Low: Classic or classic?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

Josh, Saturday, 17 February 2001 01:00 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one 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 (twenty-one years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Dud.

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

Calssically dud?

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

the live footage is indeed superb.

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

Maybe the sequel will be even lower

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

Low & Lowerer, with new bass player Jim Carrey

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

ultimately characterless and forgettable

lol. Heard Drums and Guns?

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

it hadn't been released back then

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

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

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

"subtly"

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

Some good discussion on this thread, methinks.

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

I'll third that. Best band going today.

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

"thought" = though

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

I've seen them twice with full crowds at the Chapel in SF. Capacity is 500. I was wondering if they were going to scale up to a larger venue but the tour lists same venue for their October show.

that's not my post, Friday, 25 February 2022 15:58 (two months ago) link

They played GAMH last time through for Double Negative -- very sad I had to miss that as I was still recovering from surgery that weekend. But this October show has Divide and Dissolve as the opener and that's a great combination.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 25 February 2022 16:28 (two months ago) link

D&D are opening here in Philly, too. I've known Takiaya for more than a decade. Very excited about that show

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Friday, 25 February 2022 18:56 (two months ago) link

Oh wow, that's a bill. I just completely fell in love with that Divide & Dissolve album this week.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 25 February 2022 18:57 (two months ago) link

All their records are good, but the last one really did up the game

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Saturday, 26 February 2022 03:07 (two months ago) link

One of the last shows I saw before the pandemic, they played in local watering hole/show space Cousin Danny's, which is basically a bar in a basement with a performance space on the first floor of an enormous old Victorian in West Philly. It was massively loud, a really fun night hanging out with them and some other friends in this relatively tiny space. Excited that they're getting a lot of attention.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Saturday, 26 February 2022 03:10 (two months ago) link

Saw them at Primavera in Barcelona in 2019 of all places and they were incredible. Already got tickets to see them in September here, and that's a long way out, but looking forward to it nonetheless.

octobeard, Sunday, 27 February 2022 05:10 (two months ago) link

sone of the previous posts are about D&D, right? And the last one is about Low again?

StanM, Sunday, 27 February 2022 06:16 (two months ago) link

Yes sorry, my last post was about D&D

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Sunday, 27 February 2022 12:15 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

Low absolutely hit it out of the ballpark last night. Most of HEY WHAT in the first half of the show, then a stretch of older material, including Sunflower, Two-Step, and an encore of Will the Night then Murderer. I actually cried, it has been twenty years since I first saw them and they sounded phenomenal.

(D&D were great too)
(Stevie D was there and can attest to the greatness of the show, too)

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 11:02 (one month ago) link

I saw them Monday night at a small movie theater in DC and it was a beautiful show.

Chris L, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 12:27 (one month ago) link

seeing them on thursday :D

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:08 (one month ago) link

How dare all of you. (He says, having to wait until October.)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:19 (one month ago) link

Yep Knoxville show was wonderful

Otto Insurance (Boring, Maryland), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:42 (one month ago) link

seeing them next Monday, stooooked

Murgatroid, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:50 (one month ago) link

Saw them at the DC show. I'm a casual fan, recognized maybe half the songs. I loved the silence of the audience and the sit-down format, perfect for an oldster like me. I will confess the songs seemed a little samey about halfway through, but the older and closing material mixed it up a bit more. Amazing to see such a pro band, especially in the vocals dept, and to hear everything perfectly. The lights were a big plus.

tobo73, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 18:01 (one month ago) link

I'll probably be at the same show Ned's at, as the October leg of the tour hits Norcal. But dang will there even be a functioning planet by then? Tune in...

octobeard, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 20:42 (one month ago) link

Cross yer fingers!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 23:16 (one month ago) link

seeing them in 4 weeks! mildly optimistic there will be a functioning planet by then.

stirmonster, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 23:26 (one month ago) link

Bowing out of seeing them tonorrow in Providence due to health issues--tickets I bought last June...

But, a friend who is just discovering them is able to use my tickets, and I'm almost as excited for her as I would've been for myself.

Soundslike, Thursday, 31 March 2022 18:36 (one month ago) link

just about left my body during “hey”

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 1 April 2022 03:01 (one month ago) link

encore included “congregation” and “monkey” therefore it was a very brad set

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 1 April 2022 03:03 (one month ago) link

They kicked ass tonight and yes, glad they played the two songs Brad mentioned

#JusticeForTheGreatDestroyer

Murgatroid, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 04:59 (one month ago) link

Seeing them tomorrow night, apparently the last show for this leg of the tour.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 8 April 2022 17:53 (one month ago) link

your Saturday night just opened up :(

Hey-O! We got it! COVID positive tests coming up in both bands. Shit.

We have to cancel Davenport tonight and Madison tomorrow.

Honestly, surprised the tour lasted this long.

Thank you for masking, y’all.

Wear a mask at shows!!! Please!

Back out in two weeks. 💜💜💜

— LOW (@lowtheband) April 8, 2022

Murgatroid, Friday, 8 April 2022 18:38 (one month ago) link

Oh shit.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 8 April 2022 18:47 (one month ago) link

I was just looking at their twitter feed, talking about hanging out in Walgreen's getting COVID tests and complaining about people not wearing masks.

