Low: Classic or classic?

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Self explanatory, I'd have thought. I'm listening to the new Low album, 'Things we lost in the fire': it's fantastic, of course. Have I lost all sense of perspective on these things, or can anyone seriously doubt the greatness and majesty of Low?

alex thomson, Saturday, 17 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

rabid low fans: dud or dud? or rather, low fans: wowed by gap commercials or hopeful mormons?

ethan padgett, Saturday, 17 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

*yawn* blandly pleasant but ultimately characterless and forgettable. occasionally catchy. ever wonder if they're just too lazy to play fast?

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 17 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic, but I have my doubts about the new album.

Josh, Saturday, 17 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

sundar - i downloaded a mp3 medley were thewy playee misfits covers really fast...so the answer on the lazy question is no...-)

Jens, Saturday, 17 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Hey, I like 'em -- even crashed on my apartment floor once back in 1994. Got the new album today but have not yet had a chance to give it an ear.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 18 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Christian rock sucks, dude.

I think they're alright, I think their obvious dedication to their sound and art is fairly admirable, but the resulting records don't move me (the Christmas one is quite nice).

In some of the praise of them there's an undertow of virtues-of- simplicity stuff, and I can see why - when I listen to Low the word that often comes to mind is 'quaint'. You feel a little better for owning a Low record, I suppose, like a piece of handmade furniture or something. They're not classic.

Tom, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Undertow? The whole damn point to their first three albums is the virtue of simplicity - simplicity at one possible extreme.

Josh, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Dud.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 13 March 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

four months pass...
Josh, could you discuss (even partially) the change in Low from "Curtain Hits the Cast"-era to "Thing We Lost in the Fire"- era, either on this thread or on your blog. I only own "I Could Live in Hope" and I can't discern any noticeable change of aesthetics in the band in later records from reading reviews. It seems the majority of record reviewers don't delve into the band's records at any deeper level than "Here's another Low record from the frigid plains of Duluth, Minnesota and it's slow and depressing again. Suprise!" If your answer is "Just listen to the darn albums!", then I'll accept that.

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Here you go. Listen to the damn albums, too - I think "Hope," "Curtain," and "Things" in sequence make the case a lot more convincing.

Josh, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

And here's my response -- more of an addendum of sorts, really, since I pretty much agree widdim.

Phil, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Thanks, guys. I have the feeling I should purchase "Curtain Hits.." sometime in the near future.

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think they are holy and beutiful. So simple and elegant . Low key really like a shaker cupboard.

anthony, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

not quite classic, but have been close in the past. long division, curtain, secret name, deadpilot, all have some truly beautiful songs, but don't gel as albums - too many mediocre songs as well, they all get the cdprogram treatment from me, this is probably what prevents them from achieving the classic status. i still haven't played the new one yet, just haven't been in the right mood for it.

gareth, Sunday, 22 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

eleven months pass...
pinefox, I am shocked!

ha I never said on this thread that 'the curtain hits the cast' is one of my few most favorite albums ever.

Josh, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Calssically dud?

Julio Desouza, Monday, 1 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

five years pass...

i watched that low documentary on cable last nite. maaaaaaaan, was that boring. not even two members of napalm death could pep things up. HOW IRONIC LOW DUDE THEY ARE IN NAPALM DEATH AND YOU ARE IN LOW AND YOU ARE IN THE SAME BUILDING WHAT ARE THE ODDS. on the other hand, it made me want to listen to low records. i do like low. and watching low live from my couch is, if you ask me, the best friggin' place on earth to watch low live.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:25 (twelve years ago) link

hahah, interesting post. a boring documentary that made you wanna listen to the records. i can see that. good documentary i guess, rather slow, i own it but have only watched it once, so far.

stephen, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:33 (twelve years ago) link

the live footage is indeed superb.

stephen, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:33 (twelve years ago) link

that's the Low In Europe thing, right? I've got that DVD too, should really watch it again too

StanM, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:43 (twelve years ago) link

they should have set up the most boring people alive premise even more than they did. they sould have called the doc: HOW LOW CAN YOU GO:THE DIRTY DULUTH 3 LAY WASTE TO EUROPE! with girls gone wild cover art.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:49 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe the sequel will be even lower

StanM, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:52 (twelve years ago) link

Low & Lowerer, with new bass player Jim Carrey

StanM, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 20:53 (twelve years ago) link

ultimately characterless and forgettable

lol. Heard Drums and Guns?

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 9 January 2008 22:20 (twelve years ago) link

it hadn't been released back then

electricsound, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 22:27 (twelve years ago) link

i have "low in europe" and only got halfway through it. hmm. and as you all know, i adore them.

vvv tickled to see the original post -- it was alex who got me into low, some ... fucking hell, 12 years ago now. christ.

grimly fiendish, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 22:30 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...

which album do I listen to right now if I've never heard any of them before? quick!

Preview of the Matrix 12, Sunday, 27 January 2008 23:44 (twelve years ago) link

I think The Great Destroyer is very accessible, so that may be a good entry point. But I guess Things We Lost In The Fire might be a more representative disc.

A handful of songs on the new disc (called Drums and Guns) are also an excellent introduction to the band. Try, for example, this killer (no pun intended) version of Murderer, from a live, in-studio performance last year.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 27 January 2008 23:48 (twelve years ago) link

Things We Lost in the Fire is a great introduction. I'd also recommend Secret Name, which was my intro, also very good.

stephen, Monday, 28 January 2008 20:19 (twelve years ago) link

Things We Lost in the Fire, definitely. Worked for me at least, from the first chord change.

Z S, Monday, 28 January 2008 20:26 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

Anyone see that film about Low that's now showing on Pitchfork.tv? It's called You Might Need A Murderer. I didn't know how troubled Alan Spearhawk was. Semi-boring film, but a totally compelling band.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 June 2008 01:34 (twelve years ago) link

Oh it's on Pitchfork.tv? Sweet, I saw it in the local record store today and passed on it ($20 brand new) but i'll totally watch it for free. One of my all time favorite bands, love these guys.

stephen, Sunday, 22 June 2008 01:58 (twelve years ago) link

npr interview with the sparhawks a while ago that touched on his issues

mookieproof, Sunday, 22 June 2008 02:00 (twelve years ago) link

Catch it now, Stephen. It's the "One Week Only" feature on Pitchfork.tv.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 June 2008 02:14 (twelve years ago) link

That NPR interview is fascinating. Sparhawk dances around his problems some, but this is the first time I've heard he was suicidal.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 June 2008 02:41 (twelve years ago) link

Thanks Daniel, I'll be sure to check it out Sunday morning when i get up :D

stephen, Sunday, 22 June 2008 03:53 (twelve years ago) link

Retribution Gospel Choir (Alan's new, catchier, LOUD, rock band) played a sparsely attended show in Montreal on Friday that was fucking amazing. PLayed their hearts out for we seated folk, left my ears so happily ringing. Was sad to see him loading up the van alone in the street afterward (last time I saw Low it was at ATP with another 1000 people). If Retribution Gospel Choir come to chez toi, go go go. terrific.

sean gramophone, Sunday, 22 June 2008 16:52 (twelve years ago) link

Low have subtley crept, over the course of about ten years, into the position of being my favorite existing band.

Pillbox, Sunday, 22 June 2008 18:28 (twelve years ago) link

"subtly"

Pillbox, Sunday, 22 June 2008 18:28 (twelve years ago) link

Some good discussion on this thread, methinks.

Pillbox, Sunday, 22 June 2008 18:41 (twelve years ago) link

Retribution Gospel Choir (Alan's new, catchier, LOUD, rock band) played a sparsely attended show in Montreal on Friday that was fucking amazing.

ARGH I was on the list for this but couldn't go, damn you, job.

Simon H., Sunday, 22 June 2008 18:44 (twelve years ago) link

I've seen them 7-8 times since 1997 and have observed as the venue/audience size has grown in tandem with the expanse of the band's dynamic (louder choruses, distortion pedals and such). The songs from their last few records are perfectly suited to the mid-size theatres they play these days. But my favorite gigs were one in the mid-to-late 90's, when they would come through the Ann Arbor/Detroit area quite regularly and play at little hole-in-the-wall spots: The (small) audience would generally sit on the floor and remain dead silent until the band finished playing (save for the occasional applause). There was a communal reverence, churchlike almost, unlike anything else I've experienced at rock gigs (even a "seated" Yo La Tengo show from their And Then Nothing.. tour, in which the band/venue provided the audience with folding chairs, didn't come close). It was a beautiful thing to be a part of, really.

Pillbox, Sunday, 22 June 2008 19:12 (twelve years ago) link

I totally get that. I'm sure you'd agree, though, that they deserve all the additional attention -- and higher audience attendance at shows -- that they now get. I'm with you: Low has become one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, band of the moment.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 June 2008 19:34 (twelve years ago) link

I'll third that. Best band going today.

stephen, Sunday, 22 June 2008 19:37 (twelve years ago) link

i saw RGC a few years back with Kozelek and they were alright but the drummer was really stiff; if it's the same guy I'm sure they've loosened up a bit. I'm assuming Kozelek isn't on this tour.

akm, Sunday, 22 June 2008 20:06 (twelve years ago) link

the best thing they played though was a crazy ass cover of "the carpet crawlers"

akm, Sunday, 22 June 2008 20:06 (twelve years ago) link

I'm sure you'd agree, though, that they deserve all the additional attention -- and higher audience attendance at shows

Yeah, it has actually been very rewarding to watch a humble little band like Low build and expand their aesthetic over the years, and at the same time gain popularity because of the sheer quality of their art. Even thought I have those fond memories of tiny quiet shows, I have no problem sharing Low with The World.

Strictly in terms of popularity, though, I know Low is bigger in Europe than The States, at least circa early-2000s. Was it that way in the mid-to-late 90's too? I'd been used to Low concerts being generally as described above. But then, in 2000, I moved to Dublin for college and twice saw Low in sold-out concerts at The Olympia, a fairly large theatre (fantastic shows both, one with cello!).

Pillbox, Sunday, 22 June 2008 20:13 (twelve years ago) link

"thought" = though

Pillbox, Sunday, 22 June 2008 20:15 (twelve years ago) link

three weeks pass...

stop all the clocks, quieten all the whisperings about low's republican tendencies:

low are playing an obama benefit somewhere.

they're also doing christmas shows in the uk, in november.

schlump, Thursday, 17 July 2008 11:32 (twelve years ago) link

I had only heard about teh one show. Is it definitely shows plural?

aldo, Thursday, 17 July 2008 11:48 (twelve years ago) link

yeh, manchester ('uni' i think, which i guess is hop & grape/academy three?) and oran mor glasgow. there's a churchy bit to oran mor, although i guess it's more likely they'll be downstairs.

schlump, Thursday, 17 July 2008 11:58 (twelve years ago) link

I'm going to the London one - it's at Koko.

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 17 July 2008 12:12 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

So I've just heard something bizarre about how Alan S. threw a guitar at his audience at a Saturday show in the UK?

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:07 (twelve years ago) link

Drowned in Sound thread with details:

http://drownedinsound.com/articles/4020122

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:10 (twelve years ago) link

^^ shit's wack

and yeah, classic. particularly the very early stuff, which stylistically i prefer a whole lot to the recent stuff, which tends to be a little too comfortable and prosaic for my liking

Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:23 (twelve years ago) link

Buncha fuckin Helen Lovejoys on that DiS thread non-shocker

The Slash My Father Wrote (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:31 (twelve years ago) link

this is all very sad. that's not the first thing i've read about onstage trouble in the last few months, either.

toby, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

weird. I know alan was talking publicly about going on medication a couple of years ago so my assumption would be that it has something to do with that.

akm, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 13:28 (twelve years ago) link

but it is a bit funny to think you'd get HURT at a low show

akm, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 13:28 (twelve years ago) link

Buncha fuckin Helen Lovejoys on that DiS thread non-shocker

it was a seriously dangerous and fucking stupid thing to do. also, that festival was awash with kids. sparhawk is very lucky that he isn't facing manslaughter charges, and i am not being remotely hysterical here.

Smuckles Brothers (stevie), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:01 (twelve years ago) link

i mean, i was there, and the whole thing was *horrific, actually properly upsetting. sorry that the DiS readers aren't chuckling it off with sub-Chunklet ironic machismo, dude.

Smuckles Brothers (stevie), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:02 (twelve years ago) link

I primarily meant the hectoring pseudo-concern for the mental problems of someone they've never met, and directives of what he should and shouldn't do with his life. I know people care about the band (as do I) and the guy's problems sound horrible, but it rubbed me up the wrong way is all

The Slash My Father Wrote (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:30 (twelve years ago) link

no worries dude, i was totally over-vociferous up there. apols.

Smuckles Brothers (stevie), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:36 (twelve years ago) link

six months pass...

Would anyone out there be willing to ysi me a copy of "Prisoner"? It's on the Lifetime of Temporary Relief box set (also originally appeared in the limited Finally... EP). I'm desperate to find it but the songs from the box set aren't available on emusic, amazon, or itunes. I'd be very grateful...

scott pgwp (pgwp), Monday, 6 April 2009 05:19 (eleven years ago) link

unless someone beats me to it i'll up it later on today for you

balls by titleist (electricsound), Monday, 6 April 2009 05:46 (eleven years ago) link

Someone beat you to it - got an email with the link. Thanks though! I'm writing about Low all week starting tomorrow (here) and really wanted to include mention of this song. I only have it on cassette, of all things.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Monday, 6 April 2009 05:49 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

LOW played a unique (one time only) 2 and a half hour, 25 song concert in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (Catharina church) on January 22nd of 2009. (Crosslinx festival)

It was a collaboration with David Dramm and these were the players: (I just copy/pasted/translated this from concertzender.nl )

Low: Alan Sparhawk, voice, guitar. Mimi Parker: voice, percussion. Steve Garrington: bass guitar.
VocalLab: Bauwien van der Meer, Elsbeth Gerritsen, Fanny Alofs, Christian Damsgaard, Job Hubatka
Margarita Kourtparadisou, Marcel Andriessen: percussion.
Dominik Blum (Steamboat Switzerland) : church organ, Hammond B3, piano, Korg.
David Dramm: arrangements.

recorded at the Catharinakerk Eindhoven, 22-1-2009.
recording technician: Kees van de Wiel

The whole concert was broadcast in two parts on the Dutch (online?) radio station Concertzender on May 18th and yesterday and the streams are still available on demand.
All in 128 kbps, unfortunately, but still, not to be missed. (I don't know how long the station's on demand content remains online, by the way, don't think they delete anything, but I'm not sure at all)

PART ONE:

http://audio.omroep.nl/cz/cz/thema/20090518-20.mp3 (LOW = first 78 minutes of the 2-hour mp3)

David Dramm.
1. The wheel of Catherina.

Low.
2. Amazing Grace.
3. Sunflower.
4. In metal.
5. Candy Girl.
6. Dinosaur act.
7. Kind of girl.
8. Point of disgust.
9. Whitetail.
10. Canada.
11. Belarus.
12. Breaker.
13. Silver Rider.
14. Shots and ladders.

PART TWO:

http://audio.omroep.nl/cz/cz/thema/20090615-20.mp3 (LOW = first 77 minutes of the 2-hour mp3)

Low.
1. July.
2. Pretty People.
3. Take your Time.
4. Monkey.
5. Evertbody's Song.
6. The Lamb / Blood of the Lamb.
7. Violent Past.
8. Laser Beam.
9. In Silence.
10. Always Fade.
11. Dragonfly.
12. Murderer.
13. &20 (My Love (is for Free))
14. Sandinista.
15. When I go Deaf. (with David Dramm joining in on electric guitar)

StanM, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 19:07 (eleven years ago) link

Thanks!

Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 16 June 2009 19:23 (eleven years ago) link

Tons of Things We Lost in the Fire material in that set. Seems kinda random but ok!

scott pgwp (pgwp), Tuesday, 16 June 2009 20:03 (eleven years ago) link

This is great, thanks.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 06:09 (eleven years ago) link

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU will dl when I get home.

Amazing setlist.

Sandinista live is always *amazing*. Do they ever do "Embrace"? I'd love to hear a live version.

Turangalila, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 07:07 (eleven years ago) link

Oh wow, thanks for the links - some great stuff there by the look of it.

Bill A, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 07:18 (eleven years ago) link

Small detail correction, by the way: apparently I misunderstood the presenter there, this wasn't the crosslinx festival, but the heartland festival (a collaboration between two local Eindhoven museums and the Smart museum of Art in Chicago). Sorry about that.

StanM, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 11:17 (eleven years ago) link

"Take Your Time" is amazing here.

Simon H., Wednesday, 17 June 2009 13:56 (eleven years ago) link

(dammit! I thought I prepared my post thoroughly, but now I find out I can't count! That's 28 Low songs, not 25)

StanM, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 14:39 (eleven years ago) link

Do they ever do "Embrace"? I'd love to hear a live version.

Yes. If memory serves, they played it in Austin a few years back.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 17 June 2009 16:01 (eleven years ago) link

I saw Sparhawk open for the Meat Puppets a couple weeks back, and boy was it weird. His lyrics were bizarre and often embarrassing, and his voice and guitar reverberated so much that I started to feel like I was part of a weird social experiment where my reactions were being taped while I listened to someone mentally breakdown onstage. To date, it was probably the oddest concert experi[ence/ment?] I've ever had.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 17 June 2009 16:54 (eleven years ago) link

interesting story

ramón gastro (omar little), Wednesday, 17 June 2009 16:56 (eleven years ago) link

I thought the whole recording was all a bit quiet, but then it IS Low, of course... :-)

StanM, Thursday, 18 June 2009 06:54 (eleven years ago) link

In the main, this is Low's live wonderfulness and some of the additional instrumentation works really well. But the overpowering, and frankly wholly redundant, backing vocals (ie. female voice other than Mimi) on Sandinista totally scupper the song...

Bill A, Thursday, 18 June 2009 11:04 (eleven years ago) link

I saw Sparhawk open for the Meat Puppets a couple weeks back, and boy was it weird. His lyrics were bizarre and often embarrassing, and his voice and guitar reverberated so much that I started to feel like I was part of a weird social experiment where my reactions were being taped while I listened to someone mentally breakdown onstage. To date, it was probably the oddest concert experi[ence/ment?] I've ever had.

This is a concern, given Sparhawk's past (see that documentary film about the band from a year ago, You Might Need A Murderer).

