Low’s Mimi Parker was interviewed by singer/musician Sharon Van Etten, and you can hear their conversation on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” today [listen here].
In other exciting news, you can now listen to Low’s Ones and Sixes via NPR Music’s “First Listen” (North America), The Guardian (Europe), Les Inrocks (France) and 3voor12/VPRO (Netherlands) in advance of the album release this coming September 11th.
Also in the spirit of (not so) subtle horn-tooting, we should mention that the Ones and Sixes track “What Part of Me” was featured on NPR’s “Heavy Rotation.” WXPN’s Bruce Warren selected the track and says: “’What Part of Me’ is a haunting, simple, pleading new song from the Minnesota band’s forthcoming album Ones and Sixes. Since the early ’90s, the trio has been making quietly gorgeous songs with slow tempos and minimal arrangements. Low’s aesthetic has come to be known as ‘slowcore,’ and while it’s never strayed far from that sound, its members have kept the narrow musical genre in which they work fresh and inspiring. Low continues to evolve on ‘What Part Of Me’: The band picks up the tempo just a bit as Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker harmonize over an evocative melody, asking a simple question that digs into the heart of what commitment means between two people.” (see “Heavy Rotation” August 26th)
Low’s Ones and Sixes releases on CD / LP / DL worldwide Friday, September 11th and, as you might suspect (or demand), it’s also available for pre-order from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. The limited “Loser Edition” of the LP on yellow vinyl will be available from select independent record stores and via megamart.subpop.com (while supplies last).
Sep. 04 - Wiltshire, UK - End of the Road Festival
Sep. 05- Stradbally, IE - Electric Picnic
Sep. 18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon*
Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*
Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club*
Sep. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB*
Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall*
Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer
Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^
Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School =
Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^
Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 =
Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust =
Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega =
Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan =
Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido =
Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere =
Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano =
Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas =
Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini =
Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival
Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara =
Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario =
Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^
Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix =
Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB +
Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde =
Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*
Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge*
Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex*
Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*
Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*
Low’s Alan Sparhawk & Mimi Parker hosted a Reddit AMA, fielding questions from fans about the band’s career including their forthcoming record Ones and Sixes. The AMA happened on Tuesday, August 18th [read it here].
Low also shared new track “Lies,” the third offering from Ones and Sixes, which premiered earlier today via Spotify [listen here].
- - - - -
Low’s previously announced North American and European tour in support of Ones and Sixes, begins September 18th in Madison, WI and ends November 21st in Seattle, WA. They’ll also play their largest headlining date in London’s iconic Roundhouse on October 10th. [For up to date information on tickets please visit http://chairkickers.com/shows.]
Sub Pop releases Low’s Ones and Sixes on CD / LP / DL worldwide on Friday, September 11th, and is currently available for pre-order from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. The limited “Loser Edition” of the LP on yellow vinyl will be available from select independent record stores and of course megamart.subpop.com (while supplies last).
Whilst awaiting their upcoming album, you can now hear Low’s “What Part of Me” the group’s affecting new single and second track release from Ones and Sixes. The Quietus, had this to say of the track: “It’s just over three minutes of the band’s fuzzy, melodic charm, laying Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s harmonized vocals over a slightly spectral setting (see song premiere August 3rd).”
Ones and Sixes is currently available for pre-order here, and also on Bandcamp. The limited “Loser Edition” LP on yellow vinyl will be available from select independent record stores and megamart.subpop.com (while supplies last). For those who like to wear their music, two new T-shirt designs will also be available, either as individual items or as part of CD/LP bundles.
Low’s Ones and Sixes releases on CD / LP / DL worldwide Friday, September 11th.
Their previously announced North American + European tour in support of Ones and Sixes, begins September 18th in Madison, WI and ends November 21st in Seattle, WA. They’ll play their largest headlining date in London’s iconic Roundhouse on October 10th. And now, there are a few additional shows preceding and following the band’s fall trek: Perfect Sound Forever Fest in Bergen, Norway (September 3rd); UK appearances at both the End of the Road and Electric Picnic Festivals (September 4th-6th / select dates); and their newly rescheduled Philadelphia date at Johnny Brenda’s (February 1st). For up to date information on tickets please visit http://chairkickers.com/shows.
Tour Dates Sep. 03 - Bergen, NO - Perfect Sounds Forever Fest @ Landmark Sep. 04 - Wiltshire, UK - End of the Road Festival Sep. 05- Stradbally, IE - Electric Picnic Sep. 18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon* Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall* Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club* Sep. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB* Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall* Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg* Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer Space* Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat* Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^ Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School = Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^ Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 = Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust = Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega = Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan = Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido = Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere = Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano = Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas = Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini = Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara = Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario = Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^ Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix = Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB + Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde = Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue* Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge* Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge* Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex* Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour* Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall* Nov. 20 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir* Nov. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile* Feb. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
* w/ Andy Shauf ^ w/ Two Gallants + w/ Chelsea Wolfe = w/ Mike Noga
Selective Listening: Notes from the desk of the General Manager, August 2015.
