We are just beside ourselves with excitement that the singularly talented and also Duluth-based Low will be releasing their 10th record, The Invisible Way, on March 19, 2013 (the 18th in the UK). We are then beside the ourselves that was already standing there, excited, beside ourselves with excitement that The Invisible Way is coming out on Sub Pop Records. Because, THAT’S US! This new 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. This is a short trailer for the new record.
“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.
In the blatant widgetry above, Low are also now making available a fantastic six-song live set they are calling Low—Plays Nice Places. This set collects five previously-released tracks, as well as a new song called “Waiting,” all of which were recorded at various historic theaters on the bands’ April 2012 tour supporting Death Cab for Cutie. Additionally, the live version of “Words” here features Benjamin Gibbard on bass and vocals. The tracklisting goes like this…
Words (featuring Benjamin Gibbard)*
*Benjamin Gibbard appears courtesy of Atlantic Records.
A European tour has been confirmed to begin April 24, 2013 in the UK at the Glee Club in Birmingham and finishes May 18 in Biarritz, France at Atabal. The complete tour dates can be found here
On Black Friday, November 23rd, Mogwai and Sub Pop proudly present A Wrenched Virile Lore, a collection of remixes of tracks from Mogwai’s critically acclaimed Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will album. Featuring contributions from a diverse range of artists from Zombi to The Soft Moon, this record offers some unique interpretations of Mogwai’s HCWND,BYW. Limited to 2,500 copies, the 2xLP edition comes with a digital download coupon and is on red and gray vinyl. 400 copies will be available through SubPop.com, so order quickly to ensure obtainment. Otherwise, call your favorite independent record store and/or check Record Store Day’s website for more details. A Wrenched Virile Lore will be available on CD/Digital December 4th.
Mudhoney have a brand new DVD out today featuring an almost 25-year-old live performance from Berlin, Germany. As this post was being written, the author realized he was just beginning to plagiarize the press release from !K7 Records, the company almost entirely responsible for this DVD. So, in lieu of that literary infraction, he just cut+pasted the original press release following the next sentence.
On November 13th, 2012, !K7 Records will release Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 on DVD. The footage, filmed by a professional camera crew at 1988’s Berlin Independent Days festival and only recently rediscovered, captures the Seattle Grunge pioneers’ first ever performance on foreign soil. Playing as representatives of Sub Pop Records to a crowd of curious punters, critics and members of Europe’s independent music community, the show was also the first Grunge gig in Europe, laying essential groundwork for the genre’s subsequent global domination.
Besides its historical importance, Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 presents one of the greatest rock’n’roll groups of all time at their very best, a glorious mess of flailed hair, acidic caterwaul, gnarly riffage and fried guitar skronk as Mudhoney tear through material from their epochal (but then-unreleased) Superfuzz Bigmuff EP and eponymous debut album.
Wild, thrilling, and funny-as-fuck, much like Mudhoney themselves, the performance captures an unguarded moment for the band, removed from the expectations and hyperbole that would later accompany the Grunge movement they unwittingly helped kick off. “We couldn’t understand quite why this was happening, why ours was the band that was flying out, or what was going on,” remembers Mudhoney vocalist and guitarist Mark Arm. “We’d only played Portland, outside of Seattle, at that point,” says Arm. “And to be flown out to Berlin to play a show, at that point, seemed almost like a joke to us.” Little did they know they know their off the cuff performance, enlightening and eye opening for the industry professionals in attendance, would have such long standing consequences in Rock ‘n’ Roll history.
A testament to the enduring vitality of the independent music scene, the release happens along side the 27th anniversary of !K7, a Berlin-based independent label and distributor with offices in New York and London, and an internationally renowned purveyor of electronic music in particular. In its early days, !K7 also served as a video production company run by label-owner Horst Weidenmueller, whose crew filmed a number of performances from that year’s Berlin Independent Days festival. Weidenmueller recently rediscovered the Mudhoney footage, realizing that he held in his hands a crucial rock ‘n’ roll document that had to be shared with the world.
Originally released on the Spanish label La Castanya to coincide with the band’s recent Spanish tour, this new Obits single features two excellent new songs available exactly nowhere else. Which is to say, in order to hear them, you have to own the single.
Pick up the new Obits single, “Refund” b/w “Suez Canal,” right here.