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 He has already been replaced by Retribution Gospel Choir bassist Matt Livingston (whom The Duluth Superior has a chat with), so while his departure is sad – any time one-third of the band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:
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