Thursday, 17 November 2022

Low – "A Lifetime Of Temporary Relief - 10 Years Of B-Sides & Rarities" (Rough Trade – RTRADCDX195) 2004


After Keith Levene,and Nik Turner.Another from this week of Musical Deaths, is the sad loss of Mimi Parker,the lady from Low. The Husband and wife populated trio who gave us the much derided,even by Mimi and Alan, category of this kind of minimal melodic ambient neo folkrock,that has come to be called Slowcore. Which, personally, I reckon fits them to a 'T'. It's slow, and uncompromising....it's .Slowcore!?
I am of an age where my last flirtation with 'hip' music was around the time of Jungle and Post Rock in the late nineties, so I look upon Low as a fairly recent entity,and often overlook the fact that they've been going for nigh on thirty years....that is until this week,as Mimi died of Cancer. Robbing the world of her pure voice and minimalist drumming.
This vast compilation of their first ten years,was the last record i bought in England before i migrated to pastures new in jolly old France.....it's a bit shit here,but it's fucking cheap.We came as a family, and promptly started the process of disintegrating forthwith;such is the fashionable path we trod ,trés moderne.
Now all that's left is me and a house full of records,synths,and to quote Syd,Dust and Guitars.All of which one can simply turn off when they get on ones proverbials.You can't do that with humans I found out.....they have 'needs'....needs that someone on the spectrum can't give without an effort. Its all mi mi mi innit? I don't ask or expect anything that isn't offered.
A great soundtrack to emotional and mental breakdown and its aftermath has to be the melancholic splendor of Low......which is ironic, because they never broke up as a family,just losing a few Bassists along the way....always difficult creatures is yer Bass player.
They do remind one of such indie leg-ends as Young Marble Giants,and Galaxie 500, with a tad of Joy Division's more downbeat moments,as if fronted by English Folk great Shirley Collins....(Is Shirley Collins a Dame yet?...if not why?).
This compilation features all their rare bits from 1994 to 2004,and the demo versions of "Lullaby" and "Cut" from their flawless debut LP,are worth the price of admission alone;enhanced somewhat by swathes of automatic level cassette hiss,as if summoning the soul of Mimi back from the grave to haunt us a bit more.This IS White Soul music after all?
You may have noticed that i am being uncharacteristically respectful in this synopsis of a trendy american group,and i'm sorry, but Low were quite marvelous indeed. Not everything modern and american are wrong you know,he said,stating the bleeding obvious.
This came with a DVD documentary, which you can probably find on YouTube no doubt.
Although this horrified me! Low are one of those groups who shouldn't ever be seen on camera or in photographs; unless as blurred shadowy black and white images in an abandoned bunker somewhere in Alaska .Not that they're ugly or anything,it just doesn't fit the music.There were always far too many clear photo's of Joy Division for example,where we discovered that Ian Curtis always wore the same shirt and looked like Mr Bean...they should have only been photographed by Anton Corbijn,in dimly lit underpasses in winter.Young Marble Giants had this talent naturally.impossible to photograph without looking like they lived in Siberia.
Anyway,Rest in even more Peace that was portrayed in your beautifully depressing tunes Mimi.Hope to hear you again beyond the void one slow looong day? Thanks for all the temporary relief.
And to finish,... some jokey wordplay to lighten the mood......Its all Mi Mi Mi these days innit?

Tracklist:

Lullaby (Demo) 10:06
Cut (Demo) 5:41
Heartbeat 4:08
Peanut Butter Toast And American Bandstand 2:23
Tired 5:11
I Started A Joke 4:28
The Plan (Demo) 2:50
Prisoner (Demo) 6:10
Prisoner 3:48
Tomorrow One 4:28
Turning Over 7:49
Bright 2 1:45
Walk You Out 4:46
Tear Down 4:48
Standby 5:11
David & Jude 1:22
Cheek 3:24
Venus 3:44
Boyfriends & Girlfriends 6:06
Surf 2:31
No Need (Version 1) 5:03
Be There (First Version) 8:28
Lift 5:45
Joan Of Arc 3:21
Long Long Long 3:50
Lion/Lamb (Demo) 3:50
Will The Night (Demo) 2:47
Last Breath 4:47
Joan Of Arc (20 Below Mix) 3:25
Old Man Song 3:48
Try Try Try 0:37
Lord, Can You Hear Me? 6:24
Venus (Time Stereo Dub Mix) 3:51
Those Girls (Song For Nico) 3:06
[silence] 2:50
Words (In Misfits Style) 2:50
Turn (In Misfits Style) 1:03
Over The Ocean (In Misfits Style) 1:36
I Remember 3:22
Kindly Blessed 2:17
Blue-Eyed Devil 5:02
Sleep At The Bottom 4:54
When You Walked 3:55
Back Home Again 5:20
Don't Drop The Baby 4:02
Surfer Girl (Live) 3:35
Blowin' In The Wind 3:49
Open Arms 4:02
...I Love 2:45
Carnival Queen 5:13
Overhead 4:33
Don't Carry It All 4:13
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me 3:58
Because You Stood Still 5:33
Fearless 6:20
Shots & Ladders 2 6:47
Words 5:46
Shame 4:08
Over The Ocean 3:50
Looking Out For Hope 11:28
Will The Night 3:07
Weight Of Water 4:21
Don't Understand 6:56
Immune 3:31
Home 2:25
Dinosaur Act 4:07
Canada 3:49
Over The Ocean (Oosterschelde Version) 5:03
Canada 15:42
Two Step (Live At Bard College) 6:11
Soon (Live At Coolidge Corner) 7:38
I Remember (Live In Paris) 5:40
Closer Than That 1:06:11
In The Fishtank 16:50
Making Of Trust 17:34


