Low, Geoff Farina 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., March 22, 9 p.m. 2013

When guitarist Alan Sparhawk and drummer Mimi Parker started Low 20 years ago, their funereal tempos and hushed dynamics made it one of the smallest-sounding rock bands on earth. In the early aughts they added turbulence to their records with electronics and distortion, but even though the husband-and-wife team have stripped away most of those elements, Low now sounds simultaneously minimal and full. The old cathedral where the band recorded its previous album, C'mon (Sub Pop), made Sparhawk and Parker's harmonies sound as big as a choir's. The new The Invisible Way (Sub Pop) takes the opposite route: recorded by Jeff Tweedy and Tom Schick in Wilco's loft studio, its production is so close-up and natural, it feels like you’re sitting at the couple's elbows while they sing at the piano of third member Steve Garrington. As usual, the songs deal quietly with such disquieting matters as spiritual struggle and the fallout from the drug war. But even when they’re singing about anguish, their harmonies are a balm. Geoff Farina, who recently sat in with Sparhawk's band Retribution Gospel Choir, opens. —Bill Meyer

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