Now that’s what we call a BM*!
Because I have a very TOP LEVEL and (let’s just say…) incisive
understanding of the contents of my email inbox, I was recently made aware of
an interesting and modest experiment in music distribution put together by a
musical trio from Minneapolis called The Hand, whose members have all done or
still do time in other bands and whose mean age is 46 (approximately 750 in
band years, and near-certain assurance of their lifelong anonymity). You can
read all about it yourself here. And,
this thing is interesting for a bunch of reasons, not least of which is the
following description, which, to me, seems like a pretty good raison d’être for any band or any record label still standing, and one which
we’d unabashedly steal or co-opt were we not, at some root, dna-type level,
constitutionally unable to full-stop commit to anything so definite and old
guard as a mission statement.
It goes like this:
“we promise to never put up anything we don’t think is worth $4,
and to try not to be boring and/or behave like “professional
musicians” with a “career” (because we’re not and we don’t). you
promise to not….i dunno, be an asshole about the whole thing.”
Not at all coincidentally (because it was only his email to me on
the subject which managed to disrupt my usual laser-ish focus on important
business-related matters here in the professional music business), I am
familiar with one of the folks responsible for this thing: it’s our old friend
Zak Sally! Zak is probably best known to you for playing bass in Low for 10 or
12 years. He is further known to me as one of those people who provide plain
evidence of my own laziness in way that is frustratingly difficult to ignore
(and I have tried…). In addition to his time spent in Low, and doing stuff with
The Hand, he’s also a cartoonist, a comics art professor, runs his own small
publishing company, and
put together an upcoming 2-day festival of independent culture called Autoptic. All
this in addition to being a parent, spouse, and exceptionally solid dude. I’m
sure there’s more, but I already feel badly enough about myself.
Relatedly! Low, the other very excellent MN-based band mentioned
above (whose records it is our good fortune to release unto the world bearing
the Sub Pop imprimatur of occasional quality), have a top-notch, BJ Burton-produced
new album called Ones and Sixes, coming out in September. We have
released a song or songs (who knows?) from this record as clear proof of that
aforementioned top-notch-ed-ness. Please listen, love, buy, stream, or
otherwise consume, won’t you?
But I digress mid-digression…
What I’m going to go ahead and charitably refer to as my point
here is that a good business model, like the one that The Hand put together, is
increasingly difficult to find. Why, even seasoned music professionals, like
those who I’m told work here at Sub Pop Records, occasionally falter. And
here’s where a couple of illustrative examples might fit nicely:
- As it happens and in spite of what we recall as countless
magazine articles on the great, cresting popularity of the cupcake trend of the
recent past, people are largely unwilling to pay $15.98 for a cupcake with a
download code for a full album of mp3s, and this is especially true, to a
degree that borders on discriminatory, if your company does not just outright
excel at baking or food safety standards compliance.
- Same with sliders!
- Though nearly every single software developer who has ever
cold-called and then set up a meeting with us [or… my boss, which I then had to
attend when she bailed for more interesting or relevant uses of her time,] has
practically, though not exactly, in so many words, GUARANTEED us that just
having an app, regardless of what that app might do, is a disruptive,
game-changing, fucking RAINMAKER, we have come to learn that there are
shockingly few people interested in GrungeSquish-ing a selfie at $1.29 a pop.
- Suffice it to say that we were profoundly surprised to learn,
only after pouring great, pornographic sums of money into the much-ballyhooed
new SAP streaming service for MIDI-fied music, that today’s savvy music consumers
expect or even demand more than one album from the catalog of such a streaming
service. Further suffice it to say that SAP still seems marginally more
interesting than Pono.
As a company which has overtly (for a carefree, golden time before
the Business Affairs Dept. noticed…) declared ourselves “Going Out of Business
Since 1988,” it’s probable we’re not anyone’s first source of insight on how to
navigate the complicated mess of the music business ca. right about now. That’s
probably for the best and anyway, who cares?
As long as there are outfits like The Hand coming up with great,
innovative BMs (and we occasionally wake up long enough to steal their ideas),
it’s alright. We can have our cupcake and listen to it, too.
“BM,” of course, I mean to evoke “Business Model.”
Sub Pop’s Small Bounty of Record Store Day Treasure
We are, once again, participating in the frenzied, let’s-get-our-economy-back-on-track holiday tradition known among vinyl collectors, music fanatics, and eBay flippers as Record Store Day’s Black Friday, for which we (and other record labels and artists) come up with very cool and very limited releases to be sold exclusively at independent record retailers.
On November 29th, Sub Pop (hey, that’s us) will release two limited-edition Black Friday exclusives: Josh Tillman’s score to the forthcoming short film The History of Caves, and a split 7” featuring Low’s popular rendition of Rihanna’s megahit “Stay” and Shearwater’s take on Frank Ocean’s “Novacane.” Please find track listing details for both releases below.
