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Thursday, October 27th, 2005

The Great Destroyer

It’s been a hard year for Low. 2005 started out great – they released one of their best albums and possibly one of the best of the year by anyone in The Great Destroyer – but partway through their Spring tour, the wheels began to come off. First, they had to cancel a slew of dates (including a June show in Toronto) on account of a mental breakdown on Alan Sparhawk’s part. Within the last couple months, Sparhawk seemed to have recovered well enough to play with his other outfit in The Retribution Gospel Choir, as well as a few one-off Low dates here and there. But now comes word from Pitchfork that bassist Zak Sally has left the band… again.

You may remember the Sally quit before, back in 2003, but was lured back by the prestige (and dollars) of opening a European tour for Radiohead. That time, the terse announcement made it sound like it was a move made out of anger or temper. This time, his announcement seems more thought out and final. He has already been replaced by Retribution Gospel Choir bassist Matt Livingston (whom The Duluth Superior has a chat with), so while his departure is sad – any time one-third of the band leaves, there’s going to be an effect – hopefully this won’t spell the end of the band in any sense. They still owe Toronto a show.

But! Whatever happens in Low-land from here on out, we’ll still have the records. And the videos. Like these ones – I had no idea they’d made three clips for The Great Destroyer. Check em out:

Video: Low – “Death Of A Salesman” (.MOV)

Video: Low – “California” (.MOV)

Video: Low – “Monkey” (.MOV)

And speaking of things I didn’t know about videos – I had no idea that The Decemberists were still milking The Tain. I note that they recently reissued the EP – I guess it was out of print? – but now it appears they’re making a DVD video for their 20-minute epic to soundtrack? Coolio. No release date yet, but BrooklynVegan has some screen caps.

Billboard talks to James Shaw about juggling duties with Metric and Broken Social Scene. It’s this scheduling nightmare that’s led BSS to recruit some new help on their current tour, namely vocalist Lisa Lobsinger, formerly of Calgary’s Reverie Sound Revue. Anyone who’s heard the RSR stuff (there’s a couple working MP3s on that link) know that Lobsinger has got the pipes, but the faithful still aren’t convinced. Change is necessary, kids. The Minnesota Daily also has a piece on the band.

And as they did last year, Stars are closing out the year with a couple of shows – December 16 and 17 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $15. This one is probably already sold out. NOW, who declare Amy Millan as Toronto’s best female singer, gets a couple tips from Amy about where to find good lingerie and country music in the city. Update: the Saturday show will be a double-header, one a dry all-ages matinee performance and a licensed evening show. Both are $15.

Ryan Adams gets his third album of the year out just under the wire. Look for the final episode in his 2005 trilogy, 29, in stores on December 20. Rachel at Scenestars has assembled a frighteningly comprehensive radio blog covering the entirety of Adam’s career. And I mean entirety.

See, if more labels would do what Merge is doing – namely giving away a downloadable copy of the album with every vinyl purchase, I would be a happy, happy man. Of course, I don’t really want The Clientele record in any format, so this particular offer is moot, but the practice? Gold. Hope it catches on.

The Torontoist week in shows.

My iPod was in Alaska yesterday. ALASKA. This thing is going to be better travelled than I am before I get it.

np – Explosions In The Sky / How Strange, Innocence

By : Frank Yang at 8:58 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this post19 Responses.
  1. daniel says:

    Frank,

    I don’t think the Stars show is on sale yet.

    Also, The Most Serene Republic are playing Lee’s with Debaser on Nov.26th, tickets are on sale this morning.

  2. torr says:

    Ryan Adams is a dead link.

  3. Frank says:

    RA link is fixed. I had an old, old URL committed to memory.

    I was kidding about Stars being sold out – but give it a day, it will be. I was, what’s the word, prognosticatin’.

    And I didn’t mention TMSR show cause, well, I don’t really like them.

  4. lucaswiththelidoff says:

    There was talk of a Low New Year’s Eve show in Hamilton from the link below. The promoter said that the terms were agreed upon and that a contract awaits… Interesting to see if it happens given the band’s situation.

    http://…/

  5. Gary says:

    The breakup of the Reverie Sound Revue was sad indeed… by far one of the best records of 2003. It’s sad then to hear that Lisa Lobsinger is now wasting her time with a two-bit act like Broken Social Scene.

  6. brian. says:

    that’s the trip my powerbook took.

    shanghai, anchorage, then i think it was somewhere in new york state or possibly pennsylvania before it went to mississauga. it sat there for like a day before the website finally said "on truck for delivery". i almost wore out that website.

  7. suckingalemon says:

    do you know when Stars will go on sale? i just found out about it today and thought i could be lazy.

    15 is pricey though.

    i guess i got spoiled by their free show this past summer.

    cheers

  8. Frank says:

    no idea when tickets go on sale. I think $15 is pretty reasonable, considering that Lee’s is a pretty small and intimate venue for them. I think they could sell out the Phoenix easily.

  9. daniel says:

    I think $15 is a great deal. I keep checking ticketmaster for updates and the vancouver show is $18.50.

  10. Paul says:

    You should really give The Clientele album a try. Biggest surprise of the year.

  11. AF says:

    The Clientele’s previous efforts aren’t so bad either. Just their live performances are much to be desired, borrrrrring even.

  12. Frank says:

    I saw the Clientele open for Spoon this past Summer. I’d always been curious about them and maybe if I was in the proper mood, I’d enjoy one of their records, but as AF said – live? SNOOZE.

  13. Five Seventeen says:

    I would like to point out that $15.00 for a show is a great deal. The average cost for an out of town band in Vancouver always seems to start at around $25.00.

  14. Andrew says:

    Speaking of the Clientele….their first album (a collection of their early singles and eps),"Suburban Light" is definitely a winner. Everything else they’ve done I can live without. "The Violet Hour" and "Strange Geometry" lack the tight songcraft and ethereal melodies of the first album.

  15. chris says:

    Low blows. HA. Get it?

    And I dislike the Clientele.

    Over. (stomp stomp)

    Rated. (stomp stomp)

  16. colleen says:

    Just saw BSS last night and though she may have the pipes, the new chick was utterly annoying on stage. She floated on and off with a blank look on her face and barely moved the whole time. Her utter lack of stage presence was even worse in relief against the other 7 or 8 people dancing, leaping and otherwise rocking out around her.

    She needs to lay off the queludes or pound a red bull before the next show.

  17. suckingalemon says:

    I was not complaining about the price, im definitly going to go, i was just saying how they did a wonderful show this past summer for free and that was a sweet sweet deal.

    november/december shows are gonna run me into the ground money-wise. im glad it’s too cold to leave my house in january/febuary.

    cheers

  18. daniel says:

    The Stars show is on sale at Rotate and the Shoe. Supposedly it went on sale friday.

  19. chris says:

    <em>colleen wrote:

    She floated on and off with a blank look on her face and barely moved the whole time</em>

    yeah that drove me nuts too.