Stream Low’s Jeff Tweedy-produced new LP The Invisible Way via NPR Music (playing Main Street Music on 3/18)

12737On their latest LP, The Invisible Way, minimal Midwestern indie trio Low (would you still know what I meant if I called them “slow-core”?) got a hand from one of their musical peers with a similar grasp of sound and space. The album was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and is streaming in its entirety this week via NPR Music’s First Listen series. NPR’s Stephen Thompson writes:

Low songs don’t often change tempo noticeably, instead achieving tension through variations in volume. But that seemingly limited framework still provides ample room for experimentation: Low can be a sweetly chiming pop band, or it can seethe and unsettle with an almost industrial buzz. It can express emotion by drawing out the barest fragment of a phrase, or it can expound thoughtfully on life, death, secrecy, war and the way humanity collides with itself.

Listen to the album in its entirety here. Low’s only Philadelphia appearance in the near future is the just-announced in-store set at Manayunk record shop Main Street Music; the free show happens next Monday, March 18th, at 7 p.m.


My Morning Download: The Revolution EP by the Retribution Gospel Choir

Retribution Gospel Choir have released four new songs called The Revolution EP. The EP is the Minnesota rock trio’s first new collection of music since the band’s 2010 release, 2. Below, in exchange for your e-mail address you can download all four songs, or just download “The Stone (Revolution!).” The band features Alan Sparhawk of Low. RGC are doing some limited touring. While no Philly date has been announced, Low are playing on Wednesday, April 25th at the Tower Theatre opening for Death Cab For Cutie.


Retribution Gospel Choir – The Stone (Revolution!) by subpop


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Zola Jesus at Johnny Brenda’s + Low, Norwegian Arms, Grass Widow

As far as breakout years go, Zola Jesus (Nika Roza Danilova) had a pretty good 2010. The six-song Stridulum EP (released on Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records in March) was extended into a nine-song full length, Stridulum II, and released on the German label Souterrain Transmissions in August; a second EP, Valusia (also on Sacred Bones), was then released in October. (And, between all of that, Danilova found the time to record a split EP with LA Vampires, released by Not Not Fun.) All three of the lo-fi goth chanteuse’s 2010 records managed to garner a respectable amount of accolades, delivering on the promise of her previous work—which began with a couple of singles in 2008 and a full length, The Spoils, in 2009. It might not be the opera career Danilova originally envisioned for herself when she first became enamored with singing at the age of 7 (while growing up on a bleak, isolated, 100-acre stretch of wilderness in Madison, WI). But it’s certainly an impressive emergence for the experimental goth-pop artist, and one that has us looking forward to tonight’s show (as well as her next release). Zola Jesus performs with Naked On The Vague at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10-$12.

And, if you missed John Vettese’s Philly Local Phile from last Friday—which featured the new three-song Norwegian Arms EP, Trimming Of Hides, in its entirety—you can give it a listen here prior to tonight’s opening performance at Kung Fu Necktie. Norwegian Arms performs with Oh No Oh My, Arrah And The Ferns, and Cow Pals at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $8.

Also playing: Low (touring in support of its recently released full-length album, C’Mon—which we mentioned here) + Stick And A Stone at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $15); Philadelphia’s Reading Rainbow headlines a lineup that also features Grass Widow (Kill Rock Stars) + Broken Water, Acid Kicks at Danger Danger Gallery (8:30 p.m., all ages, $5-$10)


Low releases new track, “Try To Sleep”; will perform at First Unitarian Church on April 25th

LowThe members of Duluth, Minnesota’s Low have always been fans of minimalism—and, when it came time to settle on the title of the band’s ninth full-length album, they didn’t deviate from that course. C’mon, as Sub Pop Records points out, “is the shortest title of any Low album, which seems fitting, as it also ranks among the most succinct and straightforward entries in their variegated discography.” The band just posted a track from the new album on its BandCamp page; you can give it a listen below.

Low performs at 8 p.m. Monday, April 25th, at First Unitarian Church; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. In the meantime, the R5 Productions website says that if you pre-order C’mon from Sub Pop, you’ll immediately get access to free stream of the full album.

Low – Try To Sleep by subpop