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 18 June 2009 11:53 (eleven years ago) link

This is a concern, given Sparhawk's past (see that documentary film about the band from a year ago, You Might Need A Murderer).

I couldn't place him at first, only remembering him from Low towards the end of the set... He seemed like a local guy, certainly no one who would be recognized on a national scale; everything came off as sort of amateur (just a guy with an electric guitar, no back up band, strange and embarrassing lyrics about the perils of war, etc.). He just stood there almost motionless, strumming his guitar in a rhythmless manner way that created a giant, amorphous wall of sound. Aside from his set, which seemed like the soundtrack to a bad acid trip, his between-song banter was rather stilted, with a lot of awkward pauses and rambling comments, and an apparent lack of self-awareness. I'm not sure if this is how he always is, but it was somewhat unsettling to me. When he left the stage, he said something like "I guess I'll get off the stage now so you can see some real music."

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Thursday, 18 June 2009 13:47 (eleven years ago) link

I'm not sure if this is how he always is

Yes, it is :)

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Thursday, 18 June 2009 13:51 (eleven years ago) link

Grimly otm. I've seen Low many times and Alan's stage persona has evolved (if that's the word) into this very dead-pan, almost bereft figure on the last couple of tours. Without the band it sounds like he's even more twitchy.

Bill A, Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:12 (eleven years ago) link

Wasn't there a thing where he forcefully threw a guitar at an audience at one of the ATP festivals?

Metro Video Centers, Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:20 (eleven years ago) link

Man, I worry about that dude.

Simon H., Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:23 (eleven years ago) link

Scroll up. (xpost)

StanM, Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:25 (eleven years ago) link

Ah, yes, I see.

Metro Video Centers, Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:28 (eleven years ago) link

I realise how incredibly lame this sounds spoken out loud, but... can anyone do something about this, FFS?

Lostandfound, Friday, 19 June 2009 05:33 (eleven years ago) link

Do you mean something like a fan intervention? We're all concerned for his wellbeing, and I think us fans could voice that, but any more than that, I don't know, wouldn't that become way too personal very quickly?

StanM, Friday, 19 June 2009 07:39 (eleven years ago) link

he's a guy with mental health issues; i don't know that circumnavigating awkward onstage conversation would be a real triumph of intervention. it is what it is.

the heart is a lonely hamster (schlump), Friday, 19 June 2009 13:00 (eleven years ago) link

he has a wife who loves him and many people who love him, he's not some loner out there on the streets with no-one overseeing how he acts and behaves

akm, Friday, 19 June 2009 14:03 (eleven years ago) link

You guys are right, that was my inside voice coming out... as well as a lot of personal life stuff involving loved ones with mental illness. I almost get anxiety attacks of my own thinking about Alan Sparhawk! I don't mean this in a stan-like way (hopefully), but we do get invested in the people whose music makes our own lives better. Not sure what we can do in this scenario, though.

Lostandfound, Friday, 19 June 2009 18:07 (eleven years ago) link

Let's call A&E and get him on Intervention. Hey, it was good enough for Travis Meeks from Days of the New.

Jesus Christ, Chiropractor at Law (res), Friday, 19 June 2009 20:03 (eleven years ago) link

i wonder if they'd play the opening music extra slow for that episode

more tang than an astronaut (bug), Friday, 19 June 2009 20:39 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

I just cried listening to the Transmission EP, so it would have to be classic.

krakow, Saturday, 19 September 2009 23:02 (eleven years ago) link

these guys make me well up all the time.

... (Pillbox), Saturday, 19 September 2009 23:10 (eleven years ago) link

I saw them last week at this free music+movies thing in mpls, introducing Jaws (which they picked). Alan claimed that the first day he met Mimi, in 4th grade, she gave him a betamax copy of Jaws, and told him to study it if he wanted to make it big.

clotpoll, Sunday, 20 September 2009 05:12 (eleven years ago) link

'Long Division' playing now. I'm so maudlin at the moment.

krakow, Sunday, 20 September 2009 09:41 (eleven years ago) link

Has there ever been a Low poll? I can't find one. If not, then we should have one. I'm getting deep in again at the moment. 'Songs For A Dead Pilot' now, after 'Curtain Hits The Cast' this afternoon at work.

krakow, Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:21 (eleven years ago) link

yeah, there is an album poll around somewhere.

Andrew "Nice" Clay (Pillbox), Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:26 (eleven years ago) link

I'll have a more dedicated look. Searching for Low brings up a lot of things.

krakow, Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:29 (eleven years ago) link

Found it, but it was screwed up for some image related reason, so that a load of the results don't show up at all: What is the best Low album/release?

I demand a re-poll!

krakow, Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:31 (eleven years ago) link

Was the solo guitar album any good?

Sundar, Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:34 (eleven years ago) link

xpost: it was repolled after that, but I don't recall what it was titled.

Andrew "Nice" Clay (Pillbox), Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:38 (eleven years ago) link

No, imho. xpost

StanM, Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:38 (eleven years ago) link

You know what was kinda good? The Retribution Gospel Choir album. The version of "Holes in our heads" in that is godly.

Turangalila, Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:59 (eleven years ago) link

Found the re-poll: What is the best Low album/release? (Encore version)

krakow, Sunday, 20 September 2009 22:02 (eleven years ago) link

Can't believe 'Things We Lost In The Fire' didn't run away with it, it's blatantly the best album!

krakow, Sunday, 20 September 2009 22:03 (eleven years ago) link

it really isn't

million dollar pig junior (electricsound), Sunday, 20 September 2009 22:43 (eleven years ago) link

Only recently discovered The Great Destroyer which I love. Too bad they're Mormons, though.

Alex in NYC, Sunday, 20 September 2009 23:57 (eleven years ago) link

Silver Rider, from The Great Destroyer, is a near-perfect slowcore song. Low is another band that should get mentioned in many Best-Of-The-Decade lists, but I think they'll be criminally overlooked.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 21 September 2009 00:16 (eleven years ago) link

Alex, is that the only Low album you know? A lot of people like that album, but it's my least favorite.

Turangalila, Monday, 21 September 2009 00:26 (eleven years ago) link

Among Low's hard-core fans, I imagine The Great Destroyer is the least favorite album.

It's among my favorites of theirs, tho.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 21 September 2009 00:27 (eleven years ago) link

Too bad they're Mormons, though.

too bad? why?

Lowell N. Behold'n, Monday, 21 September 2009 05:48 (eleven years ago) link

I prefer the version of Silver Rider on the Murderer ep to be honest.

I thought I could make it work because you look a bit like a man (aldo), Monday, 21 September 2009 09:10 (eleven years ago) link

one month passes...

Listening to it all again. "Over The Ocean" just spurred me to revive. Wonderful.

I was remembering how it was Mogwai that got me into Low, as they used to talk about them in interviews and how amazing they were, so I went and hunted it out. Mogwai were also responsible for getting me into Bardo Pond in exactly the same way.

krakow, Friday, 6 November 2009 19:39 (ten years ago) link

"Venus" is their best song, imo.

Trip Maker, Friday, 6 November 2009 19:43 (ten years ago) link

Anyone know what they're up to? It's been a few years since D&G, tho Sparhawk has been into the various side projects & things.

you just freaked out more than our director of lols (Pillbox), Sunday, 8 November 2009 17:27 (ten years ago) link

not sure but the retribution gospel choir is pretty hot...like low meets crazy horse

The looming shadow of the big baller/shot caller (M@tt He1ges0n), Sunday, 8 November 2009 17:28 (ten years ago) link

The RGC disc comes out in January 2010, I think.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 8 November 2009 17:46 (ten years ago) link

Dunno, I thought the self-titled album was a drag and I'll represent for most anything else Sparhawk has released.

xpost

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 8 November 2009 17:47 (ten years ago) link

hmmm i guess i'm reacting to seeing them live, i don't have the albums...live it's amazing if you have a chance

The looming shadow of the big baller/shot caller (M@tt He1ges0n), Sunday, 8 November 2009 17:50 (ten years ago) link

the RGC album is pretty good but doesn't nearly do justice to their live show. maybe the next one will.

LaMonte, Sunday, 8 November 2009 17:54 (ten years ago) link

Been listening to Lifetime Of Temporary Relief boxset all week and falling in love all over again again. So much wonderful stuff on there.

krakow, Thursday, 19 November 2009 21:58 (ten years ago) link

On a walk in surprisingly-chilly South Florida, I just listened to a Low playlist: Whore; July; In Metal; Silver Rider; Death Of A Salesman; and Breaker.

The most intense -- and one of the most fascinating -- act of the decade.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 27 November 2009 23:35 (ten years ago) link

Picked up the two live albums today - "Paris '99" & "One More Reason To Forget". Life does come up OK sometimes.

krakow, Friday, 27 November 2009 23:49 (ten years ago) link

Thread makes me (almost) happy.

Lostandfound, Saturday, 28 November 2009 09:02 (ten years ago) link

saw a partially (intentionally?) obscured road sign yesterday that said

LOW
OWN

electrical audio's sm57 (electricsound), Wednesday, 2 December 2009 00:56 (ten years ago) link

and i had to agree

electrical audio's sm57 (electricsound), Wednesday, 2 December 2009 00:56 (ten years ago) link

this was the first time i saw them live:

http://www.archive.org/details/low2004-02-27.aud.flac

jØrdån (omar little), Wednesday, 2 December 2009 01:04 (ten years ago) link

pissing was so good around then

rap band (schlump), Wednesday, 2 December 2009 01:49 (ten years ago) link

First time I saw them was when they were a last minute replacement for a band at a KUCI benefit show in late 1993, I think -- I Could Live in Hope hadn't even come out yet. I was completely entranced from the get-go.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 2 December 2009 01:58 (ten years ago) link

First saw them in 1996 when they opened up for Spectrum. Unbelievably most of the audience were there to see first opening band Edsel, but no accounting for taste (it was Jabberjaw after all)

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 2 December 2009 02:54 (ten years ago) link

I first saw them in Edinburgh circa 1996: my mate's band supported them. I'd never heard of them and they played so quietly that I missed most of their set because I was standing at the bar. Then they started doing Transmission and I thought, woah, hang on ...

First "holy shit, what?" moment came two days later when AlexT played me The Plan and I was blown away.

What do you want? This ain't an egg shop (grimly fiendish), Friday, 4 December 2009 23:27 (ten years ago) link

playing the great destroyer front to back, at primavera & then i guess elsewhere

rap band (schlump), Saturday, 5 December 2009 12:56 (ten years ago) link

First time I saw them was when they opened for Soul Coughing back in 95 or 96. There was the tiniest pocket of Low fans in the front row surrounded by a sea of people talking or booing. It was tragic.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Saturday, 5 December 2009 15:56 (ten years ago) link

ewwwww why did they open for soul coughing :(

Salvador Dali Parton (Turangalila), Saturday, 5 December 2009 17:38 (ten years ago) link

isn't there a soul coughing cover on the boxset? i might be thinking of the supreme dicks but i seem to recall there was some crossover.

rap band (schlump), Saturday, 5 December 2009 18:36 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, there's a cover on there. Something about a split single planned or the like.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 5 December 2009 18:38 (ten years ago) link

Soul Coughing loved them and asked them to do a tour, so they went for it. I think it was the first "big" tour they ever did. I've Alan say before that they started Low as a kind of "punk" thing - trying to alienate all the spazzy/yelpy/angry bands they were surrounded by. So I think, at least in the early days, they were prepared for audiences to not get them at all.

And yeah, they did a cover of "Blue-Eyed Devil," recorded around that time. I think it wound up on some comp back then because I had it way before the box set. I was an OBSESSIVE Low fan for a long, long time.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Saturday, 5 December 2009 18:51 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

This is ten years old but I still hadn't seen it: Alan Sparhawk briefly commenting on every song they did up until 2000

http://groups.google.com/group/chairkickers/web/song-backgrounds

StanM, Saturday, 23 January 2010 09:27 (ten years ago) link

Wow, thank you. Never seen that before, but it's very interesting.

krakow, Saturday, 23 January 2010 17:54 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

There's quite a few fantastic sounding soundboard recordings on archive.org and people are adding new ones every now and then but the new 1998 Bluebird Theatre one that was added this week sounds AMAZING. Go check it out, fellow low addicts.

StanM, Sunday, 7 February 2010 16:03 (ten years ago) link

Yes, I've listened to that one 3 times in the last day - really wonderful. Great to hear Words/Violence.

toby, Sunday, 7 February 2010 18:13 (ten years ago) link

The new Retribution Gospel Choir (2) is now out, too, and maybe even better than the first, the Crazy Horse comparisons even more apt...

glenn mcdonald, Sunday, 7 February 2010 19:04 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

not sure how old this is but it sounds pretty amazing:

Hello friends.

Low is embarking an another unique, collobrative event with nationally renowned modern dance choreographer Morgan Thorson. Providing the musical backdrop to Thorson's piece, Heaven, Alan and Mimi are providing original music and vocal orchestration. Heaven examines the trinity of dance, music and light while exploring the various manifestations of ecstasy in religious practices and the ritualistic nature of dance. Thorson's work has garnered the praise of critics far and wide, earning her accolades in the New York Times as well as being voted City Pages' best choreographer in 2008. Heaven will be presented at various venues across the country, and more information on the shows is available here.

apparently there have already been two performances

did anyone catch this?

!aNiMeGaLaXy (Future_Perfect), Tuesday, 23 February 2010 21:17 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...

^^ this sounds really great. did anyone catch this?

In other news: Robert Plant has recorded versions of "Monkey" & "Silver Rider" for his next album - http://www.robertplant.com/press/first-look-robert-plants-band-of-joy/#more-1965

5 x 15-second shits, max fart (Pillbox), Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:00 (ten years ago) link

what the

I don't even

StanM, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:08 (ten years ago) link

cool!

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:12 (ten years ago) link

wow!

hmmm...trying to think of how this could have happened...i guess the most direct connect between plant and low is steve albini

the dj screwtape letters (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:14 (ten years ago) link

A whole lotta Low.

Lostandfound, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:14 (ten years ago) link

Interesting, though.

Lostandfound, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:15 (ten years ago) link

Plant is a really big Low fan -- and I remember him talking about how much he loved "The Great Destroyer" around 2005.

Cunga, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:16 (ten years ago) link

(StanM, I only just saw that Sparhawk list you posted upthread, and wanted to thank you for it.)

Lostandfound, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:16 (ten years ago) link

I know RP used to rep hard for The Cocteau Twins & This Mortal Coil in the 80s (& didn't he do his own version of "Song to the Siren" at some point?), so I guess this isn't a giant leap in logic from there.

Still tho, Whole Lotta Low

5 x 15-second shits, max fart (Pillbox), Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:18 (ten years ago) link

RP's early 80s albums are such a weird classic rock/new wave mix

the dj screwtape letters (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:23 (ten years ago) link

(my pleasure! xxpost)

StanM, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:25 (ten years ago) link

When you think about it, there's not a massive leap between "Battle of Evermore" and early Dead Can Dance.

Lostandfound, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:30 (ten years ago) link

wow i can't wait to hear these!

From the press release (WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!):

Plant gives the blues a full-on golden god workout as only he can with ‘Silver Rider’ and his rockier side emerges triumphant on standout tracks such as ‘Monkey’.

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:56 (ten years ago) link

that description makes me less interested in his cover versions.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 9 June 2010 19:57 (ten years ago) link

full-on golden god

kumar the bavarian, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 21:12 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...

listening to the samples of robert plant covering monkey and silver rider. they're . . . okay, but pointless. they go for the same vibe as the original, and seem like they come nowhere close to the charm/power of the originals.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 15 September 2010 01:49 (ten years ago) link

but whatevs. full-on golden god.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 15 September 2010 01:50 (ten years ago) link

stream while you can http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129178865

"Hipster" as prerogative. (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 15 September 2010 02:34 (ten years ago) link

I thought Plant's Silver Rider >>> Monkey. Thought they did a decent job with Silver Rider; not up to the original of course. But if it gets more folks to search the originals then cool by me.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 02:43 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

Excellent show from ATP in 2008: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Low/

that's not my post, Sunday, 21 November 2010 04:09 (nine years ago) link

Anyone catch them on the current tour yet? Thoughts?

I didn't end up organising to get to any of the UK shows. Sad face.

krakow, Sunday, 21 November 2010 05:22 (nine years ago) link

xpost Thanks for the heads up - there's another version out there with the encore (a 12 minute version of Shots and Ladders), by the way.

Four new tracks during this show from last week: http://www.archive.org/details/Low2010-11-16.flac

StanM, Sunday, 21 November 2010 08:38 (nine years ago) link

Not playing Canada? (I mean the country, not the song, ha).

Oh, and thanks for these, fellow ILXors.

Lostandfound, Tuesday, 23 November 2010 23:55 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Free live EP from that Catharinakerk, Eindhoven show I linked to in this thread last year (those stream mp3s aren't online anymore unfortunately, if you haven't downloaded them)

http://pitchfork.com/news/40941-low-release-free-live-ep/

StanM, Wednesday, 8 December 2010 18:10 (nine years ago) link

so much love for this band

FLEETWOOD MAC OS THE XX FILES (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 8 December 2010 21:48 (nine years ago) link

this ep is really great thanks for the heads-up stan! :)

EIEIoOoOO (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 December 2010 21:50 (nine years ago) link

EP sounds niiiiice. i've lost track of Low over the years, but it seems like i should get back into them. what's the lineup of the band like? from the sound of this EP they're no longer a trio.

tylerw, Friday, 10 December 2010 23:14 (nine years ago) link

i think there's just one other dude on bass (?)

bows don't kill people, arrows do (Jordan), Friday, 10 December 2010 23:16 (nine years ago) link

ah, maybe there's just some guests on the EP? there are keyboards on at least a couple tracks ...

tylerw, Friday, 10 December 2010 23:20 (nine years ago) link

anyway, this EP is making me think i should go see them -- they're coming to my neck of the woods next week.

tylerw, Friday, 10 December 2010 23:20 (nine years ago) link

You should definitely go see them (that's what I'm doing on Wednesday).

