on the British label Domino. Bubble and Scrape, the group's fourth album, came out in 1993. After that record, Eric Gaffney left the band, being replaced by drummer Bob Fay.
In 1994, the band released Bakesale, an album that pointed a new direction in Sebadoh music, moving away from lo-fi and featuring more accessible songs with refined production. Bakesale was well received by critics and the band's most successful work to date, highlighting the singles "Rebound", "Skull" and "Magnet's Coil". Its successor, Harmacy (1996), was also well received in the independent music scene.
Bob Fay was replaced by Russ Pollard prior to the recording of The Sebadoh (1999) album. After the release of that record, the group went into a long hiatus. A new album by the band, Defend Yourself', came out in September 2013 on the Joyful Noise Recordings label.
In 2019, Sebadoh released his ninth album, Act Surprised.