Mixtapes for Hookers

2001. Song #9 Flew Airplanes
March 31, 2009, 12:13 pm
Filed under: design of a decade, lists, music | Tags: , , ,


9. Low, Dinosaur Act

Socially, there were few highlights during my freshman year of college.  I lunched weekly with the French professors and helped organize the film festival and that’s about it; I didn’t go to parties and didn’t really talk to anybody and lived in a very elaborately constructed closet where I made up a girlfriend just for something to do.

But at least I had a radio show, albeit one at a station run by indie fascists.  DJs were continually reprimanted for playing too much Radiohead and not enough Pedro the Lion.  When Low’s Things We Lost In The Fire was released they told us it was the second coming.  Immediately I resented it, especially after it was the #1 album at the station for three months straight.

 Then, of course, I actually heard it.  There’s bleak music, and then there’s bleak music when you’re stuck on top of a snowy hill outside of Utica.  It really was like the second coming!  Low even played at our school, and Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker were cute and funny and charming. Sadly, though, almost nobody from my school actually went to that show; it was full of people I never saw before or since, cute boys with matted-down side parts and Rivers Cuomo glasses.

Low were less preachy than fellow Mormon Pedro the Lion, with whom they were touring.  But they were no less dour.  I often think it’s lame to talk about bands in the context of what city they’re from, but I have a feeling Things We Lost In The Fire really is the sound of Duluth.

Dinosaur Act is, I guess, the closest the album has to single material; it’s slow and plodding and kind of loud.  But it’s god a hook, dreary though it may be, and it’s the standout track the first bunch of times you listen to it.

As much as I like Low, though, Things We Lost In The Fire; is their only album I can really get behind.  Their earlier stuff sounds a little weaker to me, and I got really annoyed by the production on their later albums.  (I highly recommend their b-sides box set, though.  It’s totally worth whatever you have to pay for it.)

Low, Dinosaur Act

Bonus Tracks:
Low, Medicine Magazines
Low, Like A Forest

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