Ned Raggett, Friday, 10 December 2010 23:21 (nine years ago) link

i think they switch it up instrumentation-wise, or maybe the third dude just does whatever's needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GppbSt1H2o

bows don't kill people, arrows do (Jordan), Friday, 10 December 2010 23:28 (nine years ago) link

from chairkickers.com

Recorded live January 22, 2009 in the St. Catherina Church, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Track Listing:
1. Monkey
2. Silver Rider
3. July
4. Laser Beam

Credits:
Initiator of Project: Muziekgebouw Eindhoven
Executive producer: Frank Veenstra
Arrangement: David Dramm
Photography: Bram Saeys

Additional Musicians:
Chorus: VocaalLAB (Bauwien van der Meer, Elsbeth Gerritsen, Fanny Alofs, Christian Damsgaard, Job Hubatka)
Hammond Organ/Analog Synthesizer/Piano: Dominik Blum
Percussion/Vibraphone: Marcel Andriessen, Margarita Kourtparadisou

FLEETWOOD MAC OS THE XX FILES (diamonddave85), Friday, 10 December 2010 23:33 (nine years ago) link

ah thanks. yeah, sounded like a big chorus behind them.

tylerw, Friday, 10 December 2010 23:38 (nine years ago) link

So I take it the new record is Fridmann-free, then? (I see he co-produced the new Parts and Labor, though, which is...a little worrisome.)

Simon H., Saturday, 11 December 2010 00:19 (nine years ago) link

nels cline + low = unbelievable anticipation for this disc.

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 11 December 2010 00:20 (nine years ago) link

the vocal harmony on the chorus of silver rider is every bit as good on this live ep as it is on the disc -- maybe better? it's astonishing.

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 11 December 2010 03:05 (nine years ago) link

Many thanks to StanM for posting a link to the full show last year. Great to see that the transcendent versions of Silver Rider and July are getting wider circulation. And Mim's vocal on Laser Beam, wow.

that's not my post, Saturday, 11 December 2010 07:08 (nine years ago) link

Yeah see this tour. The show I saw consisted of a few old songs to start things, then their new album in its entirety (or at least 10 new songs, all played in a row), then most/all of the Christmas EP, then an all-request encore. Mimi's solo vocal on Laser Beam was in fact pretty stunning.

They're also performing as a four-piece for most of it, with a new guy on electric piano and enough drums to create a full kit between him and Mimi, and Charlie Parr accompanied at a few points.

rope (lloydwabbitt), Saturday, 11 December 2010 09:26 (nine years ago) link

how are the new tunes?

FLEETWOOD MAC OS THE XX FILES (diamonddave85), Saturday, 11 December 2010 16:56 (nine years ago) link

gonna miss this in SF this week, supremely bummed

akm, Saturday, 11 December 2010 18:26 (nine years ago) link

anyone know if they're coming to the east coast anytime soon? this tour sounds fantastic.

swvl, Saturday, 11 December 2010 18:36 (nine years ago) link

The electric piano was only really present on the first of them, where it takes a pretty prominent lead. Sounds in a lot of ways like a continuation of where they were going on Drums and Guns. I really liked one listed on the setlist as "Witches" (Alan brought out a Les Paul baritone for it). Lots of one-word choruses, a few moments of very noisy guitar playing. Really curious as to how this is going to sound with studio treatments and with Nels Cline on it.

rope (lloydwabbitt), Saturday, 11 December 2010 19:22 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

I've renewed my love affair with Low in the last few months and have been catching up on the last few records which I passed on at the time of their release. Bought Trust last month and The Great Destroyer a couple of weeks ago. Trust was solid but didn't do a whole lot for me. But man, The Great Destroyer. I had totally written this record off based on the couple of songs I heard from it at the time, but to my surprise it's quite excellent! Been listening to it nonstop since I got it. It's not perfect, but it's really good.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Saturday, 19 March 2011 18:10 (nine years ago) link

new one's really good—it's called C'mon, comes out in three weeks or so—few throwaway songs but 2/3 or so is utter gold

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Saturday, 19 March 2011 23:04 (nine years ago) link

er... utterly golden? whatever. who knows

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Saturday, 19 March 2011 23:04 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

Low covers 'Africa' by Toto for The AV Club's 'Undercover' series

predictably, it is awesome.

Challops Never End (Pillbox), Tuesday, 10 May 2011 06:20 (nine years ago) link

Damn, I'm getting an error, it's not showing.

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 09:06 (nine years ago) link

That's fantastic, thanks for the link!

Obnoxious Starbucks advertising though - urgh.

naughty bell ringer (krakow), Tuesday, 10 May 2011 09:34 (nine years ago) link

download http://videos.theonion.com/avclub_video/2011/undercover/AVUC2_009-Low.flv

StanM, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 14:18 (nine years ago) link

This band can do no wrong, really.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 14:26 (nine years ago) link

I am completely blanking on the name of the Low song-by-song blog, anyone remember it?

http://youcanttrustviolence.blogspot.com/ ?

StanM, Thursday, 19 May 2011 16:36 (nine years ago) link

Thats it, thanks!

three months pass...

http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Low_Route_du_Rock/

StanM, Monday, 5 September 2011 18:25 (nine years ago) link

^excellent, thanks for the link

that's not my post, Tuesday, 6 September 2011 06:06 (nine years ago) link

(fyi, setlist: Nothing But Heart / Nightingale / You See Everything / Monkey / Silver Rider / Especially Me / Sunflower / Try To Sleep / Canada / Violent Past / Last Snowstorm of the Year / Murderer )

StanM, Tuesday, 6 September 2011 07:41 (nine years ago) link

Awesome, thanks for this.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Wednesday, 7 September 2011 03:15 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...
two years pass...

something about early low is hitting me hard lately, like it hasn't in several years

Karl Malone, Monday, 6 March 2017 22:21 (three years ago) link

Same!!

Evan, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 01:02 (three years ago) link

Classic.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 01:52 (three years ago) link

"words" is a perfect first song first album statement.

that's not my post, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 07:56 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

You know that there is a part of Low that just wants to record an album where they croon "You're gonna die..........." over and over again for 40 minutes.

scott seward, Wednesday, 30 May 2018 17:21 (two years ago) link

You could play "Shots and Ladders" 5 times in a row and achieve the same result tbh

Simon H., Wednesday, 30 May 2018 17:47 (two years ago) link

Sometimes I can't handle "Pretty People" because it occasionally sounds like Low in self-parody mode, now I'm imagining it running 40 minutes.

Tim F, Wednesday, 30 May 2018 17:50 (two years ago) link

new album double negative out in september, produced by b.j. burton

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Monday, 11 June 2018 18:03 (two years ago) link

Press release uses the terms "abrasive" and "defiant." fun!

Simon H., Monday, 11 June 2018 18:06 (two years ago) link

Also, that has to be the ultimate Low album title

Simon H., Monday, 11 June 2018 18:10 (two years ago) link

Low - Fun!

Evan, Monday, 11 June 2018 18:11 (two years ago) link

lol

Simon H., Monday, 11 June 2018 18:18 (two years ago) link

If "abrasive" and "defiant" mean "sounds like [their best album] 'Drums and Guns'" I'm very in.

Soundslike, Monday, 11 June 2018 19:07 (two years ago) link

It sounds like it's a noisier, tighter version of the last album.

Simon H., Monday, 11 June 2018 19:10 (two years ago) link

alan was rocking this incredible disintegrating guitar tone when i saw them a few months back, can't wait to hear that on record

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Monday, 11 June 2018 19:27 (two years ago) link

like the classic Neil Young jet engine guitar sound?

StanM, Monday, 11 June 2018 20:01 (two years ago) link

close to dead man but instead of letting the notes ring, they crumble

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Monday, 11 June 2018 21:02 (two years ago) link

Has the album been announced? They seem to have disappeared from the Sub Pop website. Looking forward to the Leeds show next week. I have a spare ticket if anyone's after one.

michaellambert, Monday, 11 June 2018 22:36 (two years ago) link

only via this listing AFAICT

https://www.cargo-records.de/en/item/126785/katalog_art.123.html

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 01:40 (two years ago) link

hope this is as great as The Great Destroyer/Trust/Secret Name/Things We Lost In The Fire because nothing they have done since those has been as compelling imo

Dan S, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 02:05 (two years ago) link

I'm a little sad it doesn't seem like we're ever getting a Mimi solo album as I seem to imagine Alan teased quite a long time ago. (Though for anyone who hasn't heard it, his Solo Guitar is a neat bit of soundscaping.)

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 02:13 (two years ago) link

first 15 mins of the new album:

https://open.spotify.com/album/6nfpfcAiNLaxyFxwcj0lkm

matt h, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 11:51 (two years ago) link

holy shit @ glitch ghost Mimi!

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 13:14 (two years ago) link

oh good this sounds like autechre

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 13:20 (two years ago) link

I really hate to make this comparison ever but this is sounding very Kid A and I'm into it

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 13:24 (two years ago) link

it's amazing that The Invisible Way was only two albums ago lol

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 13:25 (two years ago) link

aoty probably

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 13:25 (two years ago) link

:D

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 13:31 (two years ago) link

whoa

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 15:02 (two years ago) link

Very excited for this. I thought that Ones and Sixes was a great look for them (especially the colder parts like the first two tracks and "DJ") and am pleased that they seem to have travelled some distance further down that road.

"Quorum" really does sound like Autechre.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 17:52 (two years ago) link

Going #fullBrad here but aoty. This is amazing.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 18:42 (two years ago) link

I've listened to these 4-5 times and I'm just mad we have to wait three months for the rest

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 18:43 (two years ago) link

For real.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 18:47 (two years ago) link

Didn't see this coming at all. Awesome music.

Jeff W, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 19:07 (two years ago) link

There's video too, suitably glitchy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvEozu4Obfs

Jeff W, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 19:12 (two years ago) link

Sub Pop is offering a pretty good deal for a bundle of their last 5 LPs.

Simon H., Tuesday, 12 June 2018 19:12 (two years ago) link

holy shit these new songs are amazing. i'm so gutted that the local show for me (leeds, UK) is sold out... though i did see them in LA last year, and briefly met alan. he was sweet.

meaulnes, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 21:05 (two years ago) link

wowowowowowow

excellent video too

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 22:20 (two years ago) link

when did they turn into Andy Stott?

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 22:30 (two years ago) link

each of the three are so good in different ways. "dancing in blood" in particular raises goosebumps at times. if they hadn't done anything since trust/great destroyer times, then released this, it would sound like a portishead third kind of return. really refreshing to hear their voices and some of the same guitar tones in a new context

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 22:31 (two years ago) link

Wow. I'm surprised and amazed. These are utterly unexpected, but progress into something that is unmistakably them and really beautiful. Dancing In Blood gave me goosebumps too, then the latter stages of Fly hit and... just wow.

brain (krakow), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 23:19 (two years ago) link

This is fucking fantastic. Exactly what I've been hoping for from them since 'Drums & Guns'. They're wonderful even when they're just doing what comes naturally, and sometimes amazing with it (i.e. 'Secret Name'). But they're always so exciting when they take the sweet simplicity of their elemental sound and just absolutely fuck with it (i.e. 'Bombscare' EP, 'Drums & Guns').

I've been listening intently for 22 years, and based on these three songs, this has the potential to be their best work yet, at least for ears like mine.

Soundslike, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:07 (two years ago) link

Karl Malone, if you're digging this--the way you're referencing Trust/Great Destroyer as their last great work--did you hear 'Drums & Guns'? If not, you're in for a huge thrill.

Soundslike, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:08 (two years ago) link

If somehow there are folks that don't know the 'Bombscare' EP, it's fantastic and maybe the most direct precursor to the sound of these new tracks, from 18 (!?! I'm old) years ago, and what firmly cemented my love of Low:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRoIbBbJx4U

Soundslike, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:13 (two years ago) link

the bombscare EP is really good! thanks for posting that. it does have a very different sound from their other work around the turn of the century, but i dunno, these new tracks still sound like a different place altogether to me.

i listened to drums & guns exactly in full exactly once, but the last two tracks are the ones i always go back to.

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 20:10 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

hasitleaked.com says it has - two and a half months early!?

StanM, Saturday, 30 June 2018 05:21 (two years ago) link

that's a bummer

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 June 2018 05:23 (two years ago) link

wtf? I remember Invisible Way leaked before it even had a cover or title.

Simon H., Saturday, 30 June 2018 11:30 (two years ago) link

maybe a daft question how do records even leak anyway. is it always an advance press copy that some naughty journo has uploaded to soulseek?

meaulnes, Saturday, 30 June 2018 11:41 (two years ago) link

Happens a bunch of different ways, lately I'm guessing the most common is people getting + redeeming download codes early and sharing

anyway I fully intend to buy this when I see them in September so I feel comfortable saying the record is bold and brilliant in all the ways the already-released tracks suggest

Simon H., Saturday, 30 June 2018 11:46 (two years ago) link

I hope Prins Thomas or Koze or somebody gets their hands on "Disarray"

Simon H., Saturday, 30 June 2018 12:30 (two years ago) link

yeah well looking forward to manchester cathedral show.

meaulnes, Saturday, 30 June 2018 12:48 (two years ago) link

really love how "tempest" sounds like my speakers are being fed through a spiralizer

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 June 2018 13:38 (two years ago) link

this is absolutely some portishead third shit

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 June 2018 13:42 (two years ago) link

That's an excellent comparison I should definitely have thought of

Simon H., Saturday, 30 June 2018 13:46 (two years ago) link

karl brought it up upthread, h/t karl

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 June 2018 13:49 (two years ago) link

*gets to "the son, the sun"* these songs are all black holes vibrating at different frequencies

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 June 2018 13:50 (two years ago) link

Whoa portishead third??? Curious

Y'all (Ross), Saturday, 30 June 2018 13:51 (two years ago) link

it'd be a shame if "rome (always in the dark)" never gets used in a movie trailer

lowercase (eric), Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:02 (two years ago) link

anyway this is gorgeous and weirdly feels like an intuitive endpoint, the way the rhythm of "always trying to work it out" pulls everything inward is just mesmerizing

lowercase (eric), Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:03 (two years ago) link

This thing is so cohesive and flows so expertly that I got too annoyed with the leak's track gaps and had to mix it down to a single 49-minute file before I could let myself relisten

The way the clouds part just long enough for "Dancing And Fire" to peek through relatively unobstructed is *kisses fingers*

Simon H., Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:11 (two years ago) link

i am so excited to hear the rest! glad to hear that the other songs are just as engaging

Karl Malone, Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:16 (two years ago) link

trying to decide whether this is samey and overproduced or genius

meaulnes, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 21:50 (two years ago) link

low is at their best writing pop songs imo

rip van wanko, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 22:34 (two years ago) link

Not even trying to defend them when I say that complaining that a Low album is "samey" is wild to me, nearly every Low album is them "trying on" a couple sonic ideas and flexing them to various extremes for 40-60 minutes

Simon H., Wednesday, 4 July 2018 22:51 (two years ago) link

haha yeah fair shout actually simon, my gripe is completely moot. i think it's maybe why, even though i love them to bits, i almost never make it through a full play of their LPs. the second halves are often a drag.

meaulnes, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 22:54 (two years ago) link

obv I find that personally heretical but I get it. this Low shit, it ain't for everybody. it's a motherfuckin vibe

Simon H., Wednesday, 4 July 2018 23:24 (two years ago) link

i know the last album i heard from low was ten years ago, but i wasn't expecting this at all. i'm mesmerized.

Nourry, Thursday, 5 July 2018 09:31 (two years ago) link

also the master is disgustingly loud, what's up with that? guess it's bathed in distortion anyway.

meaulnes, Thursday, 5 July 2018 10:34 (two years ago) link

also xxp simon -- i was more fussed about the overproduction than the sameyness really. i love alan's guitar tone, and think low have done distortion and production perfectly to date. the distortion on this is the kind of distortion that grows old quickly to my ears. sounds very digital and full of odd harmonics. im sure its intentional. i dunno. its almost annoying, i just want to hear the songs that are hiding behind it.

meaulnes, Thursday, 5 July 2018 10:40 (two years ago) link

even though the new record is destined to become one of my favourites - there is the same tension with albums like "drums and guns" where deliberate production choices set that particular song in concrete - and more power to the band for doing that. but the live versions of these new songs necessarily break them open in quite different ways, i genuinely can't wait to hear them again later in the year.

luckily theyre bootleg-friendly: https://archive.org/details/LowMusic - so i can have the jaunty "breaker" as well as the doomy live version on hand.

matt h, Thursday, 5 July 2018 11:26 (two years ago) link

wow, yeah...hard to tell if this is supposed all sound like this or whether they did something to it to mark the leaks. at least one song is pretty unlistenable to me. but there is beauty in it.

akm, Saturday, 7 July 2018 16:20 (two years ago) link

p meticulous marking then!

lowercase (eric), Saturday, 7 July 2018 16:25 (two years ago) link

it's not marking, since the officially released singles are of the same production. matt h is otm tho -- hearing them live will shed some light.

meaulnes, Monday, 9 July 2018 20:23 (two years ago) link

listening to their first couple of LPs today. man, i wish kramer was still producing records.

meaulnes, Monday, 9 July 2018 20:24 (two years ago) link

OK im decided. the use of compression on this LP in accordance with its dynamic range is fucking phenomenal.

meaulnes, Monday, 9 July 2018 21:18 (two years ago) link

I noticed that too - the quiet parts are *actually* quiet and not just in comparison to the walls of noise

Simon H., Monday, 9 July 2018 21:42 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7088HRmhNaE

wasted good silverware on ya.

meaulnes, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 12:14 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

"Disarray" is now officially available:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXaLOVeWOdU

Awesome.

Jeff W, Sunday, 19 August 2018 19:44 (two years ago) link

Needs a remix EP imho

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 19 August 2018 19:54 (two years ago) link

How I love that Transmission cover - 2nd song - from the 1996 show. By playing it slower they make it better as it lasts longer. That simple trick works like a charm here.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 22 August 2018 21:13 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

For you polite non-leak-listeners, now streaming at NPR:

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/06/644584017/first-listen-low-double-negative

This seriously has to be one of their 2 or 3 best albums ever.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Thursday, 6 September 2018 12:09 (two years ago) link

i'm not polite, but i was kind of just waiting until i could stream it somewhere, thanks!

