Shockingly enough, I've been so busy in May that neither this nor my personal blog have been updated, although links and information for both have been piling up steadily. I was hoping to get time to write a proper song review here, but no such luck. However, I am going to share some of the stuff that I've been reading/watching about Low that's worth your time (some of which I wish I'd run into before I wrote my review of C'mon):
- NPR had Alan and Mimi do one of their Tiny Desk Concerts, and it's great; just the two of them and Alan's acoustic guitar, performing "Try to Sleep," a really lovely "Nightingale," and "Something's Turning Over." If you read this blog, well, I'm sure you've already gone to go watch it.
- They also showed up on this episode of the Sound Opinions podcast. I haven't listened yet, but I'm looking forward to it (please note that if you look at the text description of the podcast, there are links at the end of the second segment to just view Low's part of the show).
- As you might recall, Alan's solo album came out on the wonderful Silber Records. Well, Silber label head Brian John Mitchell also has a fine zine called QRD, and he interviewed Alan for an issue devoted to Christians in music. And down at the bottom of the (fascinating) interview there are links to all the other times Mitchell has interviewed Alan, including a joint interview with Mimi for a couples in rock issue. Pretty essential reading.
- I might have referred to one or both of these pieces in my C'mon interview, but in any case I can highly recommend Andy Downing's chat with Mimi for a Wisconsin area-something (website? newspaper? I don't know), and Sam Adam's interview with Alan for eMusic, which contains this bit that I wish I'd quoted: "We're never intentional writers, but during the process of doing this, realizing what sort of songs we're writing, I did notice the tone of the language and what's being said was being directed back and forth between the two of us — or on a more symbolic level, an intimate dialogue between two people who have a history and are trying to be honest with each other. There's definitely more, almost, love songs on there in contrast to the last couple records we've done."
and I can hear 'em
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
So Low played at the Mod Club in Toronto last night, during which time the audience found out just how horribly our elections went (a little context, if you need it). After he flubbed the opening to "Murderer," Alan even asked us about the results; the when crowd erupted in boos and profanity, he just laughed and told us now we'd see what it's felt like to be an American in 2004. He also prefaced the song with a comment about how the States still doesn't have universal health care, but does manage to have public rallies when they murder someone.
Eric Pollard, who drums for the Retribution Gospel Choir and has awesome glasses, played keyboards the whole show (the first time I've seen Low live as anything other than a trio). Alan made some comments about marijuana (and then, jokingly, "Mim hates it when I do this, but it's getting rough") before playing "Canada." They played "Sunflower," my favourite song from Things We Lost in the Fire. They played every song on C'mon except for "Done," which I really wanted to hear. "Especially Me" was transcendent, so was "Nothing But Heart." Hearing them play something like "Two-Step" is always interesting, because for five minutes or so you can go, "oh, this is what they were like when they were a different band." (Sometimes I wish I'd seem them live after, say, The Curtain Hits the Cast or even earlier, but I wouldn't trade the Low of 2011 for the world) Too many of the songs felt appropriate for a truly sad night for Canada; "Breaker," "Try to Sleep," "Especially Me," "Something's Turning Over," "Murderer."
Brandon from Fringe was in the crowd, which was unexpected. I'm fairly used to talking to musicians whose work I love at this point, but I've never had the chance to meet someone who's on a TV show I love. I told him that the show and his work on it were both awesome, and then left him alone. He seemed to appreciate both sentiments.
Memoryhouse opened and were, frankly, incredible. If their debut album lives up to their singles and the live performance we saw, then I'm going to have a five-way race for my album of the year (I already can't choose between Low, Mogwai, Subrosa, and EMA).
Sorry if the language here seems a bit listless or colourless. I'm still depressed about everything about last night that wasn't the Low concert.
Mod Club, Toronto
May 2, 2011
Try to Sleep
You See Everything
Last Snowstorm of the Year
Nothing But Heart
Something's Turning Over
When I Go Deaf