Low | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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This young trio from Duluth, Minnesota, has adapted the slow quietude of bands like Galaxie 500 and Codeine and stripped it of nearly all song development, opting instead for static, mantralike trance-out contours. One listen to their just released debut, I Could Live in Hope (Vernon Yard), reveals that Low's musical skills are rudimentary at best, but they exploit their few strengths to transform simplicity into a striking virtue. Expansively produced by murkmeister Kramer, the record swells the repetitive and hypnotic melodic patterns into elegiac rhapsodies, Alan Sparhawk's vibrato-heavy guitar swimming around John Nichols's snakelike bass lines. Behind it all is drummer Mimi Parker's robotic swing; she uses only brushes to reinforce the music's overarching gentleness. Add to that Sparhawk and Parker's lush, dreamlike vocals, a blend that turns "You Are My Sunshine" into a music-box melody on its last legs, and it's obvious that Low have discovered the beauty in boredom. Dolly Varden and the duo Jake Labotz and Rick "Cookin'" Sherry open. Saturday, 10:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 276-3600.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jack Rendulitch.

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