Karl Malone, Thursday, 6 September 2018 14:40 (two years ago) link

holy shit this album

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Thursday, 6 September 2018 15:31 (two years ago) link

otm

princess of hell (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 September 2018 16:30 (two years ago) link

heavier than a death in the family

princess of hell (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 September 2018 17:09 (two years ago) link

"tempest" is like falling between two vibrating pixels

princess of hell (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 September 2018 17:21 (two years ago) link

effect of the whole album is like listening in on someone's nightmare

princess of hell (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 September 2018 17:34 (two years ago) link

yeah it has such a profound cumulative effect that in retrospect I wish they hadn't released any advance tracks at all (though releasing the opening trio was a smart compromise)

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Thursday, 6 September 2018 17:37 (two years ago) link

this makes at least two dark & (spatially) deep albums w a song titled "tempest" this decade

lowercase (eric), Thursday, 6 September 2018 18:59 (two years ago) link

the other being koi no yokan hell yeah

princess of hell (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 September 2018 19:00 (two years ago) link

yesterday i saw 'first reformed' and 'double negative' came to my mind all the time. after week listening to it i'm still speechless.

Nourry, Thursday, 6 September 2018 20:15 (two years ago) link

Crushing.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 7 September 2018 09:47 (two years ago) link

Wow, this is not starting out like I expected it to.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Friday, 7 September 2018 11:48 (two years ago) link

Yeah, I listened to it yesterday and loved it. Looking forward to my first cold sad winter night listen, it’ll be absolutely perfect then.

Karl Malone, Friday, 7 September 2018 15:02 (two years ago) link

Completely blown away by this. Who does this twelve albums into their career?

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 10 September 2018 03:17 (two years ago) link

neil young released "hawks and doves" for album 12

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Monday, 10 September 2018 05:25 (two years ago) link

That's quite a good album!

Others:
Joni Mitchell - Dog Eat Dog (oh dear)
Bob Dylan - Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (never listened to it)
Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street (!)

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 10 September 2018 05:52 (two years ago) link

I see more UK & European dates have been added to the tour for the new year, including a Glasgow gig in January. Yay!

brain (krakow), Monday, 10 September 2018 08:53 (two years ago) link

This is amazing. The way they alter abrasive, sound sculpture pieces with their spiritual, harmonic tunes is absolutely breathtaking. There is a lot to bite on here.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 10 September 2018 21:30 (two years ago) link

longtime Low-ambivalent human here to say: what the FUCK

alpine static, Monday, 10 September 2018 22:47 (two years ago) link

what the FUCK

otm

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 10 September 2018 22:48 (two years ago) link

I don't know why people are so surprised by this, since they've experimented with drone/noise/electronic elements plenty before. Not always on their albums, I suppose.

I really want to love the album but it hasn't really clicked for me yet, hoping I just need to hear it in the right context. Mimi does sound amazing on the ones where she's singing lead.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 10 September 2018 23:03 (two years ago) link

Yeah, I also feel like this album is a logical extension of some of the ideas they were pursuing on Ones and Sixes, which I also thought was a super-strong album.

I'm surprised by the notion that people who have long been ambivalent about Low would suddenly be won over by this album - it strikes me as standing in relation to their prior work in much the same way as the new Jon Hassell album does to his (Hassell is also a good answer for "who pulls this kind of trick some 12 albums or more into his career?") - an invigorating incorporation of new elements to expand the existing blueprint rather than replace it wholesale.

Tim F, Monday, 10 September 2018 23:37 (two years ago) link

fwiw, i'm not saying i'm won over, although being ambivalent and then maybe not ambivalent might imply as much.

i'm not even sure i'm won over yet. this is more my experience:

i know the last album i heard from low was ten years ago, but i wasn't expecting this at all. i'm mesmerized.

― Nourry, Thursday, July 5, 2018 2:31 AM (two months ago)

basically i'm saying: "I listened to Curtain and Lost in the Fire and Great Destroyer several times each and thought I knew what Low was but this album is not what I thought Low was"

alpine static, Monday, 10 September 2018 23:48 (two years ago) link

The only thing I don't like about this album is that it makes Ones and Sixes retroactively sound like a tentative, tame attempt at what this album is up to.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 10 September 2018 23:53 (two years ago) link

basically i'm saying: "I listened to Curtain and Lost in the Fire and Great Destroyer several times each and thought I knew what Low was but this album is not what I thought Low was"

― alpine static, Monday, September 10, 2018 11:48 PM (eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah that's fair - this album makes more sense in the context of Drums and Guns and Ones and Sixes and some stuff they put on EPs over the years.

Tim F, Monday, 10 September 2018 23:58 (two years ago) link

i only heard 'ones and sixes' after 'double negative' and now i get where this is coming from. but i'm still mesmerized. and it is possibly my favourite record of the year so far (with the new jon hassell and opn's age of).
i'm kinda of ashamed that in the last years i stopped paying much attention to their records. such a stupid "decision".
in the end of the month i plan seeing them live (the last time I saw them was in 2007!).

Nourry, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:12 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRoIbBbJx4U

Best thing they've done since 'Drums & Guns' and the 'Bombscare' EP 18 (!) years ago.

Soundslike, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:33 (two years ago) link

I'm surprised by the notion that people who have long been ambivalent about Low would suddenly be won over by this album - it strikes me as standing in relation to their prior work in much the same way as the new Jon Hassell album does to his (Hassell is also a good answer for "who pulls this kind of trick some 12 albums or more into his career?")

Since I made that comment, I'll answer. I was a consistent listener up to The Great Destroyer, but outside of the occasional "Drone Not Drones" show I've been one of the ambivalent - dutifully listening to each new album since, but never making a deep enough connection to keep coming back. Maybe I wanted them to go further?

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 02:58 (two years ago) link

Forgotten but great track - "Half Light" from the Mothman Prophecies soundtrack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY-LaFHAfQc

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 02:59 (two years ago) link

I'll be the first to admit I didn't pay close attention to the last two, but this new one is so incredible it makes me think either a) I should have listened closer or b) they were indeed forgettable, because I doubt they were as memorable/amazing as this one. Getting ... Depeche Mode vibes here?

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:46 (two years ago) link

ones and sixes is an awesome record

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:48 (two years ago) link

Other vibes I'm getting from the new one is ... Fennesz? I also suspect this might be the best, prettiest album my family might make me turn off.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:52 (two years ago) link

Or, like, Wolfgang Voigt?

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:56 (two years ago) link

The new record, and especially the way it starts off, reminds me of Microphones' Mt. Eerie record. Crawling from out of the rubble and noise to find a pitch-perfect, pastoral and awe-inspiring beauty in quietness and precision. It's everything and more you could want from Low.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:57 (two years ago) link

xxp you should've been listening closer imo. what's so remarkable to me about this album is that it manages to be top 3 in a band with consistently excellent output

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:43 (two years ago) link

I was a consistent listener up to The Great Destroyer, but outside of the occasional "Drone Not Drones" show I've been one of the ambivalent - dutifully listening to each new album since, but never making a deep enough connection to keep coming back. Maybe I wanted them to go further?

I admit this is kinda where I've been at, and ever since the leak earlier this year the sheer avalanche of praise has kicked in my...I will never call it 'contrarian,' but simply my 'okay, I'm sure it's great so that actually means I can wait to get around to this' reflex. (Which has kept my sanity more than once over the years -- rather than rushing into something which I'm sure I'll like I'd rather get to it when the impulse strikes.) That said everyone mentioning about how it suits the current sociopolitical situation has left me even more guarded; I specifically avoided ANOHNI's album the other year for that reason, but unlike ANOHNI I geniunely like Low's music and have from the get-go so I'll approach this a little more warmly. Still, though.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:49 (two years ago) link

enh I think the "this is the Low album about Our Moment!!" or whatever argument doesn't hold up at all

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:57 (two years ago) link

the sonics are more blwon-out but it's no more emotionally fraught than say Trust

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:59 (two years ago) link

That said everyone mentioning about how it suits the current sociopolitical situation has left me even more guarded

these people are wrong

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:59 (two years ago) link

Good to know!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:00 (two years ago) link

i compared it to twin peaks season 3 the other day (a stupid comparison but one i can't get out of my head) which can either be read as "of the moment" or not, but the former is prob the least interesting lens through which to view it

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:01 (two years ago) link

i guess one could make the argument that the sonics reflect the sociopolitical feeling of the moment. but that could really be said about most music

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:06 (two years ago) link

I think the "this is the Low album about Our Moment!!" or whatever argument doesn't hold up at all

xp. but why? the oppressive atmosphere this album transmits is one which seems to me be very much of the moment, especially when you think of the usa. somehow it reminds me of my fave radiohead album. which came out late 2001 and was called "amnesiac". i must admit i haven't listened to the lyrics of "double negative" yet. but i really like the title as it hints towards that mathematical paradox that multiplying twom negatives gives a positive.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:08 (two years ago) link

actually thinking about it now, drums & guns was an 'of the moment' album too in the wake of 9/11. that's also their best album

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:15 (two years ago) link

i compared it to twin peaks season 3 the other day (a stupid comparison but one i can't get out of my head) which can either be read as "of the moment" or not, but the former is prob the least interesting lens through which to view it

― princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, September 11, 2018 5:01 PM (twenty-seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i guess 'the tempest' would be episode 8?
stupidly, when i hear the album i can only think about paul schrader's first reformed.

Nourry, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:33 (two years ago) link

the oppressive atmosphere this album transmits is one which seems to me be very much of the moment

I guess cause sonics aside it's so much of a piece with every Low album since the debut? Idk I find their music has such a timeless, totemic quality that I hesitate to forge associations like that. (Then again I'm also hesitant to see the current political moment as being totally distinct from what came before, so...)

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:44 (two years ago) link

(Then again I'm also hesitant to see the current political moment as being totally distinct from what came before, so...)

yeah this is mostly it in general

lowercase (eric), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:49 (two years ago) link

Then again I'm also hesitant to see the current political moment as being totally distinct from what came before, so...

Really? You do not have the feeling that the US is on the way to totalitarism? That nationalistic, extreme right wing parties are slowly destroying the European Union? That the man-made climate change is slowly grilling us alive? That we are on the crossroads (somehow Robert Johnson comes to mind)?

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:28 (two years ago) link

not really, maybe, yes, sure. but these are all things that built up over decades anyway

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:40 (two years ago) link

and don't seem to have much to do with the new low album unless you're projecting hard onto it

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:41 (two years ago) link

which is honestly fine

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:42 (two years ago) link

what brad said

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 18:50 (two years ago) link

Can the Low experts talk about other precursors to this album in their discography that more casual fans might've missed (hinted at by a couple of people earlier)?

Jouster, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:24 (two years ago) link

ones and sixes, drums and guns, bombscare

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:25 (two years ago) link

btw thanks elvis for posting "half light" upthread, a version of low i had never heard before

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:26 (two years ago) link

it reminds me of "down by the water" kinda

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:28 (two years ago) link

they have so many great odds and ends, I hope one day they make a worthy rarities/loosies comp (too much of A Lifetime of Temporary Relief is inessential)

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:35 (two years ago) link

Also the Drones Not Drones thing people have mentioned: https://drone-not-drones.bandcamp.com/track/low-2

And some of the Retribution Gospel Choir stuff (esp. earlier on).

xp

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:57 (two years ago) link

wow this is gorgeous. i'm feeling them after not listening for a long time.

macropuente (map), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 20:50 (two years ago) link

is this thing even out or are all you hosers just listening to the low bitrate NPR stream

||||||||, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 20:54 (two years ago) link

i'm just listening to a few tracks on bandcamp

macropuente (map), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 20:56 (two years ago) link

low bitrate NPR stream here

alpine static, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:19 (two years ago) link

out on friday. will be buying.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:24 (two years ago) link

NPR stream. I haven't listened to their albums since Trust but this seems markedly different from what they were doing before then? There were some noise/drone elements at times but they always struck me as somewhat peripheral to the sound of what was a m/l soft pop/rock band.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:42 (two years ago) link

yeah it's not like it's really that abrasive, it has a very soft sound imo, richly produced classic rock vibes, harmonies more slick than i remembered

macropuente (map), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:47 (two years ago) link

i didn't really catch all that many of the lyrics but i still got this feeling that they somehow seem more honest and less portentous, idk.

macropuente (map), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:49 (two years ago) link

It was always there even when it wasn't there

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:51 (two years ago) link

portentousness is sort of their backbone but they seem to have aged well around it

macropuente (map), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:51 (two years ago) link

It's not about the abrasive noise/drone you play, it's the abrasive noise/drone you don't play

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:52 (two years ago) link

I'm not saying it's a Merzbow album but it's still pretty surprising to me.

The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 22:22 (two years ago) link

I wouldn't deny that the sound is quite different here (though again it was suggested by some of the tracks on Ones and Sixes), but I feel that the way the band use keyboards and static and processed sounds here (a lot of the arrangements seem to be built on distorted samples of their own vocals) is strongly consistent with their prior general songwriting/arranging approach: especially the way that some of the tracks seem to be almost a grim caricature of sidechain compression with the melodies being obliterated by a regular but slow overwhelming kick like they're constantly disappearing into and re-emerging from a black hole. It's very much a digital counterpart to their original trick of focusing the listener's attention on stark, very slow, endlessly repeated guitar chords.

Tim F, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 22:49 (two years ago) link

It's also interesting to me that the band has complicated their close-harmony vocal attack by writing (or arranging) these songs where it's like neither singer can "complete" the song by themselves but also there's a certain fragmented feel to the way their vocals overlap: these songs feel born of structural conflict in a way that their darkest and most comparable prior work (e.g. much of Trust and Drums and Guns) do not.

Tim F, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 22:52 (two years ago) link

another release that foreshadows this one a little bit is their EP for the Travels in Constants series, The Exit Papers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TMgOwP8M_8

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 04:42 (two years ago) link

Is the thing on the cover of Double Negative supposed to be something?

StanM, Thursday, 13 September 2018 17:58 (two years ago) link

i have somehow never listened to this band before but the new album is very cool, like if Fennesz made a pop album

i know this one isn't supposed to be particularly representative for them, but where do i go from here? what are the essential low albums?

ufo, Friday, 14 September 2018 01:34 (two years ago) link

i imagine that like a lot of bands, the first one you hear (and play on repeat) is the one that sticks with you the longest. for me, that was Things We Lost in the Fire.

Karl Malone, Friday, 14 September 2018 01:36 (two years ago) link

first LP I got and listened to extensively was Long Division, which is fantastic and contains my favorite Low song "Shame", but it was Secret Name that just pwned me and made them one of my very favorite acts

rip van wanko, Friday, 14 September 2018 01:52 (two years ago) link

my parents bought me the curtain hits the cast for christmas when i was in high school. it blew my mind but i also found it kinda hard to listen to. what really sealed the deal was hearing the great destroyer when it came out

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 01:59 (two years ago) link

curtain was my first & still my favorite, it's such a good depression album

lowercase (eric), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:11 (two years ago) link

i had secret name early on but didn't really get it. saw an all-ages show they did at a tiny comedy club in provo, was electrified. fell in love with things we lost in the fire. lost track of them after that because my bf at the time did not like them. he thought they weren't ex-mormon enough or something. i think he was snooty about them because he had been part of a troupe of folk/indie/psych musicians and coil worshippers from provo who probably thought they were more interesting than low. anyway, now i'm like hey i like this band and they made a bunch of albums since 2001, cool.

macropuente (map), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:12 (two years ago) link

my parents bought me the curtain hits the cast for christmas when i was in high school

wow your parents rule

Things We Lost.... was my gateway

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:19 (two years ago) link

they bought it bc it was on my christmas list! i was a hip, pfork-reading kid

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:21 (two years ago) link

I think seeing them live on the Trust tour really sold me on them. It was in a venue that held maybe 150. Their performance of In Metal from TWLITF was especially awe-inspiring. Mimi Parker, eight months pregnant, playing the drums and singing lead on that one: a song about their first child growing up and Mimi wishing she could keep her body in metal because she doesn’t want her to grow anymore...anyway Low is dark and awesome.

omar little, Friday, 14 September 2018 02:24 (two years ago) link

For me it was a small show at UC Irvine, about a month before their debut appeared. They were a last minute replacement and it was just a small dimly lit conference room without chairs or tables in mid-December. Aside from one or two people, nobody had ever heard of them or heard anything by them. And in front of forty people, they started playing “Words” and I was sold.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 14 September 2018 02:31 (two years ago) link

I like all their albums and you can’t really go wrong with any of them. If you want the albums most like this (in relative terms) try ‘Ones and Sixes’ or ‘Drums and Guns’. If you want an album that is more ‘representative’ of their overall approach across their career than probably ‘Things We Lost In the Fire’ or ‘Trust’ .

Tim F, Friday, 14 September 2018 02:34 (two years ago) link

if you want a bunch of kickass melodies and guitar tones then try the great destroyer

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:41 (two years ago) link

sorry i really love that record even though it's kind of an anomaly (trust sets it up though)

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:42 (two years ago) link

Yeah The Great Destroyer is awesome! But it’s sort of at the far end of one of their aesthetic poles.

Tim F, Friday, 14 September 2018 02:46 (two years ago) link

If you want an album that is more ‘representative’ of their overall approach across their career than probably ‘Things We Lost In the Fire’ or ‘Trust’ .

― Tim F, Thursday, September 13, 2018 7:34 PM (twelve minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i also think c'mon might fit in here

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:48 (two years ago) link

Probably yes, it’s not as happy as it’s made out to be.

Tim F, Friday, 14 September 2018 02:49 (two years ago) link

i made this mix for a some friends: https://i.imgur.com/AetN9eV.png
but really they're the greatest band on earth so you can't go wrong with anything

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:49 (two years ago) link

lol now i'm relistening to the curtain hits the cast this album breaks my heart

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:51 (two years ago) link

Wish they’d release ICLIH/Long Division/Curtain on proper vinyl and cancel out the Plain Recordings pressings, they’re basically a bootleg label.

omar little, Friday, 14 September 2018 03:00 (two years ago) link

I knew and loved the Kranky stuff, they were never as one-dimensional as they were made out to be, but I remember hearing the Great Destroyer and being blown away. That When I Go Deaf/Broadway pairing in particular.

campreverb, Friday, 14 September 2018 03:02 (two years ago) link

we're gonna have to repoll the albums after the new one has been out a while

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 03:25 (two years ago) link

lmao, multiple xxxxxp with the brad's parents story (yr parents rule!). that would make a great thread about albums parents bought their children.

ufo, thinking "drums and guns" is a good followup based on this album, but it's the outlier. might recommend "things we lost..." and "the great destroyer" for flavors of the band with glossier production and then go back to "i could live in hope," but that's slightly because i think "lazy" is the greatest low song and gives you an idea of the slowcore label they got tagged with.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Friday, 14 September 2018 03:36 (two years ago) link

I've said it before but I didn't get hooked until Drums & Guns, and don't have much attachment to the earlier records. That and C'Mon are my favorites by a long shot.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 14 September 2018 04:10 (two years ago) link

If you're really loving 'Double Negative,' then 'Drums & Guns' and the 'Bombscare' EP are the place to go next (which are both in my top four all-time, along with 'Double Negative' and 'Secret Name').