The History of Caves is the directorial debut of photographer and filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman, and it will premiere later this year on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. Josh Tillman’s (spoiler alert: he is Father John Misty!) haunting, spare instrumental score spans 10 tracks, all of which are featured on this limited-edition LP. The album is limited to 2,000 copies.
Labelmates Low and Shearwater each contribute what might be considered, in some circles, improbable covers of popular songs for this split 7” single. After performing a crowd-favorite live version of Rihanna’s “Stay” at the Pitchfork Music Festival this past July, Low recorded a studio version at Sacred Heart in Duluth, MN. Low’s version of the pop ballad has been available digitally since mid-September and follows in the wake of the band’s March 2013, Jeff Tweedy-produced album The Invisible Way. Shearwater’s new album Fellow Travelers is out November 26, 2013, and on it the band performs re-imagined songs by bands they have toured with over the years, including Folk Implosion, St. Vincent, Wye Oak, Xiu Xiu, and Coldplay among others. Unfettered by the operating principle of Fellow Travelers (and inviting future tour dates together) Shearwater recorded their own gauze-wrapped, undulating version of Frank Ocean’s “Novacane” for this single. Low’s proceeds will benefit Rock for Kids (www.rockforkids.org), while Shearwater’s will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org). This 7” is limited to 3,500 copies.
Both releases will also be available digitally, so you MP3 purists can have yours, too.
Sub Pop is very happy to be able to share with you Low’s new video for “Plastic Cup” directed by Ryley Fogg. You can watch the video in the embedded player.
We’re also pleased to announce screenings of Low Movie (How to Quit Smoking) all over the United States this summer. The film follows the band’s entire career and relationship with director, Philip Harder. For twenty years, we made music videos and short films together, filming on ice, in railroad yards, and in rapidly disintegrating rooms.
So far, screenings have been scheduled in the cities below. You can see the full list of screenings and ticketing links here, but make sure to check back often as cities are still being added.
Iowa City, IA – Duluth, MN – Philadelphia, PA – Washington, DC – Chicago, IL Harrisburg, PA – Tulsa, OK – Omaha, NE – Seattle, WA – Grand Rapids, MI Cleveland, OH – New York, NY – Hartford, CT – San Francisco, CA – Arcata, CA Los Angeles, CA – Washburn, WI – Auburn, NY – Columbia, SC – Boston, MA – Madison, WI
Low have also just announced two shows in the southeast in September. Tickets for both shows are on sale on Friday, June 14. You can also get more information about each here.
Sept. 5 – Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN
Sept. 6 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA
Don’t forget about Low’s shows next week with Mike Doughty, Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival and July shows with Swans. They return to Europe in August and November. Details below.
June 14 – Red Star – Duluth, MN
June 15 – Rock the Garden – Minneapolis, MN
June 17 – Sixth and I Synagogue – Washington, DC
June 18 – Altar – Pittsburgh, PA
June 19 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
June 20 – Spaceland Ballroom – Hamden, CT
June 21 – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA
June 22 – Solid Sound Festival @ Mass Moca – North Adams, MA
July 18 – Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN
July 19 – The Majestic – Detroit, MI
July 20 – Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park – Chicago, IL
Aug. 16 – Pukkelpop @ Kiewet Hasselt Festival Grounds – Hasselt, Belgium
Aug. 17 – Green Man Festival – Glansuk, Wales
Aug. 19 – Cyprus Avenue – Cork, Ireland
Aug. 20 – Whelan’s – Dublin, Ireland
Aug. 21 – Empire Music Hall – Belfast, Ireland
Aug. 30 – Big Top Chautauqua – Bayfield, WI
Sept. 5 – Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN
Sept. 6 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA
Sept. 7 – Hopscotch Music Festival – Raleigh, NC
Nov. 4 – Sala Petrassi: Auditorium Parco della Musica – Rome, Italy
Nov. 5 – Teatro Puccini – Florence, Italy
Nov. 6 – Teatro Martinitt – Milan, Italy
Nov. 7 – Bogen F – Zurich, Switzerland
Nov. 8 – Le Bourg – Lausanne, Switzerland
Nov. 9 – Manufaktur – Schorndorf, Germany
Nov. 11 – Stadsschouwburg – Groningen, Netherlands
Nov. 12 – Lux – Nijmegen, Netherlands
Nov. 13 – Het Depot – Leuven, Belgium
Nov. 14 – Junction – Cambridge, United Kingdom
Nov. 15 – Rescue Rooms – Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nov. 16 – Queens Social Club – Sheffield, United Kingdom
Nov. 18 – Anglican Cathedral – Liverpool, United Kingdom
Nov. 19 – Queens Hall – Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Nov. 20 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov. 21 – Arts Centre – Norwich, United Kingdom
Nov. 22-24 – ATP Festival – Camber Sands, United Kingdom