By Gary 17, TO-Nite Magazine
He gave a CD release party and nobody came. "Not even me," Sebastian Agnello quipped about the release of his latest album, a 12-tune sampling of the incisive mind and flawless music of this veteran Protest Rock/Country songwriter who hasn't mellowed at all with age.
"I was busy gigging at some watering hole or something," he joked as he explained how he's not bothering at all with traditional record retail outlets or press campaigns to get the self-produced disc into the hands of his many fans and many more potential new ones. It's orderable on the internet and buyable, for just $10, at his gigs and that's it. "I've had it with playing the media/industry game," he says.
While he's far from been ignored by the local press -- Daryl Jung of NOW and other admirers at the Sun and Star have written him up over the years -- he's nevertheless not only not a household name, he's also vastly under-appreciated by the local and Canadian -- the provincially minded -- professional musical establishment.
"Seb" as he's known to his buddies (though he's listed as "The Sebastian" in the online Canadian Music Encyclopedia site that's part of the canoe.com network) is one of a kind, a songwriter in the mould of Phil Ochs and commentator of the same sensibilities of Lenny Bruce who's what Iggy Pop could've been if he'd stayed musical, David Bowie if he'd stayed angry, or Bob Dylan if he'd not lost his identity to the spiritual sinkhole of celebrity icon hood.
Relentlessly poking his lyrical fingers in the eyes of lay bouts, leftists, money-grubbing Capitalists, music biz poseurs, bad lovers, hypocrites and hierophants of all creeds and scenes, Agnello also manages to make his rants fun by putting them over a musical mix that's derived from the same sources as those of Blue Rodeo, Bruce Springsteen -- people who know how to rock it out while still letting you hear the words. It is not Pop music -- but it's what Pop should worship.
TO-Nite Magazine, Issue 158, Nov. 1999