In addition, my favorites are 'Trust,' 'In the Fishtank EP,' 'Curtain Hits the Cast,' 'Things We Lost In the Fire' and 'Long Division'. Honestly, though, the only ones I don't love (and merely like) are 'C'mon,' 'The Great Destroyer,' 'Ones and Sixes,' and 'The Invisible Way'. But there are winners on every album, and the b-sides/rarities box set has tons of winners. Been listening for 22 years, and they've far and away stick with me far more than any other "indie rock" band from my youth.

Soundslike, Friday, 14 September 2018 04:35 (two years ago) link

btw, there are dozens of great and early live recordings on archive.org - 12 minute long versions of Lullaby etc

StanM, Friday, 14 September 2018 05:17 (two years ago) link

lol now i'm relistening to the curtain hits the cast this album breaks my heart

The back to back of “mom says” and “coattails” is devastating.

Tim F, Friday, 14 September 2018 05:19 (two years ago) link

Obviously made clear already in this thread but all of Low’s albums are great though some much better than others. No true duds in the bunch, and probably at least a third of their output is transcendant. That much I think most fans would agree on, though the disagreements come when you try to say which albums fall into which categories.

A good pathway into their discography is by braking it into the eras of the labels they’ve been on.

Vernon Yard years: I Could Live in Hope, Long Division, Transmission EP, Curtain Hits the Cast
These are the years when Kramer was their producer and everything had a beautiful, pristine sheen. Curtain is the the fullest and best realization of their sound in this era; if you like that then you’ll like all of these albums. They are all incredible.

Kranky years: Songs for a Dead Pilot, Secret Name, Things We Lost in the Fire, Trust
The band starts to sand off some of the prettiness. Alan and Mimi both show a little strain or imperfections in their vocals - less reverb, less multitracking. Songs for a Dwad Pilot is positively jarring following the previous albums. Multiple moments on that EP are, for Low, almost alienating (the muffled “Will the Night”, the ten minutes of a strummed chord on “Born by the Wires”. It sets the stage for the next series of albums that sees the band explore a rawer sound, not afraid to get louder, moodier, poppier. They just feel more free to explore what they really want to be. Secret Name is fantastic and that’s followed by Things We Lost in the Fire, which is easily one of their best and definitely the best of the Kranky era. (Obviously there are a lot of Trust fans out there but personally I think it falls off from TWLITF; too many long dirges that feel a little limp to me. It’s one of my least favorites by them.)

Sub Pop era, part 1: Great Destroyer and Drums & Guns
To my ears there is before Drums & Guns, and after Drums & Guns. Great Destroyer is another one that I like but don’t love. It seems a reaction to Trust - much more upbeat and shorter songs. But the overall mood, for me, isn’t there. Definitely has some great songs but a few clunkers too. In any case it doesn’t prepare you for Drums & Guns, which is their nerviest, most agitated album. It feels very connected to the anxiety of the 00s (post 9/11, Iraq war, etc). And it coincides with Alan’s breakdown—watch the documentary from this period. It’s not my favorite Low album but I totally get and appreciate those who feel it’s their best.

Sub Pop era, part 2: everything else
I feel like expectations for Low changed after Drums & Guns, like people did not think they’d ever top that album, and I think as a result a lot of people underrate the Low albums of the last 8 years. But they remain phenomenal. C’mon, in my mind, is like the morning after Drums & Guns. It’s a beautiful record and Mimi in particular has a bunch of stealer moments. The Invisible Way is solid but is probably the most rote Low record. And then Ones & Sixes comes alon and elevates their game again.

Which finally brings us to the new one, which, yeah, is the reason a bunch of people in this thread are wondering about past Low albums because it feels like the band hit on something new while still being “Low”—which is why they have one of the best discographies of any band of the last 25 years.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 14 September 2018 06:18 (two years ago) link

loving the low love-in

new record is amazing

||||||||, Friday, 14 September 2018 06:55 (two years ago) link

we're gonna have to repoll the albums after the new one has been out a while

― wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 03:25

They're only a few away on the artists polls, which I know because I'm down to do it.

Because of this album I think it's worth deferring for a few months so it sinks in properly (despite me suggesting it three years ago or something).

Of course now it's come round I'm not actually sure I've got time to run it ...

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Friday, 14 September 2018 07:21 (two years ago) link

re "getting into Low" I bought I Could Live In Hope second hand sometime around 99ish having never heard anything by them, liked it OK (esp Words) but wasn't blown away. Then I briefly went out with someone in 2000 who was a big fan and used to play Long Division when I was round hers, I downloaded Things We Lost In The Fire off Audiogalaxy then 2003 got together with my wife who was also a big Low fan and our first proper date was a Low gig in London. We've seen them a few times since then but tbh we kinda lost interest with C'mon. I only v recently listened to the albums after that. Ones and Sixes is really good so I told my wife we need to listen to the new one because everyone is raving about it.

Colonel Poo, Friday, 14 September 2018 08:49 (two years ago) link

Great post pgwp, thanks.

The Kranky era was when I first discovered them (I think I was led to them by Mogwai/Stuart Braithwaite championing them very heavily in interviews) and Things We Lost In The Fire is probably my long running personal favourite. I remember getting Alan to sign my CD of it after a gig a good few years ago and he was so gracious and lovely about my typically dorky exaltations.

brain (krakow), Friday, 14 September 2018 10:20 (two years ago) link

I am a terminal dilettante and so only have a spotty knowledge of their catalogue. I do find a little Low goes a long way but, fwiw, Secret Name is 'the one' for me. I find it devastating. I've seen them live once - at Green Man on a humid, overcast afternoon with a massive storm brewing over the black hills, a storm that never quite arrived. They were mesmerising.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 14 September 2018 11:10 (two years ago) link

This album kills.

emil.y, Friday, 14 September 2018 12:56 (two years ago) link

kind of annoyed that the P-fork review leans hard on the "timely" angle

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 12:59 (two years ago) link

^ kind of inevitable given the band's own rhetoric around the album?

I've been slowly seduced by the singles leading up to this and love the fragmented nature of it. Is there something vaguely unsettling about the 'feed this into the Burton studio and seeing what comes out' narrative (as spun in the P4K review, but they're hardly going to be the only ones)?

Always Trying to Work it Out is fantastic.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 14 September 2018 13:35 (two years ago) link

wasn't aware of the rhetoric, is there a relevant interview kicking around?

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 13:36 (two years ago) link

That recent Wire interview is pretty explicit in that regard (anti-Trump despair) - albeit, from memory, I don't know that the link is quite as direct as implied in the P4K review.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 14 September 2018 13:41 (two years ago) link

The Guardian review (which is a rave 5*****, "album of the year" one) heavily features the timeliness/state of the world angle as well.

brain (krakow), Friday, 14 September 2018 13:43 (two years ago) link

At any rate, I'm pleased that it's being so well-received.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 13:56 (two years ago) link

When I saw them live in Leeds over the summer Alan made clear his frustrations with the current political situation in the US.

michaellambert, Friday, 14 September 2018 14:21 (two years ago) link

Drums & Guns cycle was similarly “political,” insofar as Low gets political. Both albums do a good job of capturing a certain mental instability as a result of the awfulness perpetrated in the name of the US, without being strident or framed as protest songs.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 14 September 2018 15:02 (two years ago) link

good album, "tempest" and "always trying to work it out" are amazing; honestly though a lot of the "crazy production" sounds like kid a/amnesiac

na (NA), Friday, 14 September 2018 15:26 (two years ago) link

if every track were "like spinning plates" sure

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 15:35 (two years ago) link

Well, anyway, got my ticket their show here in March, that'll do.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 14 September 2018 17:15 (two years ago) link

a propos of nothing, the only explicit reference to Low in popular music that I know of is still from the song Minneapolis by that dog.

rip van wanko, Friday, 14 September 2018 17:36 (two years ago) link

How about getting covered multiple times by Robert Plant!

Not to get all Low-nerdy, but when did Alan switch to tuning (iirc) almost exclusively to open G? I could have sworn that was a thing, and that it affected the direction of his songs.

Listening to Ones and Sixes right now and yeah, don't know why I didn't listen to this one more the first time around!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 September 2018 17:43 (two years ago) link

Hmm, maybe he's been using open g all along? If that's true that's super cool.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 September 2018 18:09 (two years ago) link

I believe so

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 14 September 2018 18:16 (two years ago) link

This felt timely to me more in the sense that the sonic approach felt like a brilliantly contemporary advancement on their characteristic themes and methods. Low have a long-standing interest in noise and quietness (not silence, quietness; more ambiguous, no neat gesture towards the abstract). Pgwp’s breakdown upthread describes those Kranky albums exactly (muffled edges, vocals veering off-harmony, that nagging feeling....). When they turned up the volume on Drums and Guns it had the same effect, still that same sense of straining to hear, voices on the edge of hearing. This album feels like a push forward and and brilliant resolution of that paradox. The way voices are obliterated by absent noises and drums; noise and silence are resolved into one thing. That first harmony you hear on Quorum, where the empty space of that characteristic snare instead gouges hollows out of their voice. Like that air-raid sheet of guitar that blares out over the vocals on Breaker it sets a similar precedent for how noise is now a strategy for effecting that same shellshocked ("giant Xs on yr eyes") shattered sense of their voices as human, vulnerable, receding, only this time the noise is strangely a kind of silence. They sound like they're gasping for air.

plax (ico), Friday, 14 September 2018 18:20 (two years ago) link

this album has REALLY resonated with me.

plax (ico), Friday, 14 September 2018 18:23 (two years ago) link

Their songwriting feels drone-based and minimal and sort of electronic or uncanny even when they're playing acoustic. Which I think is why my partner doesn't connect with them, when I was like "hey, here's an indie song-based band that I like!" and she's like "but they're not, really". And also why this new one doesn't feel like a radical re-invention to me, just another version of Low.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 14 September 2018 18:28 (two years ago) link

yeah, i think that's what people are generally saying here

plax (ico), Friday, 14 September 2018 18:30 (two years ago) link

Just listened today. This album is absolute bonkers

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 14 September 2018 23:05 (two years ago) link

It does sound like Fennesz to me... I assume most of the drones are actually guitars being sent to digital hell so it’s not a bad comparison.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 14 September 2018 23:20 (two years ago) link

a lot of Oval too.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:02 (two years ago) link

also Ekkehard Ehlers, I guess (whatever happened to him?)

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:03 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8RRy8AIuGk

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:04 (two years ago) link

OwL remix Low from 1998 should get a mention too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8IHnd_KF9o

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 15 September 2018 01:21 (two years ago) link

Pretty sure Sparhawk plays open G. Or at least learning reading chord progressions of their songs introduced me to it.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Saturday, 15 September 2018 01:23 (two years ago) link

Their covers of "I Started A Joke" and "Lord Can You Hear Me" both feel like guilty pleasures but I've worn them both out

rip van wanko, Saturday, 15 September 2018 01:25 (two years ago) link

I'll just keep posting this because I have the feeling lots of people loving 'Double Negative' won't have heard a fairly obscure (UK-only?) EP from 2000. But it's definitely the work that firmly cemented my love of Low back at the time, and made me hope for (but not be surprised by) an album like this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRoIbBbJx4U

Soundslike, Saturday, 15 September 2018 01:33 (two years ago) link

Definitely not UK only. When it came out I just thought of that EP as a novelty, since Low collaborating with Spring Heel Jack was, at least on paper, as random as them touring with Soul Coughing, even if the SHJ collar worked out.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 15 September 2018 02:10 (two years ago) link

I would've thought it a novelty, too, based on Spring Heel Jack's work to that point. But the marriage works so perfectly, and it suggested more fully than anything else to that point that Alan and Mimi's melodic and lyrical sensibilities could be served wonderfully by music that wasn't just guitar/bass/tiny drum kit (much as I loved that formula for them, too).

Soundslike, Saturday, 15 September 2018 02:27 (two years ago) link

Y'all made me listen to Low for the first time since, I think, Things We Lost in the Fire. This seems way more promising than I would have guessed!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 15 September 2018 04:38 (two years ago) link

Best Low collab of all time is this one:

https://youtu.be/YlU8hY_xOYs

Feat transient waves and piano magic. ImI

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 15 September 2018 06:32 (two years ago) link

^^yeah that's a beaut

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 September 2018 14:48 (two years ago) link

Anyone who hasn’t heard Low in a long time should check out the pair of Low covers Robert Plant included on his Band of Joy album, they’re extremely good.

omar little, Saturday, 15 September 2018 14:52 (two years ago) link

listened to Drums and Guns and I like it a lot, I love the sound palette of drones & shambolic drum loops layered over each other, except for when the vocals are hard-panned which is something I really dislike. all the other panning is very cool but having vocals or other leads hard-panned just makes it feel very unbalanced listening on headphones

ufo, Saturday, 15 September 2018 15:27 (two years ago) link

yeah, to this day i have never had the opportunity to listen to drums and guns through speakers at a loud volume, as i'm sure was intended. listening to it on headphones is uncomfortable because of the panning. it sounds good at a moderate volume but i'd love to just crank it the way you can with headphones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcZZlQ4Tmrc (Karl Malone), Saturday, 15 September 2018 15:55 (two years ago) link

The more I listen to it the more I think that maybe I never listened to "Ones and Sixes?" Because I've been listening to it a lot the last few days, more than the new one (for now), and I love everything about it.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 15 September 2018 16:36 (two years ago) link

When did low become a £30 concert ticket band? I'm sure the last time they were here it was around half that.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 15 September 2018 21:48 (two years ago) link

Demand? My ticket over here was only $20, plus $7 for service charges.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:01 (two years ago) link

of course, demand-pull inflation but I'm not entirely sure that justifies the sharp hike. I want them to be paid well, of course (musicians get little enough recompense these days) and I can afford it but i do balk at it a little. it's entirely possible that they are doing something that makes this a particularly expensive thing to get on the road but i was surprised at the cost.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:20 (two years ago) link

let's just blame brexit and go see Low.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:22 (two years ago) link

That's a great LCD Soundsystem remix.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:34 (two years ago) link

:)

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 16 September 2018 00:47 (two years ago) link

i am really loving Double Negative, it's evoking very strongly imagery for me of tides drifting in and out on a remote beach, with the occasional wave crashing

feels more like a drone album that happens to contain fragments of songs in it rather than the other way around - with the way the tracks flow into each other it really feels like one continuous piece

ufo, Sunday, 16 September 2018 11:35 (two years ago) link

just listened to it. bits were nice but it didn't leave much impression. might give it another go, maybe it's like a magic eye painting

imago, Sunday, 16 September 2018 12:16 (two years ago) link

got philly tix last night. STOKED

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 16 September 2018 12:32 (two years ago) link

it's entirely possible that they are doing something that makes this a particularly expensive thing to get on the road but i was surprised at the cost.

Pretty sure it's a standard Low trio tour? But I'm looking forward to hearing these songs in that format.

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 16 September 2018 14:39 (two years ago) link

Just bought Double Negative but have decided to replay the album/EP catalogue in its entirety, in chronological order, before listening to it.

Currently on Long Division, which is new to me.

Jeff W, Sunday, 16 September 2018 14:55 (two years ago) link

One of my happiest memories in my brief music career was getting to share a bill with Low (and Soul Coughing, lol) at the Black Cat in DC way back in the mid 90s. Had never heard of them at that point, and was utterly blown away by their performance. Felt bad that they had to go on and perform in front of a loud and rowdy audience after my own goofy rock band antics.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:00 (two years ago) link

my friend played the guitar on that low/piano magic collab. still in my top five low tracks ever.

akm, Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:12 (two years ago) link

Giving a listen on this Sunday morning. The praise is accurate.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 September 2018 16:34 (two years ago) link

(Referring to Double Negative, but akm's comment is also correct.)

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 September 2018 16:35 (two years ago) link

One of the very few remaining bands whose albums I will buy on release day, every single time. I’ve still only seen them live once, amazingly.

omar little, Sunday, 16 September 2018 16:38 (two years ago) link

I've seen them a shamefully few times all told. The upcoming March show will be my fifth, if you count the radio session they played on my show back in 1994.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 September 2018 16:42 (two years ago) link

their live show is not to be missed and i try to see them live any time they come to town. their finest, most transcendent artistic achievement imo is silver rider as performed live

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Sunday, 16 September 2018 16:50 (two years ago) link

I'd almost wonder how a show for this album will work. I just said elsewhere that I would be fine with the March show simply being them performing the album straight through, no encore and no other songs.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 September 2018 17:02 (two years ago) link

They played a little over half the album at their show in Nashville last spring. They did two 35 minute or so sets sets - one new material and one old.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 16 September 2018 19:50 (two years ago) link

I've seen them a bunch, in multiple contexts. Small club, big club, unconventional venues, as an opening act, headliner, on a mismatched bill, perfectly pair bill, Christmas show ... always great. I think the next show here is in a chapel.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 16 September 2018 20:14 (two years ago) link

my favorite show i've seen of theirs is when they did a 28 minute version 'do you know how to waltz' in front of 10,000 89.3-ass NPR The Current craft beer people. I immediately ran down to the front of stage in glee once I realized what was going on. people were infuriated

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 16 September 2018 21:36 (two years ago) link

They *opened* their show the time I saw them in Portland, OR in 2007 or so ('Drums & Guns' tour) with a 20+ minute, wicked loud take on 'Do You Know How to Waltz,' and honestly played the whole show kind of angry. While I hope some day to see a lots-of-silence show in a church-type setting--it was kind of amazing to see them play that way.

Soundslike, Sunday, 16 September 2018 21:56 (two years ago) link

i saw them once, at the metro sometime in the mid-2000s, and the crowd talked the entire time and i wanted to scream

Karl Malone, Sunday, 16 September 2018 22:04 (two years ago) link

Does anyone have information about the bonus track on the Japan edition - https://www.discogs.com/Low-Double-Negative/release/12528289 ?

I'm kinda hoping it's some epically lengthy track, given it's on a second CD.

