September 23, 1999 The Bluebird Theater
by Alex Teitz
It was more than magic that came to The Bluebird on September 23, 1999. It was surrealism at its best. Amid an amp on a stool, purple curtains, and a basic drum and cymbal kit on an elevated platform images would be drawn upon reality. The band responsible was Minnesota’s own Low.
Low consists of Zak Sally on bass, Alan Sparhawk on guitar, and Mimi Parker on percussion. The names and instruments are superfluous though. Low is more than a band touring for a living. Low is a revolution in indie music in quiet tones.
As their name suggests Low is not a headbanger band with a mosh pit and fans running out of control. Low plays in subdued tones and quiet voices. The songs and music flow from the stage like a gentle breeze. They buffet the listener with harmonies, and words causing a gentle rocking.
Among the songs Low played to that full house were “Starfire”, “Weight of Water”, and “Don’t Understand.” “Weight of Water” is a cleansing piece on environmentalism. Later in the set they played “Home” a sad love song. These and other songs from that night can be found on Low’s fifth CD Secret Name on Kranky Records.
Low’s songs are not the usual fare. They are well written, and their performance is a summoning of emotions in the audience. The songs become painted in time, and linger a long, long time.
For more information on Low visit their website at http://www.brainwashed.com/kranky