Honestly they wouldn't have been happy, no one was going to wear a mask at that show.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 8 April 2022 18:48 (one month ago) link

at the Toronto show, i was near the front and from what i could see, roughly 2/3 of those around me were masked and those who weren't clearly had a mask with them but was choosing not to put it around their nose/mouth (maybe because they were drinking but some were not and were just choosing to be stupid)

Murgatroid, Friday, 8 April 2022 18:55 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Saw them last night, amazing show blah blah. But one thing that struck me was, despite occasional similarity with MBV, sonics-wise, Kevin S uses a wall of Marshalls onstage whereas Alan S appeared to be playing through a single amp of the type you might use for a pub gig (this was a 2000 capacity venue). Like, it literally looked like a Fender Blues Jr from where I was. Of course it was mic-d up and coming through PA speakers but you get the point. On a related note, my partner's one 'feedback for improvement' comment was that it might have been even better at a more MBV-like volume.

Supposed Former ILM Lurker (WeWantMiles), Saturday, 30 April 2022 15:45 (two weeks ago) link

Alan on Twitter is a lot of fun. He’s very open and geeks out over guitar tone and nerdy tech stuff. Fellow touring musicians send him pics of their gear loaded in the back of their cars and he reviews how it’s packed.

Cow_Art, Saturday, 30 April 2022 15:56 (two weeks ago) link

^ agreed, their twitter feed's a blast

StanM, Saturday, 30 April 2022 16:23 (two weeks ago) link

I saw them at Manchester Cathedral the other night - what a venue! It was amazing but I had quite a miserable time as I had terrible sinusitus. I had a prime spot but was sneezing so much that I had to move to the catacombs as I think everyone around me was freaking out that I might be a Covid superspreader.

He's very dedicated to their Twitter, even liking my Tweet praising the gig. Last time they played he told me what a song was I had enquired about. I hadn't even tagged them in that so he must have been searching for mentions. I wish i could muster as much Twitter enthusiasm / dedication.

stirmonster, Saturday, 30 April 2022 23:50 (two weeks ago) link

it might have been even better at a more MBV-like volume.

not sure what the volume was there but it was just right for me. i spent decades being in the if it's too loud you're too old camp but last time i saw MBV changed my mind. they were stupidly TOO loud.

stirmonster, Sunday, 1 May 2022 00:03 (two weeks ago) link

Meh. I had the covids a couple of weeks ago and I'm still coughing too much to go to a show. Oh well.

StanM, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 14:16 (two weeks ago) link

last time i saw MBV changed my mind. they were stupidly TOO loud.

*sighs, prepares interdict and articles of excommunication* Well perhaps I overreact.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 14:24 (two weeks ago) link

Pardon? You'll need to speak up........

stirmonster, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 20:49 (two weeks ago) link

Too loud sucks, unless it's too loud through sheer acoustic power

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 20:55 (two weeks ago) link

Hello from The Chapel,

We're writing to inform you that our show with Low on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 has been rescheduled to Friday, March 31, 2023.

All original tickets will be honored.

Well shit. I wonder what caused this postponement - the band just recovered from covid and is still touring yes?

octobeard, Thursday, 5 May 2022 00:26 (one week ago) link

About the reschedule of fall west US dates:
-We have accepted a very kind offer to do dates with @dcfc durring that time.
-it’s rescheduled later, most tickets still valid.
-Just couldn’t get Vancouver to fit the rerouting, sorry. (Not about Covid.)
-Still w/ @dividedissolve !

— LOW (@lowtheband) May 5, 2022

willem, Thursday, 5 May 2022 10:43 (one week ago) link

Derby County Footb... oh, death cab for cutie, nevermind

StanM, Thursday, 5 May 2022 11:28 (one week ago) link

Audience recording from the Hackney show (missed the encore, sorry)

https://mega.nz/file/sWZC2CKS#1LitKm8O1IeNrhHFuHAfVQfAzbc0RnJ_RV_DljGqzkM

Setlist:

White Horses
I Can Wait
All Night
Disappearing
Hey
Days Like These
Don't Walk Away
More
The Price You Pay (It Must Be Wearing Off)
Congregation
No Comprende
Sunflower
Disarray
Plastic Cup
Monkey
What Part of Me
Especially Me
Nothing but Heart

"Spaghetti" Thompson (Pheeel), Thursday, 5 May 2022 12:44 (one week ago) link

Are they doing a 10 min guitar freak-out version of Nothing But Heart?

that's not my post, Thursday, 5 May 2022 15:11 (one week ago) link

Not in Hackney, it was the same length as the album version, e.g. about eight or so minutes

"Spaghetti" Thompson (Pheeel), Thursday, 5 May 2022 20:22 (one week ago) link

holy shit that’s wild! Good for D/d

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Thursday, 5 May 2022 22:05 (one week ago) link

awww no songs from Double Negative? alas

octobeard, Friday, 6 May 2022 05:58 (one week ago) link

Uhh look again, octo (though it's not one I would expect)

Vinnie, Friday, 6 May 2022 08:42 (one week ago) link

This array of songs does contain one of those tracks, indeed.

StanM, Friday, 6 May 2022 09:22 (one week ago) link

;)
Seems like they played the same set yesterday in Amsterdam. What a fucking amazing show. Divide and Dissolve were awesome, too

willem, Friday, 6 May 2022 09:36 (one week ago) link

Ahhh missed that. Sweet! That was an amazing performance when they played it at Primavera in 2019. Very much looking forward to this show. Perhaps they drop one or two more Double Negative tracks in the encore.

octobeard, Friday, 6 May 2022 20:09 (one week ago) link

Saw them for the first time. Great concert, great rendition of Hey and others, hearing the album live made me appreciate it anew.

Nabozo, Saturday, 14 May 2022 09:31 (four days ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.