Low: Classic or classic?

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i've been going back through the early instagram performances of the new material & it's fascinating to see how their ideas evolved from very straight forward arrangements before they got into the studio, to the album's walls of distortion with barely any percussion at all

ufo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 11:44 (nine months ago) link

i never even realised there's only prominent drums on a single track until i saw it mentioned in an interview recently

ufo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 11:52 (nine months ago) link

alan thinks 100 gecs are great

― ufo, Thursday, September 2, 2021 6:01 AM (five days ago) bookmarkflaglink

does he? I didn't necessarily get that impression from the quote. I think he was referring generally to stuff like the Paul Anka thing that was hyperlinked. Sorry but I'm having a difficult time imagining Alan and Mimi listening to that between like harvesting their beets and praying before bed

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 13:29 (nine months ago) link

it's ambiguous but "That’s what young people should be doing—they should be smashing it and building their own vocabulary" sounds more like 100 gecs etc. than the Paul Anka Playing From Another Room video.

it'd make sense if he's at least a little familiar enough with them to think they're great, he's actually not too far removed from that whole world via the bj burton connection

ufo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 13:40 (nine months ago) link

it's ambiguous but "That’s what young people should be doing—they should be smashing it and building their own vocabulary" sounds more like 100 gecs etc. than the Paul Anka Playing From Another Room video.

it'd make sense if he's at least a little familiar enough with them to think they're great, he's actually not too far removed from that whole world via the bj burton connection

ufo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 13:41 (nine months ago) link

ah whoops

anyway i can totally imagine burton having played them for him & alan going "oh the distortion rules" etc

ufo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 13:42 (nine months ago) link

Alan and Mimi listening to that between like harvesting their beets and praying before bed

the fact that they do both is kinda what makes them so fascinating

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 16:56 (nine months ago) link

The same thing as ever ; great early on and got worse as they progressed.

― ^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Saturday, September 4, 2021

don't feel this. they are one of the few bands who got better

― Dan S, Sunday, September 5, 2021 2:21 AM (three days ago) bookmarkflaglink
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Dan, I suppose I should have explained that better. As some people here are implying, I don't mean that Low still sound "the same as ever" - more that (for me anyway, and like a LOT of bands I am a fan of), they just stuck around too long, making not-so-great records compared to their first flush. I do like some of "Trust" but "Things we lost in the fire" just sounded tired. From what I heard of subsequent albums, I wasn't enthused - didn't have any of the qualities that drew me to the band in the first place. Particularly disliked "Double negative" - just sounds like someone off WARP remixing Low. Hate that cold, inhuman, non-spiritual sound.

^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 13:07 (nine months ago) link

they just stuck around too long, making not-so-great records compared to their first flush. I do like some of "Trust" but "Things we lost in the fire" just sounded tired.

This is like challop bingo.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:20 (nine months ago) link

xp

Hate that cold, inhuman, non-spiritual sound.

Do you also think that about Fly?

I have the feeling Low are now what My Bloody Valentine was in 1991. The cutting edge of rock music. Making noise tuneful (and soulful). Truly innovative.

walking towards the sun since 2007 (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:33 (nine months ago) link

they just stuck around too long, making not-so-great records compared to their first flush. I do like some of "Trust" but "Things we lost in the fire" just sounded tired.
This is like challop bingo.

― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, September 8, 2021 2:20 PM (twenty-one minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

===================

I am sorry Josh in Chicago, that does not compute.

^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:42 (nine months ago) link

seeing as Double Negative was ILM AOTY, you're going to have a hard time getting people to agree with you on here

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:46 (nine months ago) link

xpost Well, to me they do not sound like a band that's stuck around too long, "Things We Lost" is a contender for *best* album, "Trust" came out *before* "Fire," etc. Regardless, the new one and the last one show a band that's been around for decades still capable of surprise, even if said surprise may disappoint or annoy some. There are other (often still good) bands that have clearly stuck around too long, imo, especially compared to Low.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:47 (nine months ago) link

"they just stuck around too long, making not-so-great records compared to their first flush. "

This is an absurd opinion. You might not like their direction but this description seems totally off the mark.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:52 (nine months ago) link

I used to write comments like that when a band branched out from a genre style I was overly dedicated to. Sounds like they developed their sound and it wasn’t to Twin’s taste and they’re confusing that with the idea that band itself is floundering.