13 comments:

Richie Muster said...

Wow. I thought i had all this. Good job i decided to check though as mine ends with 'Shots And Ladders', meaning there's over an hour's worth of material missing from my cdrs. Wonder what happened there. Still, mistake happily remedied now. Much obliged to you. RIP Mimi.

Borealiscape said...

By the way, one guy spoke about Black Francis an analogous story. Having been listening to Pixies as a classy indie act and then finally seeing a pic or a video of him as being an average Joe it was starkly startling.

It was in the mid 00s when a couple of Mormons did unexpectedly visit me. So, I called them in and asked for Low as Sparkhawk and Parker are people of the confession but they weren`t aware of the group.

Marc Myers said...

Greatly enjoyed this review, and although I do enjoy laughing out loud at your acerbic wit, well placed dagger thrusts and overall attitude towards the world, your respect to this subject is also welcome. I had the fortune to see LOW play a couple times and I'd never heard two people's voices sound as one more than they did. Thanks for the download.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Yeah,jesus...Black francis...in fact all of the Pixies....even Kim...they all looked like they worked in the same office...which isn't so bad if it's done as a conscious ironic image statement,bur they really looked like that. I bought all their albums up to Barbarossa,which i thought was shite,and that was it for me.In hindsight only the obvious moments on Doolittle were worth the price.I also thought they were from somewhere horrible like Kentucky or the carolina's, but turns out it was Boston?....I expect my pop stars to be as real as the myth they accidently project.
It difficult in these awful information rich planet...even Beefheart's myth has been debunked, while the Pistols myth grows,inexplicably. It sure is a crazy, but, shit world we live in.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Borealiscapee...ps...proof that Mormons are indeed morons.....unless they are Low of course.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Cheers Marc...personally i have never seen Low live....but i may have been disappointed,as i am often, that they aren't the mythical gothic gods i imagined they were before i saw that DVD!...they also seemed a bit..er...boring!?

Jonny Zchivago said...

Richie...i am disappointed in you!

Richie Muster said...

Gosh, can't think why. Hope it's nowt serious. I's bin a good boy all day.

rev.b said...

Can’t find much clever or snarky to say about this death. Mimi’s was a voice I had no defenses for, straight to the heart as it were with no pretense whatsoever. I only saw them once in Chapel Hill in North Carolina. A lot of the alt/trendy bands [wtf-ever that represents] play Chapel Hill between more high profile shows. As a group of people, Low had nothing to do with that sort of thing; a married couple traveling with their kids and a bass player named Zak Sally. It would make more for sense for them to play Shelby, Montana or Mill City, Iowa. How many trendy bands play Mill City Iowa?

Low - Low - Mill City, Iowa 2016
https://we.tl/t-wEMb1LlsaU

Hurry, you only have six days left before the link expires… 5 days… 4.. 3.. I guess that’s supposed to make it feel more exciting? Don’t know why We transfer does that.

Zak Sally posted a tribute.

https://ourculturemag.com/2022/11/16/longtime-low-bassist-zak-sally-shares-tribute-to-mimi-parker/


*sigh*

FlaccusMUC said...

Didn't know about Mimi, sad news. I have fond memories of two LOW shows I saw here in Munich. Many thanks for your post.

Anonymous said...

Whats the worse thing about being a black jew?

You have to sit in the back of the oven!

Jonny Zchivago said...

What Oven?????

rev.b said...

Black jews ride in a bus that's an oven? :-/