(I Just) Died In Your Asshat Tonight, Sunday, 16 September 2018 22:17 (two years ago) link

my favorite show i've seen of theirs is when they did a 28 minute version 'do you know how to waltz' in front of 10,000 89.3-ass NPR The Current craft beer people. I immediately ran down to the front of stage in glee once I realized what was going on. people were infuriated

I love this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI5-MuV5NSo

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:01 (two years ago) link

oh hell yeah

i've never seen low live but i've always wanted to see the extended "waltz"

princess of hell (BradNelson), Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:04 (two years ago) link

the crowd talked the entire time and i wanted to scream

The Low live experience in a nutshell.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:12 (two years ago) link

holy shit this is heavy

princess of hell (BradNelson), Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:29 (two years ago) link

That rules so much

Also anyone who hasn't heard Alan's solo guitar album or the third RGC album...get on that

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:40 (two years ago) link

lmao this is the greatest performance i've ever seen

princess of hell (BradNelson), Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:40 (two years ago) link

Last time I saw them was in a small barn, very intimate. Alan seemed a little uncomfortable with that actually, which I thought was weird since they must have done a million small shows like that.

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 16 September 2018 23:48 (two years ago) link

I love that there is only one recording of them doing "Waltz" with GY!BE, and the quality is horrible. (You can find it on YT.)

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 17 September 2018 00:54 (two years ago) link

all the RGC albums are really good, even the overly compressed poorly produced second one (or third one, depending on whether you count the self-released first thing). Alan's brought a fair amount of that energy into live Low sets in recent years. Maybe because they share a bass player now.

akm, Monday, 17 September 2018 01:56 (two years ago) link

Does anyone have information about the bonus track on the Japan edition

I for one am stoked for this Barenaked Ladies cover

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 17 September 2018 14:56 (two years ago) link

Haven't heard any new stuff in years, i guess i'll redress that. I bet i coulda won Brooklyn tix on the radio in the wee hours the other night.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 September 2018 15:00 (two years ago) link

even the overly compressed poorly produced second one

"hide it away" is one of my favorite songs he's ever written. the production on that record is inexplicable but i kinda love it

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 17 September 2018 15:36 (two years ago) link

Agreed on both the greatness of “Hide It Away” and the poorness of the production.

michaellambert, Monday, 17 September 2018 15:41 (two years ago) link

I mentioned on some other Low thread that Sparhawk and the bass player also form half of a Velvet Underground tribute band. No-one on that thread was interested at the time, although personally I thought it was quite interesting, so I'm trying my luck again here.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Monday, 17 September 2018 15:42 (two years ago) link

it's true too: https://www.facebook.com/VelvetsBand/

StanM, Monday, 17 September 2018 16:04 (two years ago) link

Holy fuck that version of "Cast".

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Monday, 17 September 2018 18:40 (two years ago) link

I meant Waltz! My kids came in and found me blubbering.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Monday, 17 September 2018 18:59 (two years ago) link

The seemingly official "unofficial" film for "Disarray" is a curious thing.

djh, Monday, 17 September 2018 21:21 (two years ago) link

without really trying to or thinking about it too hard, i've seen Low more than any other band, at least a dozen times, and seen alan's side projects half as many times.

years ago i saw them at an all-night event at orchestra hall in minneapolis. it must have been around the Trust release. if i recall, their profile outside of local scenester and muso scenes was for the christmas EP! and, again if i remember right, this was when bars here closed at 1am, and they were on later in the wee hours, so it was kind of a novelty to be out in public that late. they looked pretty tiny, just the 3 of them on a big concert stage, but by the end of the show they seemed immense, totally commanding the whole hall. i do remember they played "lust," one of my faves, and it was enormous.

i think that's a common theme with a number of the shows of theirs i've seen: they don't really begin with the crowd on their wavelength but by the end of it, totally reverent, can hear a pin drop, the whole bit

just this past summer i saw them at the eaux claires festival (which was kind of a bust honestly). they played the post-headliner slot, after midnight, on a tiny stage in a clearing in the woods. the first song was intro'd by the Iron Boys, a native men's singing group from wisconsin; kicking myself i can't remember which song. it was incredible. could have been the circumstances but i'd never seen them play as well or as intensely, and i got to hear some more straightfoward, guitar-y versions of the Double Negative material. it was all really stunning. i walked away thinking, ok, this is the greatest band on earth and i'm a superfan

goole, Monday, 17 September 2018 21:24 (two years ago) link

you know what is a really good album? trust

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 17 September 2018 23:29 (two years ago) link

Still my fave probably, great example of an album that feels like a best-of comp

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 17 September 2018 23:34 (two years ago) link

I love all of Low’s albums and have my personal favorites (which posted here a few days ago). There are certain albums that aren’t my favorite but I totally get why others would call it theirs (usually it’s Drums & Guns or Secret Name). But honestly I’ve never really been able to fathom anyone calling Trust their favorite. For me it’s the album that, on paper, sounds like the best Low album—lots of long moody tracks! They stretch out more than other albums!—but in practice is a bit of a chore.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:47 (two years ago) link

Trust is the album that made me go from liking them to loving them. Easily my favorite.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:48 (two years ago) link

Also one of the first times I was incensed by a pitchfork review

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:51 (two years ago) link

I’ve never really been able to fathom anyone calling Trust their favorite

Ha! Trust is my favorite too (generally I prefer the Kranky albums). Great cover of "Fearless" on the Canada EP.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 04:52 (two years ago) link

I was about to belabour the Trust thing but honestly I’m listening to Double Negative again right now and there is just no room in my brain to talk about anything other than than this monster of a record.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 06:24 (two years ago) link

Been listening to the 19 hours (!) of Low I've bought over the decades on random the last couple days. It's amazing how even the things I didn't think I rated as highly at the time really work for me now. And it reinforces that for me 'Double Negative' isn't a surprise at all, but a record I knew they'd make one day.

Glad to see the 'Trust' love here. I remember it not being as well received at the time by other folks(at least compared to 'Things We Lost,' which I love, but which is overshadowed by 'Bombscare' and 'In the Fishtank' and 'Secret Name' and all the other work immediately before and after). Whereas for me it was what cemented them as a really all-time group.

Soundslike, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 03:26 (two years ago) link

Anyone else hearing echos of Portishead's Third? Machine Gun specifically.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:04 (two years ago) link

yes, it was invoked a couple of times when it first leaked!

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:07 (two years ago) link

Trust is great, who doesn't like Trust? Maybe around this point people conditioned by typical band trajectories started to think it was about time to take Low down a notch, because come on, they can't all be great, can they? (Six more albums arrive.) OK, so maybe they can.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:26 (two years ago) link

The Invisible Way is the only Low release I find dull - I choose to blame Tweedy. ("Holy Ghost" is lovely, though.)

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:35 (two years ago) link

I think it's fair to blame Tweedy (as much as I'm sure he meant well) considering it was followed by two of their absolute best.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:40 (two years ago) link

it sounds fine, I don't mean to knock him in that way, but in the same way that some bands are best suited by a hands-off approach, Low seem to do their best work with producers who are willing to act as active collaborators. (How the Albini albums worked out so well, I have no idea, beyond the fact that the songs were all killers.)

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:44 (two years ago) link

Maybe the Albini albums work so well because he allowed them to strip themselves right back to a raw state. Great songs coming through unadorned, connecting directly and without the washy gauze of the Kramer era.

michaellambert, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 19:11 (two years ago) link

just another casual (at best) Low fan here weighing in to say this new album sounds amazing

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 19:30 (two years ago) link

"tonight" is my favorite low song

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 21 September 2018 01:12 (two years ago) link

has there been a low poll, i'd vote in a low poll

princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 21 September 2018 01:12 (two years ago) link

There's one coming up apparently!

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Friday, 21 September 2018 01:23 (two years ago) link

Trust is a fantastic headphones listen... I recall listening to it, years ago, sitting up late at night drinking beer and marveling at its subtle details.

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Friday, 21 September 2018 04:08 (two years ago) link

Big Fennesz - Venice vibes off this now. Absolutely great.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Friday, 21 September 2018 11:06 (two years ago) link

poor sucker is so good

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Monday, 24 September 2018 21:00 (two years ago) link

I'm so in love with this album, and so happy to see Low--the one "indie rock" band I've continued to enjoy since 1996--do something this great 25 years into their journey. It's a soundspace and an emotional territory I find deeply compelling, and the only way I could respond was with a mix that tries to get to the same spaces. It can't really sound like Low--they're too unique. But I hope it causes some of the same feelings for others as this album gives me.

https://musicophilia.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/musicophilia_00_various_cancels-out-a-tribute-to-double-negative_1958-2018_cover.jpg


Various – ‘Cancels Out‘
(A Tribute to Low’s ‘Double Negative’) | (1958-2018)

01 [00:00]
Gottfried Michael Koenig – “Function Blau” (1970)
David Bowie – “Neukoln” (1977)
Codeine – “Pea” (1990)

02 [05:10]
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – “Mysteries” (2003)
Bernard Parmegiani – “Matieres Induites” (1975)
Alan Sparhawk – “1:45” (2006)

03 [09:55]
Dead Can Dance – “The Fatal Impact” (1984)
Daniel Menche – “Concussions (CD1 Track 2)” (2006)
Max Richter – “Laika’s Journey” (2002)

04 [14:45]
Monton – “Hz Waltz'” (1982)
Flaming Lips – “Turning Violent” (2013)
Tod Dockstader – “Wah” (2005)

05 [19:30]
Pierre Henry – “Negation” (1988)
Radian – “Kinetakt” (2009)

06 [24:10]
Tia Blake – “Yellow Hair” (1976)
David Toop & Max Eastley – “Hydrophone” (1975)

07 [28:20]
Charles Hayward – “Thames Water Authority” (1989)
Arthur Russell – “Answers Me” (1986)

08 [33:40]
Balmorhea – “On the Weight Of Night” (2010)
Heldon – “Bolero” (1979)

09 [38:05]
Hilary Woods – “Kith” (2018)
Neu – “Elanoizan” (1986)

10 [43:30]
Tanakh – “Tells” (2002)
Shellyan Orphan – “Host” (2008)
Iannis Xenakis – “Concret PH” (1958)

11 [50:20]
Susumu Yokota – “Light Of the Sun” (2003)
Bark Psychosis – “Dr. Innocuous Ketamoid” (2004)

12 [53:45]
Zola Jesus – “Doma” (2017)
Earth – “Mirage” (2005)
Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis – “Lear” (1989)

[Total Time: 60:00]

Give it a listen here: https://musicophilia.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/low-tribute/

Soundslike, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:47 (two years ago) link

inspired! thanks!

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:55 (two years ago) link

honestly played the whole show kind of angry
saw one of those at SXSW...it was amazing.

campreverb, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:55 (two years ago) link

This just might be my favorite album ever of Low's. It's everything I loved about 'Drums & Guns' (my previous favorite) but just taken deeper into the wilderness. . .

Soundslike, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:59 (two years ago) link

I'm no expert on Low's catalog, but does anyone else think this one zips by a lot faster than their other albums? Maybe because it flows like one continuous piece?

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 25 September 2018 01:12 (two years ago) link

I'm in for a Low poll

rip van wanko, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 02:25 (two years ago) link

This album is gonna mess with my head in a tracks poll cause I think of it as one long song still

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 25 September 2018 02:27 (two years ago) link

Soundslike, thanks for that! Can I just say how much I've been enjoying your mixtapes since discovering your blog? <3 Can't wait to listen to this one.

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 20:11 (two years ago) link

this new LP is fucking seminal. it's so immediate, direct, arresting. seeing them in manchester cathedral next week -- really excited to hear how these songs will work live. also if they play anything from the first three LPs i'll probably cry. hahaha

meaulnes, Saturday, 6 October 2018 16:53 (one year ago) link

I saw them in Leeds over the summer. They played six songs from the album in a more band-style, worked well. No idea if they’ve changed the arrangements since.

michaellambert, Saturday, 6 October 2018 17:04 (one year ago) link

Haven't been able to stop listening to 'Double Negative' and thinking about what Low has meant to me for 22 years. I'm so happy for them that it's been so well received, as it certainly wasn't the most "sure thing" move they could've made at this point. The only thing I quibble with is the notion I perceive in a lot of (positive) response to the album that it's somehow a major shirt, stylistically and emotionally; whereas to me it seems like nothing so much as a culmination of exactly the experimentation and emotional complexity that has been present in Low's music since the very beginning.

With all that in mind, I ended up putting together two mixes that explore the fundamental duality/dichotomy of Low, between their beauty and their unease, their hopefulness and their uncertainty. They are for me a band of light and dark, bleeding into one another, a battle between both but also a balance. So the "rules" were: (1) track maximum from any LP/EP/single, and sequenced in chronological order but chosen for coherence and flow as a mix. So while they have a lot of my personal favorite tracks, they're neither a "best of" nor a "personal favorites" in the traditional sense.

https://musicophilia.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/low_a-light-in-darkness_1994-2018_cover.jpg?w=1024

https://musicophilia.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/low_a-light-in-darkness_1994-2018_tracklist.jpg?w=1024p

Soundslike, Sunday, 7 October 2018 03:53 (one year ago) link

^this. Great idea and interpretation. I was going to say yes to including Drag and Down By The River and Belarus and... then I realized I would be saying yes to pretty much all the songs you picked.

that's not my post, Sunday, 7 October 2018 06:01 (one year ago) link

xpost: very interested & would like to hear the mixes! Are you going to put them on Musicophilia?

StanM, Sunday, 7 October 2018 06:42 (one year ago) link

It was surprisingly quick to come together--probably because the parameters I set up were more specific than "my favorite Low tracks". Something structureless like that would be impossible because there are at least four or five tracks from everything up through 2007 or so (and the newest album) that would qualify as a "favorite".

I don't think I'll put it up on the blog, because as a single-artist thing it feels a bit unethical. But if folks swear they own tons of Low already, or promise to go buy the new albums, I'll share it with anyone interested if they message me. Or who knows, maybe all these tracks are on Spotify and could "playlist" it? I did some segues/edits on my personal version, but nothing too intense.

Soundslike, Sunday, 7 October 2018 13:18 (one year ago) link

Very interesting read here--Alan Sparhawk "ranking" Low's albums, not by his favorites per se but in terms of how much they challenged them, progressed their sounds, etc.:

https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/9k7z9d/rank-your-records-low-alan-sparhawk

Noticing 'Double Negative' wasn't included, I asked Low via Twitter where it would rank--Alan said they hadn't been allowed to include it for some reason, but would rank it #1.

Soundslike, Monday, 8 October 2018 19:54 (one year ago) link

they never let them rank the new record in that series

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 8 October 2018 20:09 (one year ago) link

I am going to see them tomorrow night in Berlin. Very much looking forward to the concert. Big question: How will the new songs work live, are they going to use the same effects as on record?

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 8 October 2018 20:31 (one year ago) link

They've said in various things I've seen that no, they don't try to recreate the recorded versions live; rather, they approach them live as distinctive versions, produced with more or less the components they have always used. Which I think is valid--and I'm very eager to hear them live next month. Curious what you find tomorrow night!

Soundslike, Monday, 8 October 2018 20:40 (one year ago) link

Enjoyed that piece, really glad that Drums & Guns is his favorite too

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 8 October 2018 21:23 (one year ago) link

The show was excellent as has always been the case when I have seen them. The three concerts (touring "Things We Lost in the Fire", "C'mon" and "The Invisible Way") I had attended before had all been in quite small, almost cosy places, this time it was a bigger venue. So the atmosphere was different, more like in a usual rock concert, less spiritual and quiet than the other times. People did not hold their breath. Everyone was not spell bound and mute like when the pastor gives the sermon in a church like it had been the other times. Still the audience was silent when they played but expressive - applause, whistling and shouts - in between songs. My favourite ones were "The Innocents" and the phantastic "Fly" from the new album. Just to listen to Mimi intonating that one syllable is incredibly uplifting. There was a boring instrumental in the middle of the set (I don't know the name) where they played the same chord for at least ten minutes. It was kind of noisy but not very loud, so it was ok. In general I liked Alan's guitar work with quite some distortion which reminded me a lot of Neil Young especially on the "Dead Man" soundtrack. Somehow Low tmake me think of My Bloody Valentine, especially the way they marry noisy parts - where they are fortunately by far not as loud as MBV - and simple, otherworldly beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies. They could not escape the encore, they finished off the concert with "Murderer". According to the setlist 9 out of 20 songs were from "Double Negative", somehow I would have guessed only three or four would have been new. "Double Negative" for me is already a classic. With Low this kind of thing happens to me every time they tour a new album. Btw they did some electronic trickery with some new songs but no voice treatments which was fine with me. As always in Low concerst I was amazed that people hardly moved, ok they do not really make dance music but there are still beats. Something else I was thinking during the show is the fact that I really have a soft spot for bands which are trios. Others being Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr., Galaxie 500, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Meat Puppets, Nada Surf, Nirvana, The Police (at the time), Wipers, ZZ Top, 16 Horsepower etc.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 16:11 (one year ago) link

I can see why they might hate C'Mon given where they were in their lives at the time, but wow that album is top three for me.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 16:15 (one year ago) link

yeah at the time i was disappointed with it as a follow-up to D&G but now i consider it one of their best

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 16:44 (one year ago) link

Of the albums I know I consider C'mon the second best after the new one. I like Drums and Guns fine but besides Breaker and Take Your Time I do not find any really outstanding songs on it.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 18:59 (one year ago) link

Dust on the Window is my fave on D&G, I love Murderer too but I slightly prefer the EP version.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:19 (one year ago) link

“Murderer” is one of my favourite Low songs, if not one of my favourite songs full stop, but I’ve never really taken to ‘Drums and Guns’ as a whole.

michaellambert, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:19 (one year ago) link

Knowing they're not atheists gives their sinister or doubting songs about religion and God (see also "Little Argument With Myself") an extra kick for sure

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:26 (one year ago) link

Both ep songs that are on 'proper' records are superior on the ep imo.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:28 (one year ago) link

I think I know why Murderer is their standard encore these days.

The Book of Mormon: "It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief."

In 2003 when they wrote the song they were thinking about another POTUS, I suppose.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 11 October 2018 12:25 (one year ago) link

Murderer is absolutely one of Low's best songs IMO. The single version they put out before Drums and Guns is good too.

akm, Thursday, 11 October 2018 12:59 (one year ago) link

I think it is a nice song but firstly I don't think it is transcendental like for example "In the Drugs", "Monkey" or "Fly" and secondly its half-life is quite short. The diminishing returns by repeated listening are immense.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 11 October 2018 13:14 (one year ago) link

The Murderer EP is one of their best releases def. Didn't mind paying the relatively high price to own that

C'mon is probably my least favourite Low album tho?!? After The Great Destroyer and Drums and Guns it just seemed like by-the-numbers. I've never gone back to it to give it another chance tho.

