Low: Classic or classic?

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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


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 (eleven years ago) link

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

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

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

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

Drowned in Sound thread with details:


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

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

Smuckles Brothers (stevie), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:36 (eleven 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)


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.

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.


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

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


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

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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven months ago) link

It sounds great in the car

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 27 November 2019 16:51 (seven 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 (seven months ago) link


that's not my post, Thursday, 28 November 2019 02:21 (seven months ago) link

three months pass...

enjoying this cover


that's not my post, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 05:14 (three 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. đź’ś

— LOW (@lowtheband) April 2, 2020

Non, je ned raggette rien (onimo), Thursday, 2 April 2020 18:16 (three months ago) link

Oh my, yes. This, I need.

Soundslike, Friday, 3 April 2020 00:25 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three months ago) link

if it's going to be weekly then there's plenty of scope

koogs, Friday, 3 April 2020 15:31 (three 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 (three 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 (three months ago) link

did they post a link to the show?

that's not my post, Saturday, 4 April 2020 01:37 (two 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 (two 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 (two 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 (two 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) link

They couldn't but end with "Breaker".

Soundslike, Friday, 29 May 2020 22:57 (one month ago) link

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