Low: Classic or classic?

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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 (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:

http://drownedinsound.com/articles/4020122

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)

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

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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