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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Low And The Dirty Three
In the Fishtank Vol. 7
De Konkurrent/Touch and Go

As everybody's noticed over the past year or so, the Minnesota trio Low have hit a vein that doesn't seem to be drying up. Where once they came off as overly image-conscious and rather precious (their cover of Joy Division's "Transmission" bordered on self-parody), what's come across more than anything else recently has been their sincerity — their desire to make music that affects listeners deeply and alters the mood of the room in which it's played. Ever since they left the fake-indie Vernon Yard for less cynical label pastures, their attention has seemed almost maniacally focused on honing their craft, and on bringing the unique thing they do into clear focus. The Dutch label De Konkurrent does a series of short CDs called "In the Fishtank" in which bands touring Holland get two days in a 24-track studio to make 20 or 30 minutes' worth of music. Here, Low take beautiful advantage of an opportunity for experimentation, inviting the also-touring Dirty Three along to help out. The Dirty Three, an instrumental three-piece from Australia, specialize in epic-length, violin-heavy slow rave-ups that evoke a Quaalude-enriched Velvet Underground. They bring a more physical element to Low's occasionally clinical approach to song-making, and it makes for enchanting listening. Things hang together somewhat more loosely than they usually do in Low's blueprint-for-sadness fare, and when this uncharacteristic hey-let's-play-a-song feel lands on a cover of Neil Young's "Down By the River," the song blazes like an open fire. Of the six songs here, only one (the banjo-thick, lyrically thin "Lordy") suffers from the "shoulda-thought-twice-about-that-one" syndrome that often plagues spontaneous collaborations, and even "Lordy" redeems itself once its vocal part has faded. A wonderful record for anyone who finds process at least as interesting and exciting as product.

by John Darnielle

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