Evan, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 14:57 (nine months ago) link

https://miro.medium.com/max/1250/1*DfGZPjzlD-bwGMrtTcGVsQ.jpeg

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:00 (nine months ago) link

"they just stuck around too long, making not-so-great records compared to their first flush. "

This is an absurd opinion. You might not like their direction but this description seems totally off the mark.

― husked, tonal wails (irrational), Wednesday, September 8, 2021 2:52 PM (seventeen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

=======

Sorry Husked - I just checked with the opinion patent office and it's actually registered as a valid one.

^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:14 (nine months ago) link

I used to write comments like that when a band branched out from a genre style I was overly dedicated to. Sounds like they developed their sound and it wasn’t to Twin’s taste and they’re confusing that with the idea that band itself is floundering.

― Evan, Wednesday, September 8, 2021 2:57 PM (sixteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink
==================================
I'm not confusing a change of tack with an objective drop in quality. To me, what I've heard of their later work just doesn't move me as much as their earlier work - therefore I think it's not so great - it's not an even remotely controversial opinion to hold !

^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:18 (nine months ago) link

i do think it's valid!

it's good when people disagree, it stirs up the pot a little too. i generally prefer their earlier stuff, too, though i include Things We Lost in the Fire in that too (maybe since it was the first I heard and got obsessed with). the new albums are very good and fully contemporary, which is a really hard trick for a band going on...carry the 2...65 years now. but if you were obsessed with the (_beautiful_) sounds of their first albums, the absolute quiet and the intensity - that stuff is still there now, but it's balanced by waves of noise and filtering. it's quite different, and - like all music - not objectively "better" or "worse"

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:20 (nine months ago) link

i never got around to making any sort of point, sorry. instead i did the preamble where i was like "both sides!"

but what i meant to say was i totally get someone who exclusively listens to low's 90s material only and prefers it. i wouldn't put it in terms of "they got worse", but "they got different". sometimes just holding onto the original perfect gemstone is fine

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:37 (nine months ago) link

<i>cold, inhuman, non-spiritual </i>

These are not words I would describe Double Negative or the new one. I've been the reverse of Twin - when I discovered the band (late 90's) I thought they were interesting but boring. Hadn't heard anything from them for 20 years and then Double Negative comes out and it clicks. They're peaking right now and making me revisit their old stuff again.

Maybe in time the warmth, humanity and spirituality of these last two records will shine through for you.

octobeard, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 16:58 (nine months ago) link

I'm not confusing a change of tack with an objective drop in quality. To me, what I've heard of their later work just doesn't move me as much as their earlier work - therefore I think it's not so great - it's not an even remotely controversial opinion to hold !

― ^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Wednesday, September 8, 2021 11:18 AM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

You'd originally framed it as the band getting worse, not just that it doesn't move you as much. I was responding to that. I have nothing against you saying the post-90s material is not for you.

Evan, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 17:14 (nine months ago) link

I will come clean and say that I prefer everything up to and including "Trust" to anything they made after, and my preference is pretty strong. But Low are among my favorite bands, so I also love the newer stuff, barring "Cmon" and "The Invisible Way." The latter suffers from Tweedy's production and staid songwriting, and the former just doesn't click with me. I've tried many times, even within the past year because of this thread, and I just don't hear anything in it that grabs me.

The first six records tho? whew.

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 19:54 (nine months ago) link

If we're talking the NEW new stuff, then I am much more enthusiastic. Everything since "Ones and Sixes" has been great...there were just a few years there where I get a little 'eh'

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 19:56 (nine months ago) link

Which, yknow, addiction and the aftermath, maybe that has something to do with it.

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 19:56 (nine months ago) link

I swear I will never understand the whole "Tweedy's production" thing on Invisible Way...like I know he's the dad rock boogie man so you gotta distance yourself but seriously it just sounds like an organically, pretty naturalistic record, not even that far from Things we Lost in the Fire....if it were the same exact record done by Jimmy McProducerhead no one would ever mention the production

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvqMfZE41pY

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:10 (nine months ago) link

You're probably right, but a bunch of sub-par songs in his hands is not great.

