The fifth annual Drone Not Drones event took place Jan. 26-27 at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. More than 60 acts rotated on and off the stage performing a continuous, uninterrupted, 28-hour drone of unified sound to raise money for Doctors Without Borders.
Now there’s a 28-hour soundtrack on Bandcamp.
I saw an article in Slate today about the economic imperative for bands to tour and the need for childcare on the road. I was disappointed that Duluth’s own Scott “Starfire” Lunt was not consulted, let alone mentioned. His duty as nanny on Low’s 2003 tour will serve as more good fodder for an “official, unofficial history of Duluth” on PACT-TV. What Mrs. Doubtfire is to in-home child care, rawk-legend Starfire is to tour-bus child care.
Slate: “The 21st-Century Family Band“
It started as a Twitter feud between Mt. St. Helens and Lake Superior, then Duluth band Low got involved. Soon Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker, Cahaba River and the Grand Canyon were in on the action.
Ten years ago today — Dec. 21, 2007 — Duluth band Low rehearsed for a holiday concert with choir members Marc Gartman, Greg Cougar Conley, Jerree Small, Jennifer Jones and Amy Abts.
For more archival holiday video joy, check out A Perfect Duluth Christmas: PDD’s Holiday Video Showcase.
Duluth band Low released a new Christmas song today. The band is touring the United Kingdom during the first half of December.
To friends who have moved away and friends who have passed on this year. To one and all, especially those who are alone, we wish you a Merry Christmas and new hope for the new year. May we all find ways to lift each other. — With love, Mimi, Alan and Steve
The digital single is available from Sub Pop Records.
This collaborative performance and art installation at Karpeles Manuscript Museum took place Oct. 22. Performing the music in this clip is Low; the projections are the work of media artist Joellyn Rock. The event was held to mark the arrival of Shakespeare’s First Folio at UMD’s Tweed Museum. The video is by Blue Boat Films.
Ten year’s ago, Duluth musician Alan Sparhawk had his name dropped in this little comic (specifically panel three):
Questionable Content is an internet comic strip by Jeph Jacques of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It started in August 2003 and is still in production. The publish date of the comic above is not known, but it was first posted to PDD on Feb. 9, 2006.
The latest evidence of the ubiquity of Alan Sparhawk: Not only did his band Low gain the most votes in PDD’s poll to determine the best local album of 2015 for its release Ones and Sixes, Sparhawk also produced the Social Disaster album Dark Side of the Roller Rink, which finished a close second in the voting.
But that’s kind of what we expect from the icon of Duluth’s music scene.
For Low’s 11th studio album — its fourth on the Seattle-based Sub Pop Records label — the band teamed with producer BJ Burton and recorded at April Base Studios in Eau Claire. As usual, Sparhawk handles the guitar work and shares vocals with his wife, drummer Mimi Parker. It’s their third album with bassist Steve Garrington.
Ones and Sixes is perhaps the band’s most spiritual-sounding music yet, though not in a denominational sort of way. The songs are filled with soul and strain. Like every Low album, critics have labeled it a departure, while at the same time noting it’s unmistakably Low. Perhaps therein lies the soul and strain. When music critics have a tough time putting a finger on it, it’s usually a great thing that’s happening in the headphones.