Meets the ’Sco
is more seems to be the theme this weekend as two established indie
rock bands make their way to the ’Sco. On Friday, Minnesota
minimalist rock trio Low will perform in support of their new album
Husband and wife team Alan Sparhawk (vocals, guitar) and Mimi Parker
(drums, vocals) combine with Zak Sally on bass to play ambient “slow-core”
rock that has won critical approval and fans in the underground
for almost a decade. Working with noted producer Steve Albini and
recording a Christmas album that featured a song used in a Gap commercial
provided some recognition for the band in recent years.
With Trust, Low augments their signature quiet rock by turning up
a bit and incorporating some spooky harmonies with the help of producer
Tchad Blake who has worked with such other notable moody rockers
as Elvis Costello and Pearl Jam.
Don’t expect to be knocked over by the wall of sound, though.
Although Sparhawk and Parker are Mormon (a religion not known for
producing rock stars), Low focus on spiritual weirdness more than
they do on any specific “God” message. With lyrics like,
“When they found your body/ Giant x’s on your eyes”
from last year’s acclaimed Things We Lost in the Fire it’s
clear that this band keeps God and guitars separate enough to not
On Saturday, Boston-based indie jazz/rock group Karate will be playing
at the ’Sco. Formed in 1993 Karate are known for their technical
ability and groove, as well as the spaciousness of their sound,
drawing comparisons from other post-rock acts such as Codeine and
With their new album, Some Boots, Karate has changed direction somewhat
from their previous works by “slamming genres together as
if they were making a mix tape.” Despite the group’s
punk rock origins guitarist/vocalist Geoff Farina, drummer Gavin
McCarthy and bassist Jeff Goddard all have formal jazz schooling,
making for an interesting mix of jazz technicality and rock sensibility.
Low, Karate would probably rather turn their amps down, but unlike
Low they use a few more notes in the mix. Minimalism is still the
key word here, but it’s a more studied minimalism in the vein
of cool jazz rather than punk rock.