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 11 October 2018 14:04 (one year ago) link

murderer is absolutely transcendental in my experience—hearing this song and mark hollis yelling "take my freedom" are the two times i've ever questioned my atheism

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Thursday, 11 October 2018 14:24 (one year ago) link

re: c'mon Especially Me is one of my favorite mimi songs ever. also Nothing But Heart is just incredible

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Thursday, 11 October 2018 14:26 (one year ago) link

Nothing But Heart unaccountably makes me think of The Lost Boys. Sparhawk's descending guitar line recalls Cry Little Sister, I think.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Thursday, 11 October 2018 16:35 (one year ago) link

Especially Me is amazing. I like C'Mon far more than I like Invisible Wilco

akm, Thursday, 11 October 2018 16:39 (one year ago) link

Personally I rate C'mon very high, but I can understand if it's not someone's favorite. I can't see how it could be ranked lower than Invisible Way. Which I don't mean as a major dis to IW, only that if your complaint is that C'mon is "by the numbers," then IW is more by the numbers.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 11 October 2018 17:21 (one year ago) link

Breaker and Nothing But Heart are probably my favorite Low songs (and favorite use of Nels Cline on the latter).

Sparhawk's descending guitar line recalls Cry Little Sister, I think.

Oh god, you're right, I think that's been nagging at me for years

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 11 October 2018 18:58 (one year ago) link

if you want a bunch of kickass melodies and guitar tones then try the great destroyer

― princess of hell (BradNelson), Friday, 14 September 2018 02:41 (one month ago) Permalink

^^^^ the guitar on this album is amazing

Tim F, Thursday, 18 October 2018 11:53 (one year ago) link

spellbinding in manchester cathedral the other night. the new songs sounded almost just like on record, sans distortion. steve doesn't get enough love, either. his playing on the last two records has been rock solid. the whole fifteen minutes of 'do you know how to waltz', medley'd into 'lazy'...!

meaulnes, Thursday, 18 October 2018 23:04 (one year ago) link

seeing them soon in TO, v much looking forward to it. only seen them once before, on the TGD tour I believe?

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Thursday, 18 October 2018 23:34 (one year ago) link

Just occurred to me that the cover of Double Negative looks a lot like the youtube dead link placeholder.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 12:57 (one year ago) link

Heads up...

Watch Low perform their 'Double Negative' tour live from the historic and majestic Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, Minn. on November 2, 2018. The show is expected to begin around 9:00 p.m. CDT.

https://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2018/10/19/watch-low-live-in-concert-at-the-fitzgerald-theater-double-negative

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 2 November 2018 00:23 (one year ago) link

Going to be there in person, very excited!

Greta Van Fleek (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 2 November 2018 00:36 (one year ago) link

I hope some folks here watched. Terrific show!

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 3 November 2018 08:35 (one year ago) link

several audio issues :(

StanM, Saturday, 3 November 2018 09:00 (one year ago) link

This was far-and-away my favourite Low album on first listen and now it might be one of my favourite albums, period

fgti is for (flamboyant goon tie included), Sunday, 11 November 2018 20:02 (one year ago) link

Sounded great last night in Philly, even if I had to endure the odor of someone’s vomit through the entire show. I think they may have been at an all Frito-Lay buffet earlier in the evening?

spastic heritage, Sunday, 11 November 2018 20:29 (one year ago) link

Someone in the audience, umprompted, announced the Minnesota election results to them at the Toronto gig

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 11 November 2018 20:42 (one year ago) link

They were fantastic in Boston a couple nights ago. They've developed an effect that seems to remove all initial attack and sustains/loops notes until new ones are played, and simultaneously give a jittery, digital-decomposition sound with some octave/chorus sounds, which they use on most of the 'Double Negative' tracks (and retroactively apply to some of the earlier songs) and I found it entrancing and really effective. In particular, parts from the record I would've assumed were guitar if not some non-string instrument turned out actually to be Steven's bass, played very high on the frets. Really beautiful. Overall I'd say it was the most impassioned I've ever seen them (saw them play aggressively and angrily on the 'Drums & Guns' tour, which was interesting, but lacked the tension and restraint and impact of how they're playing now). They seem to know their new work is among their best, almost seem proud of it--deservedly so.

Soundslike, Sunday, 11 November 2018 22:45 (one year ago) link

otm

meaulnes, Monday, 12 November 2018 03:53 (one year ago) link

fgti if you have more thoughts about the album I think I speak for everyone when I say we'd all love to hear 'em

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 12 November 2018 11:49 (one year ago) link

that vomiting was right by the chair i was standing on. when i saw them open for slowdive at union transfer a few years back, the lead singer of nothing puked in a garbage can right by me, too. i have that effect on people i guess

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 12 November 2018 13:11 (one year ago) link

i'm nothing but heart

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 16 November 2018 01:31 (one year ago) link

Perfect pairing of band and venue tonight, just utterly gorgeous on both counts. As Alan said, it was so pretty he didn't want to mess it up by saying anything. Looks like the setlists have been pretty similar this tour. They have a million songs but don't seem like the sort of group that can just pull something out.

Classic.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:07 (one year ago) link

IDK how the other shows turned out, but hearing people flip out at the opening notes of "Do You Know..." was hilarious to me. Like, here comes the hit!

Also, a couple of the recent songs were almost funky/groovy live thanks to Steven

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:30 (one year ago) link

(sold out) crowd here was dead silent during each song.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:36 (one year ago) link

Occurred to me that as moody as the band is I really have no idea what any of their songs are about.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 17 November 2018 14:22 (one year ago) link

simply, politics/existential anxiety/faith/hope. the material on double negative mostly concerns current political climate - theyve expressed that frustration fairly directly across other records (drums and guns). sure some of its cryptic. issues with the church of LDS too ('quorum'). they occasionally divulge in interviews - 'no comprende' was about alans/mimi's domesticity and endurance in their relationship. as for older stuff, 'starfire' is about their friend who had a pirate radio station... dunno!

meaulnes, Saturday, 17 November 2018 16:41 (one year ago) link

Lots of Secret Name is about the LDS I believe.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Saturday, 17 November 2018 17:48 (one year ago) link

Yeah Sparhawk's Mormonism coupled with his, um, quite un-Mormon lifestyle has always fascinated me

The Poppy Bush AutoZone (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 17 November 2018 18:08 (one year ago) link

I guess I can see how “No Comprende” could be about their relationship but wow what a dark framing for it.

Tim F, Saturday, 17 November 2018 23:32 (one year ago) link

xxp oh, I have to listen again to really think about it, but the way that the songs are at the service of larger production theses is a big one, they found ways to subvert the blunt appeal of Mimi+Alan=pretty bedrock of their vocal approach while still keeping it as the bedrock. It's really a marvellous trick when a band/artist keeps the same thing that makes their music appealing but finds ways to obscure and withhold it, and make that appealing feature essentially more valuable as a result

I need to actually listen to the lyrics I guess, never a high point with this band in the past ime but I hope they're good

fgti is for (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 17 November 2018 23:42 (one year ago) link

lol there is only one Low lyric (just a single line) that I really can't stand, and it happens to be in my favorite song -- "man in the box wants to burn my soul"

rip van wanko, Sunday, 18 November 2018 00:20 (one year ago) link

In Metal is about having a baby

The Poppy Bush AutoZone (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 18 November 2018 00:32 (one year ago) link

xp some of the lyrics on the first LP are a little cringy - 'rope', 'fear'... but i return to it again and again many nights just for the atmosphere. i must have played 'down' a hundred times this year.

wonderful live set from the era here: https://archive.org/details/low1994-03-29.flac

meaulnes, Sunday, 18 November 2018 00:51 (one year ago) link

"you can't trust violence" is one of the great economical phrases of rock tbh

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 18 November 2018 00:57 (one year ago) link

Was nice to hear Lazy last night sort of float out of the noise of Waltz.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 18 November 2018 02:11 (one year ago) link

Speaking of which, "Lazy" sounds remarkably like Labradford, distantly presaging their switch to Kranky.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 18 November 2018 13:47 (one year ago) link

xpost "Words" - love that song as well ... curious why you find that "man in the box" line so bothersome?

that's not my post, Sunday, 18 November 2018 18:46 (one year ago) link

it's "burn my soul" in particular, feels both very arch and quite vague. I assume the narrator is troubled by something he sees on TV but "burns my soul" just doesn't point anywhere to me

rip van wanko, Sunday, 18 November 2018 22:55 (one year ago) link

I always assumed it was a reference to a televangelist hectoring sinners with threats of eternal damnation.

Tim F, Sunday, 18 November 2018 23:10 (one year ago) link

that first album still sounds like faith / pornography - era cure to me

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 18 November 2018 23:10 (one year ago) link

i'm enjoying this introspect! kramer's production, honestly. he had it down. those first two LPs, and Galaxie 500...

meaulnes, Sunday, 18 November 2018 23:12 (one year ago) link

I hadn't listened to the first album in years, but this morning it sounded like it could have been released this year. Faith era Cure otm.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 18 November 2018 23:55 (one year ago) link

I always assumed it was a reference to a televangelist hectoring sinners with threats of eternal damnation.

― Tim F, Sunday, November 18, 2018 3:10 PM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This is my interpretation as well. It's a US-specific reference so maybe it doesn't travel too well.

that's not my post, Monday, 19 November 2018 02:29 (one year ago) link

i've been thinking about "always up" ever since i saw it performed at the chicago show. i never appreciated its subdued power until hearing it in that church

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 20:47 (one year ago) link

I like the new record, I'm not quite as head over heels in love with it as a lot of folks seem, though I am sort of chalking it up to seeing it live and hearing the songs in that setting and kind of falling in love with them vs the record.

I hadn't see them play a regular non-noise/drone show in a long time & they were fantastic, one of the best shows I have ever seen, every song was like the best song ever played.

Secret Name & Things We Lost In the Fire are still my go to lps,

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 20:54 (one year ago) link

i am completely head over heels in love with it

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 21:06 (one year ago) link

i think it even leveled-up after the 200th listen

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 21:07 (one year ago) link

I've finally got hold of Double Negative, yes this is a good lp. I would like it even more if they could keep the style of the first four tracks going through the rest of it, but understand that it might try people's patience a bit.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 6 December 2018 22:59 (one year ago) link

This is the first Low album I've purchased in years, and it really holds up. The blown-out / distortion effects don't wear thin, as it's pared back nicely during some understated parts. It's well-nuanced, compared to something like Embryonic by The Flaming Lips

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Friday, 7 December 2018 00:40 (one year ago) link

It sounds as if they're using really heavy compression. "Always Trying to Work it Out" is fascinating - it has the same kind of aggressive compression as a lot of dance music. Whenever the kick drum comes in the entire rest of the mix gets out of the way, but they've made the kick drum quiet so that it sounds as if distant artillery is going off. Or some infernal factory. The album sounds like a more experimental, gloomier Slowdive.

I've generally been sceptical of Low - no-one can be that anguished for that long, they came across as fakers - but Double Negative is subtler. The sound is much more in-your-face but the lyrics and general atmosphere are subtler.

Ashley Pomeroy, Friday, 7 December 2018 23:12 (one year ago) link

no-one can be that anguished for that long

actually,

lowercase (eric), Friday, 7 December 2018 23:19 (one year ago) link

I've generally been sceptical of Low - no-one can be that anguished for that long, they came across as fakers

This is a really weird opinion

The Poppy Bush AutoZone (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 8 December 2018 03:30 (one year ago) link

Always Trying To Work It Out is my favorite track on here, and that sidechain kick is definitely a big part of that. Don't know that I've really heard that before on a nominally non-electronic recording.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 8 December 2018 03:59 (one year ago) link

They used that effect on the last LP as well, notably on the opener "Gentle"

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 8 December 2018 05:53 (one year ago) link

I've generally been sceptical of Low - no-one can be that anguished for that long, they came across as fakers

This is a really weird opinion


esp if you know even a little bit about sparhawk

gbx, Thursday, 13 December 2018 02:14 (one year ago) link

re the sidechain kicks:

I wouldn't deny that the sound is quite different here (though again it was suggested by some of the tracks on Ones and Sixes), but I feel that the way the band use keyboards and static and processed sounds here (a lot of the arrangements seem to be built on distorted samples of their own vocals) is strongly consistent with their prior general songwriting/arranging approach: especially the way that some of the tracks seem to be almost a grim caricature of sidechain compression with the melodies being obliterated by a regular but slow overwhelming kick like they're constantly disappearing into and re-emerging from a black hole. It's very much a digital counterpart to their original trick of focusing the listener's attention on stark, very slow, endlessly repeated guitar chords.

― Tim F, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 22:49 (three months ago) Permalink

Perhaps worth emphasising that the kick itself does not sound "loud" - almost like they wanted to concoct a heavily sidechained arrangement but then remove the most of the sound that the sidechaining is designed to emphasise, so it's as if the arrangements are being overwhelemed by silence or numbness, like you're going straight from sensation to a kind of post-explosion deafness, but skipping the sound of the explosion that put you there.

I can't think of a more allusive sonic trick in music this year.

Tim F, Thursday, 13 December 2018 03:22 (one year ago) link

Purity Ring did that a lot on Shrines, having extreme sidechain effects, but muting out the kick half the time so it sounds like everything is fading in and out.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 13 December 2018 03:46 (one year ago) link

I'd characterize the music of Low as downtempo, reflective, somber at times, but not "anguished"

rip van wanko, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:34 (one year ago) link

Yeah, they exert a level of control I tend not to associate with anguish. Angst, sure.

resident hack (Simon H.), Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:39 (one year ago) link

The missing link here is the weird kick Sparhawk used on the first Retribution Gospel Choir album, not the same but it was definitely some weird compression (I've heard of side chain but I don't know enough to say if it's the same thing)

No Smockin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 December 2018 13:09 (one year ago) link

Are the drums on "No Comprende" from the last albums programmed or massively compressed or both?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 December 2018 13:26 (one year ago) link

I used to use that trick a lot, you sidechain the kick to the other track and send it 'pre-fader'.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:29 (one year ago) link

all the bandcamp daily pieces ive read have been neat - theyre more in touch than a lot of music mags

meaulnes, Wednesday, 19 December 2018 20:19 (one year ago) link

X-post
Really? I find that quite vague and quite blah. He doesn't really say anything specific about any song. And even when he tells the story about his skiing accident the influence on the album does not become clear. I was waiting that he'd write that Fly was inspired by the accident and the long period of immobility. Maybe the reader is supposed to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Luckily his profession is to make music and not to write.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 19 December 2018 21:06 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Thank you, anonymous US Post Office employee: Reflections on the debut by the band and Kramer

willem, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 15:11 (one year ago) link

are the "Lullaby" and "Cut" demos from the boxset taken from that demo tape?

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 15:25 (one year ago) link

Box set liner notes confirm that, yes.

willem, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 15:52 (one year ago) link

From the liner notes:

-lullaby (demo) – Mimi’s first song
-cut (demo) – This song was possibly the first song we wrote. These first 2 demos were recorded in our apartment by a friend with a 4-track cassette machine after our first show in Duluth. We sent out a half dozen copies to some indie labels, got a nice note from Dischord, and an invitation to record with Kramer…

willem, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 15:56 (one year ago) link

thanks! I can definitely imagine just being floored by these recordings.

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 15:57 (one year ago) link

For some reason, the album version of "Lullaby" is really popular in Turkey. Like, 15 million (yes, million) views on YouTube popular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaSVkb_XLt4
Read the comments...half of them are in Turkish.

ernestp, Sunday, 17 February 2019 01:48 (one year ago) link

its their biggest song on spotify too

always been in my top 3 Low songs

Friedrich B. Neechy (Oor Neechy), Sunday, 17 February 2019 14:24 (one year ago) link

I figured it must be a soundtrack appearance? but I don't see any placements for "Lullaby" on Tunefind or anything more recent than an obscure 1998 movie on IMDb. They have had more TV appearances than I'd expected, though.

https://www.tunefind.com/artist/low

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Sunday, 17 February 2019 15:42 (one year ago) link

i had assumed it mustve been on a soundtrack too.
Its as big a mystery as that Dinosaur Jr track that exploded

Friedrich B. Neechy (Oor Neechy), Sunday, 17 February 2019 20:49 (one year ago) link

Maybe it's some fluke of the Youtube algorithm? I don't know if it gives different recommendations by country.

jmm, Sunday, 17 February 2019 20:53 (one year ago) link

Also people (parents?) probably just search “lullaby” and streaming / video services count plays even if you don’t listen to the whole song.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 17 February 2019 20:55 (one year ago) link

but.....why Turkey?!

