Sub Pop Records is excited to announce that Duluth, MN, trio Low are releasing their 10th record, The Invisible Way, on March 19, 2013 (the 18th in the UK). The record was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, engineered by Tom Schick and recorded in Wilco’s studio in Chicago, IL, during the fall of 2012. Coincidentally, the release marks Low’s 20th anniversary as a band.
“While driving through Chicago on tour, we finally stopped to visit Wilco at their studio, The Loft,” says guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk. “They had invited us to come check it out several times over the years, but this would finally be the day… What really converted us was hearing the new Mavis Staples tracks they were working on – big, simple, raw and intimate. Plans were made then and there.”
The Invisible Way finds Low’s majestic melancholy in full bloom yet distinguishes itself with its starker, unadorned soundscapes, layered harmonies and drummer/vocalist extraordinaire Mimi Parker singing lead on five of the 11 songs. The album tackles large issues (“the songs are about intimacy, the drug war, the class war, plain old war war, archaeology and love,” says Sparhawk) in a manner that plays a stunning counterpoint to the sublime hush of the music.
What a great, interesting year for music consumption. Spotify gave me the ability to discover tons of new music and keep up with the current scene, while iTunes Match allowed me to rediscover music that was collecting dust on my disconnected external hard drive.
My favorite albums of 2011 are filled with the usual suspects that I’ve come to love over the years (Wilco, The Decemberists), but this year, more than ever, are a bunch of bands that are completely new to me. Here’s a list, complete with MP3s, streams, videos, and whatever relevant links I could put together.
Bonus: Spotify playlist featuring all of the albums plus a few others that didn’t make the top 10 cut.
CD101(@102.5)’s Brian Phillips and Watershed’s Colin Gawel have teamed up for “Reelin’ & Rockin'” at the Gateway Film Center. Basically, the third Wednesday of every month Gawel and Phillips will screen a classic rock ‘n roll documentary on the big screen. (The bar opens at 6 and the movie starts at 7.) It’s Gawel’s hope that the series turns into a “nerdy music gathering once a month with beer but no live music.”
Last month was Gimme Shelter, and Wednesday’s film is I am Trying to Break Your Heart, which documented the making of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and all the problems the band had with its label, who, in the end (spoiler alert), ended up paying for the album twice.
Gawel also penned an essay at his site called “When Wilco stopped being a band and became a brand,” which is more of a tribute to and defense of Jay Bennett (the now deceased ex-Wilco member who’s a major part of the doc). It’s well-written and worth your time.
Check the Facebook page for more Reelin’ & Rockin’ info and to RSVP. Tickets are 5$ and all proceeds go to CD101 for the Kids.