April 14, 2011
April 14th, 2011 : Cause & Effect : Low
Making more out of less, this is how many people describe the band Low. Since 1993 core members and married couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have become masters of taking space and somehow, magically, turning it into something hypnotic, powerful, and epic. This formula, the ability to make something special out of nearly nothing has become my mantra as of late and I find Low's catalog hugely inspirational because of it.
I am on week 6 of being out of work and when you are suddenly stripped of the steady income that allows you to do much of anything beyond the bare bone essentials, you have to quickly adjust your life. When all the extras are removed by necessitous you are left with just the frame of what have grown accustomed to. You have no choice but to closely examine how you live each day, what is really important, and decide what you can and can't live without. It's almost like being brought back to a naked new born status and you rebuild yourself using whatever you have left around you and inside of you. On some days, it is hard to imagine building a kingdom out of a pile of rubble but then you can listen to any song from Low and hear that it is possible. With just guitars, drums, and their voices they make great things happen. Gorgeous meaningful things.
It might seem like a stretch to describe a band in such non musical terms but jt all stems from humans making dynamic things happen and if it can be done with sound, I would like to think it is possible to apply this concept in other directions. Once again, I thought I was just doing a radio show on the band Low and their influences, peers, and followers but their resonated in an entirely surprising way. I already understood that music is powerful stuff but it never fails to amaze me when I can feel the ripple effects so personally.
Tonight from 7PM to 9PM I will try my best to not beat the whole slow-core concept to death and investigate the music of Low on multiple levels : their regional influences, the use of harmony in Rock music, bands who Low has paid homage to along the way, music from their record label, and yes, a few groups who helped define the slow/sad-core movement. You can hear the show on 97.3 FM on your dial here in RVA and for all others, you can stream the show live at www.wrir.org.
Here is the link to download the show in full.
Here is the link to my set list.