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:28 (nine months ago) link

It also sounds like he's pushing the Tweed to 11

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:28 (nine months ago) link

Oh, did I hear a dustmote? Jeff Tweedy must have produced it.

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:29 (nine months ago) link

they've said the acoustic direction on the invisible way was less about tweedy pushing them in that sort of direction and more just that his studio had lots of great acoustic instrumentation they decided to play around with. the songs are unusually weak for them though yeah

double negative really is a masterpiece on the level of kid a or loveless, etc., finding that real sweet spot between experimentation and accessibility

ufo, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:37 (nine months ago) link

"on my own" is the single gem on the invisible way

ufo, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:43 (nine months ago) link

i remember liking "amethyst" but its been a while

ciderpress, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:50 (nine months ago) link

new album gives me "royalty free inspirational youtube music" vibes. still good tho.

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:57 (nine months ago) link

C'mon is my favorite of their later period ones, the rest didn't click as much with me. still need to spend more time with double negative though

ciderpress, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 20:57 (nine months ago) link

You're probably right, but a bunch of sub-par songs in his hands is not great.

― Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Wednesday, September 8, 2021 3:28 PM (thirty-seven minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

i think it's probably the least of their albums but if, say, they had come to his studio with all the songs off secret name or TWLITF i don't think the conversation would be about tweedy's (to my ears) fairly hands off sounding production it would be about all the great songs

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 21:08 (nine months ago) link

ums otm. I know there's a kneejerk hatred for Wilco and Tweedy around here but I think he takes a really unfair share of the blame for that record.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 21:11 (nine months ago) link

i'd bet his method isn't real different than albini's - have the band play really good quality instruments and set up really expensive microphones and then record

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 21:16 (nine months ago) link

I think we're all subject to both good or bad brand perception from time to time despite the actual quality of the product.

Evan, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 21:29 (nine months ago) link

i'm listening to every low album in a row and i'm very depressed

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 9 September 2021 20:09 (nine months ago) link

Counterbalance it. Watch all the Fast and the Furious movies in a row or something.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 9 September 2021 20:13 (nine months ago) link

It's funny, I don't find them depressing, I find them deeply spiritual experiences.

Kind regards, Anus (the table is the table), Thursday, 9 September 2021 21:10 (nine months ago) link

I don't mind the low-key (ha) production on Invisible Way as a change of pace, and the Mimi songs are great (Just Make It Stop is one of their best!).

Also just learned that the guy who produced C'mon (which sounds amazing imo) was Katy Perry's touring guitarist/MD and does vocal production for huge pop records: http://mcdman.com/beckley

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 9 September 2021 21:27 (nine months ago) link

first two albums are pretty depressing, to me, it's different after that though

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 9 September 2021 21:29 (nine months ago) link

secret name has one of their bleakest atmospheres imo

ufo, Thursday, 9 September 2021 21:36 (nine months ago) link

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

StanM, Friday, 10 September 2021 12:44 (nine months ago) link

secret name has one of their bleakest atmospheres imo

― ufo, Thursday, September 9, 2021 2:36 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

i guess we're all revealing that we have very different ideas about low and certain low records, but i find the atmosphere of secret name overwhelmingly warm. just on the surface the addition of strings and keyboards and albini's recording does so much to make their sound inviting instead of what it was before: awesome but at times forbiddingly minimal, especially in the stretched out silences of the curtain hits the cast (which is not a criticism, curtain is still my favorite early low record). and these new additions are only applied with the subtlest of touches! it's remarkable

if we were talking about long division though, absolutely

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 10 September 2021 13:38 (nine months ago) link

low songs that somehow contain their entire career within them:

do you know how to waltz?
don't understand

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 10 September 2021 13:39 (nine months ago) link

Nice review on p4k today, as if I wasn't already excited enough to hear this. I've avoided everything so far and my copy should be awaiting me when I get home from work today.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 10 September 2021 13:40 (nine months ago) link

oh yeah long division is the other one i find really bleak, probably their most glacial apart from songs for a dead pilot, which is a real extreme of their sound.

the curtain hits the cast & i can live in hope aren't quite as bleak to me, there's a faint warmth to them, while at times on secret name that warmth goes out completely - "i remember", "don't understand" and "days of" especially.

ufo, Friday, 10 September 2021 13:49 (nine months ago) link


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