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Monday, 18 February 2019 05:12 (one year ago) link

Simon you should ask them.

macropuente (map), Monday, 18 February 2019 06:27 (one year ago) link

tried to put some of those Turkish comments through google translate and it's like this track has become some sort of anthem for the depressed/suicidal somehow (with a bit of 4llah sprinkled in amongst them as well)

StanM, Monday, 18 February 2019 08:30 (one year ago) link

found no clues as to how/why Turkey though

StanM, Monday, 18 February 2019 08:30 (one year ago) link

probably similar to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luM6oeCM7Yw

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Monday, 18 February 2019 09:32 (one year ago) link

view count: 77 million

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Monday, 18 February 2019 09:33 (one year ago) link

damn there's like a whole suicidal ideation support group formed in the comments on that one

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Monday, 18 February 2019 17:46 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

Very excited to see the show in SF tomorrow

that's not my post, Saturday, 16 March 2019 05:06 (one year ago) link

well that was something else

akm, Sunday, 17 March 2019 15:07 (one year ago) link

xpost, yeah, it was something else. awesome ambient noise & light show. crystalline vocals from mimi and beautiful harmonies as usual. and yet, i didn't love it as much as some of their other shows. it was a difficult list which may have been the point.

that's not my post, Monday, 18 March 2019 02:45 (one year ago) link

yeah almost everything from the last two albums and the state set up definitely put them at a remove from the audience where previously I've found Low shows to feel quite intimate. It got really late and we had to jet before the encore, to my dismay I'm guessing they did Over the Ocean and Sunflowers? No Murderer which is my favorite Low song of all time. But it was still pretty great. If you'd told me 20 years ago that Low would have a midset freakout that rivaled You Made Me Realize I'd have looked at you askance.

akm, Monday, 18 March 2019 03:07 (one year ago) link

OTM. The show here back-when was more ... theatrical than I'd come to expect from them. OK, maybe not theatrical, maybe more transcendent? Something more ineffable, but that may just be projection on my part. I always liked that they were the sort of band to just casually walk on stage, set up their own stuff, plug in and start playing, like a punk band. Not that this was that different, and in fact Alan's banter (as such) was as chill and funny and approachable as ever. But watching them fill a packed gorgeous cathedral with perfect oppressively gorgeous and at times ugly sound was something else.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 18 March 2019 12:07 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

relistening to Double Negative today and I just need to say: ILM otm

Simon H., Sunday, 7 April 2019 16:53 (one year ago) link

ILM not wrong

StanM, Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:14 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

afaik I've never listened to a Low song in my life before today but decided to try Double Negative since it won the yearly poll here. holy shit is it good. need to make my second listen a proper one, feel like there's so much detail in these tracks

Vinnie, Friday, 17 May 2019 15:00 (one year ago) link

If you like this one there is lots of Low you'll likely also like, though no other Low is quite like this.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 May 2019 15:05 (one year ago) link

heh, yeah i had a similar post in the works

Low: Recommended if you like: Low

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Friday, 17 May 2019 15:09 (one year ago) link

they're a fun band to get into at this stage, i imagine, because they've been consistently good and their catalog is large

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Friday, 17 May 2019 15:10 (one year ago) link

Actually, the number of albums they have was sort of preventing me from even starting, but after hearing this, I'll definitely dive into more

Vinnie, Friday, 17 May 2019 15:52 (one year ago) link

idk that I'd ever describe getting into Low as "fun" but there's really no bad points of entry, other than The Invisible Way (and even that one has some gems)

Simon H., Friday, 17 May 2019 15:56 (one year ago) link

It''s a good question, though. If you are a fan of the most recent album, which is probably their most challenging album, which album do you go to next? Ones and Sixes? Drums and Guns? Things We Lost in the Fire?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 May 2019 15:59 (one year ago) link

D&G seems the most logical to me. I consider O&S mostly just a lesser, dry run for Double Negative now

Simon H., Friday, 17 May 2019 16:00 (one year ago) link

I'll try Drums and Guns next, but I think I'll want to listen to Double Negative many more times first!

Vinnie, Friday, 17 May 2019 16:11 (one year ago) link

no ones and sixes is almost equally amazing!!!

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 17 May 2019 16:15 (one year ago) link

It has some great songs but some filler too ("Kid in the Corner")

Simon H., Friday, 17 May 2019 16:23 (one year ago) link

Considering Double Negative is a fairly big departure for the group, I recommend you go to "Things We Lost in the Fire" next - one of the best versions of more typical Low. Just prepare yourself that it's not going to be all distorted and fragmented the way DN is. But assuming you dig that too, then you know you can move freely about their discography and let them surprise you. They have albums that are softer, and albums that are edgier.

I think if your departure point is the new album and you dig into their discography in search of something similar, you're setting yourself up for disappointment--which would be very sad because there are very few disappointing moments in their 25 years' worth of albums! But even a more anxious/dark album like Drums & Guns is not like Double Negative.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 17 May 2019 19:53 (one year ago) link

Yeah I definitely want to check out Things We Lost, I know everyone loves that one. The distorted production on DN is definitely part of what's appealing to me, but I think the way the sounds are applied, the song construction, is also quite unique, so I'm interested to hear whatever people like from this band (which sounds like most of their work)

Vinnie, Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:39 (one year ago) link

There's very, very little from this band that isn't that great, and what little there is that isn't that great is only not that great compared to all their great stuff. Which is most of it. I mean, honestly, you can probably start with the first album and see what you think, since I can't imagine someone disliking that album but liking the rest.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:19 (one year ago) link

amazing how their sound went from minimalist to maximalist up to The Great Destroyer, and then expanded in other directions from there

Dan S, Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:31 (one year ago) link

Silver Rider is one of my favorite tracks of theirs

Dan S, Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:35 (one year ago) link

Longtime fan of Low, also a huge fan of the new record. My ranking of their records certainly finds one era of theirs at the bottom (don't have much use for TIW, Cmon, or TGD, though love D&G), but I love tracks from each other those records, too. Low are easily my favorite "band" of all time.

Re: records that folks new to them should check out if they like DN, I actually think that 'Trust' is the record from another era that is most similar to DN in terms of feel, its brilliant mixture of minimalism and threateningly ominous production (claustrophobic, almost) really making it and D&G the obvious predecessors to Double Negative.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:50 (one year ago) link

The show in late November that I went to was pretty good, but nothing beats my first Low concert:

it was my 18th birthday and I saw them support 'Trust' (which might explain why it is my 2nd favorite Low record) in the basement of Oberlin College's student union. At one point, Alan asked the audience not to yell out curse words because their kids were with them on tour.

Mark Eitzel opened, supporting 'The Invisible Man.'

Both put on an incredible show, but I still can remember Alan and Mimi harmonizing on 'Sunflower' and just losing it. No 'popular' music had ever made me cry up until then.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:57 (one year ago) link

They have so many great great covers, but I think about this one a lot, given how far it departs from the original, but also because of that nice warm drone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FHBxseoXvc

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:58 (one year ago) link

that sounds amazing

Dan S, Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:59 (one year ago) link

xp

Dan S, Saturday, 18 May 2019 01:59 (one year ago) link

xp. It really was. Eitzel was also in top form that night. He did a very wild acoustic guitar version of "The Boy With The Hammer in the Paper Bag" that was like 8 or 9 minutes long? Really great.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 18 May 2019 02:02 (one year ago) link

There aren't any bad Low records, really - some stand as front-to-back complete works that are genuinely hard to pick apart (Double Negative, Things We Lost in the Fire, Trust), and those (Invisible Way, Ones & Sixes, Secret Name) with some highs and some less-than-highs. The band seem to have a self-awareness of this too which makes their concerts never fail to deliver.

I always felt Invisible Way got its reputation unfairly at the time from not pushing too many boundaries - return to more often than I do C'mon.

matt h, Saturday, 18 May 2019 13:44 (one year ago) link

Agree that IW is maybe too maligned but I really love C’mon.

If you listen to Drums & Guns, then watch the documentary, then listen to C’mon... the documentary is so raw and you see Alan at such a low point. In the wake of that, I feel like C’mon is this beautiful attempt to return to the light. Mimi’s songs are so strong, Alan’s still raw but more hopeful.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Saturday, 18 May 2019 16:08 (one year ago) link

huh I've always considered Secret Name one of their classics

Throw a dart, really.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 18 May 2019 17:33 (one year ago) link

you can’t go wrong with any Low album imo. Lost a bit in the discussion is how much of a classic their debut remains, and Long Division + The Curtain Hits the Cast are both absurdly good too.

omar little, Saturday, 18 May 2019 17:52 (one year ago) link

Most bands would be happy with those three as their peaks.

omar little, Saturday, 18 May 2019 17:53 (one year ago) link

C'mon was the one I was least impressed with when it came out but I listened to it the other day and I don't know what my problem was really

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 18 May 2019 19:44 (one year ago) link

I think The Curtain Hits the Cast is my favorite. It's the one that I return to the most.

but except for IW, any album is fine imo. (IW sounds like a Wilco record, other than a track or two is kind of useless to me tbh)

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Sunday, 19 May 2019 21:28 (one year ago) link

one interesting thing is that i was obsessed with Low when I was around 19/20, had Lifetime and all the records, etc.... but then TGD came out and i HATED it. like couldn't believe how bad it was.

almost ten years passed by until i listened to it again, and i think that i was more than a little too attached to what i'd come to expect from them. now i think it rates higher than the rest of the records from that time period except D&G.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Sunday, 19 May 2019 21:31 (one year ago) link

I started listening to them with Secret Name, an incredible album, but thought Things We Lost in the Fire was their peak. Then I was unexpectedly floored by The Great Destroyer. Now think Double Negative is their real peak

Dan S, Sunday, 19 May 2019 23:49 (one year ago) link

one interesting thing is that i was obsessed with Low when I was around 19/20, had Lifetime and all the records, etc.... but then TGD came out and i HATED it. like couldn't believe how bad it was.

almost ten years passed by until i listened to it again, and i think that i was more than a little too attached to what i'd come to expect from them. now i think it rates higher than the rest of the records from that time period except D&G.

― blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Sunday, May 19, 2019 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I had a similar experience. I went from being total obsessive completist--every 7", every comp appearance--to being lukewarm on Trust and really not into TGD. Wasn't swayed by D&G at first but came around to it. But altogether probably 8 years went by where I didn't listen to very much Low, they became relegated to a past version of myself. And somewhere between D&G and C'mon I dove back into the early stuff and gave the later albums a new try... now I'm back to being obsessive fan again.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 20 May 2019 16:37 (one year ago) link

the first time i saw them live was in 2002 and the opener tom liwa who used to be my favourite german songwriter announced them as the best band in the world and i thought he was exaggerating a little but finally i have come to the conclusion that he was probably right, for the last couple of years they have been my fave live band in the world. they have got the capability to create a spiritual atmosphere of total silence and attentiveness like few other bands. i have seen them four times but they never played the song which made me discover them though i asked for it once. their awesome cover of transmission.

je est un autre, l'enfer c'est les autres (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 20 May 2019 21:35 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

For the curious, here's the Japanese bonus track for Double Negative, "It's All Been Done" (not a BNL cover)

https://wetransfer.com/downloads/a54e5fdcb22da36762c6f2a7fd37ce5020190619124804/5f6be5594d1d83bd92aa4a5f4ec28ba720190619124804/e23590

Simon H., Wednesday, 19 June 2019 12:50 (one year ago) link

Listened to Drums and Guns next after the recommendations here, and wow. It's compelling in a very different way from Double Negative. Last three tracks in particular are stunning. At this point, I'm gonna eventually listen to all their albums but next up is Ones and Sixes because a) Spotify has it (some of the other Low albums are missing) and b) Brad's taste rarely steers wrong

Vinnie, Sunday, 30 June 2019 15:30 (one year ago) link

yesterdays glastonbury set for those who can access it:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07df5f6/glastonbury-low-live-at-glastonbury

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Sunday, 30 June 2019 17:25 (one year ago) link

shivers. low are extraordinary. amazing footage!

meaulnes, Monday, 1 July 2019 10:06 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Alan, Mimi and Steve Garrington doing a Velvet Underground tribute show on the 50th anniversary of the Velvets only Minneapolis show, October 12, 1969 at the Labor Temple:

http://thehookmpls.com/event/the-velvets-50/

by the light of the burning Citroën, Thursday, 15 August 2019 20:50 (one year ago) link

that sounds great. i wish i could go but 5000 miles or something like that seems a bit too much.

je est un autre, l'enfer c'est les autres (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 15 August 2019 20:57 (one year ago) link

I might actually go to this! I'll be in Chicago around that time.

octobeard, Friday, 16 August 2019 06:07 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

got my ticket!

goole, Thursday, 5 September 2019 17:03 (one year ago) link

Should have linked this earlier -- very good podcast episode/radio documentary on them from a month back:

https://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2019/08/07/the-current-rewind-low-duluth-sparhawk-parker

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 September 2019 18:21 (one year ago) link

Cool

fremmes with neppavenettes (rip van wanko), Thursday, 5 September 2019 18:49 (one year ago) link

haha the mentions of starfire in that podcast. that's neat. it put me back onto 'secret name'. low give me so much hope.

meaulnes, Friday, 6 September 2019 21:25 (one year ago) link

how have i not heard the bombscare EP until now! what!

meaulnes, Monday, 9 September 2019 10:50 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

JUST IN: 'Bombscare EP' by Low & Spring Heel Jack

Low have just reissued their collaborative EP with left-field group Spring Heel Jack!

An underrated little record from the acclaimed slowcore group and their musical mates:@lowthebandhttps://t.co/ssGZJ2O6iD

— Norman Records (@normanrecords) October 3, 2019

Jeff W, Thursday, 3 October 2019 08:53 (eleven months ago) link

haha, i must have summoned that. i'd better put the lottery on.

meaulnes, Thursday, 3 October 2019 09:56 (eleven months ago) link

I believe soundslike summoned that one

It is my great honor to post on this messageboard! (Karl Malone), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:14 (eleven months ago) link

one month passes...

The version of "Disarray" they played last night was like the best 10 minutes of live music I've ever heard.

geoffreyess, Sunday, 24 November 2019 17:17 (ten months ago) link

I normally couldn't care about live recordings of non-improvised music. But I'd really love a high-quality recording of a show on the tours since 'Double Negative,' because they've applied the same magic decaying angel choir sounds to older songs and they all sound amazing and genuinely distinct from earlier incarnations.

Also--so glad to see 'Bombscare' is back and has a chance to be recognized. That was what shifted my sense of Low from "lovely band who soothe my soul" to "this band can and will do anything, going forward" and cemented them as my favorite "rock" band going.

Soundslike, Monday, 25 November 2019 02:03 (ten months ago) link

There are a couple high quality concert videos of this material on YouTube.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Monday, 25 November 2019 02:09 (ten months ago) link

I listened to Secret Name for the first time a coupla months ago... think this might be the year I finally become a fanatical Low completist

handsome boy modelling software (bernard snowy), Monday, 25 November 2019 02:26 (ten months ago) link

I'm basically there too. I've listened to four of their albums now - The Great Destroyer and Ones and Sixes since my last post - and I feel like I'm 16 again: at that age, once I decided I loved a band, I listened to every second of every album attentively and obsessively. This decade, I've only given that level of attention to the 1975 and Low. To that end, I'm trying to go through their catalog slowly, but the urge is just to burn through everything. Crazy to think that I spent years seeing their name mentioned on ILM without bothering to listen

Vinnie, Monday, 25 November 2019 04:40 (ten months ago) link

when i saw them this summer they made a mind-blowing version of 'do you know how to waltz'.
a live recording of this tour would be amazing, indeed.

Nourry, Monday, 25 November 2019 14:37 (ten months ago) link

nothing from the last couple of Months here yet https://archive.org/search.php?query=collection%3ALowMusic&sort=-publicdate

StanM, Monday, 25 November 2019 15:14 (ten months ago) link

someone on this thread once challenged me for not playing low LPs all the way through, since i said i felt like some of their records wane a bit in the second half. but i came round. they were right. giving patience and open ears to low really lets you feel their full power. i think god speaks through their music quite a bit.

meaulnes, Wednesday, 27 November 2019 14:17 (ten months ago) link

nice of god to speak somewhere for once

has anyone ever tried to listen to drums and guns from a set of speakers that mirrors the mix, with one speaker on the far left of the room, the other on the far right? that's the one i've always been unable to get through. it sounds awful on headphones (to me at least), and the stereo separation on my normal set up just comes out sounding weird. i can imagine it sounding really good if the speakers were far enough apart that it was possible to walk around a bit in the combined sound field.

Peaceful Warrior I Poser (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 27 November 2019 16:16 (ten months ago) link

It sounds great in the car

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 27 November 2019 16:51 (ten months ago) link

'Drums & Guns' is top 3 Low for me, and I love the hard panning for its unsettling effect that suits the music.

Soundslike, Wednesday, 27 November 2019 21:32 (ten months ago) link

^agree.

that's not my post, Thursday, 28 November 2019 02:21 (ten months ago) link

three months pass...

enjoying this cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa8Ky20UYaU&

that's not my post, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 05:14 (six months ago) link

three weeks pass...

As per normal, we are coming in late like a northern Minnesota farmer. Mimi and Alan are probably doing an INSTAGRAM LIVE set for you tomorrow at around 1 or 2 central standard US. That should be evening for UK/Europe and middle of the night for Tokyo. More details to come. 💜

— LOW (@lowtheband) April 2, 2020

Non, je ned raggette rien (onimo), Thursday, 2 April 2020 18:16 (five months ago) link

Oh my, yes. This, I need.

Soundslike, Friday, 3 April 2020 00:25 (five months ago) link

Confirmed time - and weekly performances!

(21:00 in UK today) pic.twitter.com/IeArsUQIlk

— LOW (@lowtheband) April 3, 2020

Non, je ned raggette rien (onimo), Friday, 3 April 2020 07:52 (five months ago) link

I wonder if they will change things up at all, tonally. I love Low, but don't know if I want to love Low right now, necessarily.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 3 April 2020 12:48 (five months ago) link

it would be extremely funny if they chose this occasion to pivot to baggy funtime jams

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Friday, 3 April 2020 12:56 (five months ago) link

Well, I assume they will sound like Low. But I dunno, maybe different covers? And their banter is usually funny. Just wondering if it will be the usual hour of "we're all going to die."

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 3 April 2020 13:30 (five months ago) link

if it's going to be weekly then there's plenty of scope

koogs, Friday, 3 April 2020 15:31 (five months ago) link

That was a lot of fun, really. New song, impromptu "Star Spangled Banner," "Murderer". Just good people.

Soundslike, Friday, 3 April 2020 21:29 (five months ago) link

Tuned in just before they started “When I Go Deaf”. Actually lifted me to hear and see them play that and “Murderer” this evening, two songs I really love, and the new song sounded really good too.

michaellambert, Friday, 3 April 2020 23:30 (five months ago) link

did they post a link to the show?

that's not my post, Saturday, 4 April 2020 01:37 (five months ago) link

If you go to their Instagram profile and click on the profile picture then select “watch live video” you’ll be able to watch it back.

michaellambert, Saturday, 4 April 2020 10:14 (five months ago) link

“When I Go Deaf” into “The Star Spangled Banner” got me misty-eyed.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Saturday, 4 April 2020 17:07 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Could anyone please share "It's All Been Done"? Someone posted a link here but it's expired now. It's such a shame the song wasn't made available for download. It's only featured in the Japanese release of Double Negative. Many thanks in advance.

johngreen74, Thursday, 23 April 2020 21:43 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

over on twitter lowtheband joined tim's listening party to talk about their first album. pics, memories, etc

that's not my post, Thursday, 7 May 2020 21:51 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

they played their IG live set today with no talking in honor of george floyd, which ended with an absolutely blistering performance of 'breaker.' totally wrecked me.

donna rouge, Friday, 29 May 2020 20:45 (four months ago) link

They couldn't but end with "Breaker".

Soundslike, Friday, 29 May 2020 22:57 (four months ago) link


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