Low/Sparhawk news clearinghouse: free music, new band, new albums, Wilco, Ben Gibbard, BYUtv, etc

Linescratchers has been sleeping, but low is the band that never sleep and Alan Sparhawk is the shark of the music world. If he stops writing and performing, he dies.

Alan Sparhawk collaborated with violinist Gaelynn Lea in a new band called Murder of Crows. They’re selling a download of their first EP, Imperfecta, for however much you’d like to pay (including $0) here. (Handmade CD version is available here.) Watch their segment on PBS show The Playlist here.

Low has announced that their new album, The Invisible Way, will be released in March (I’m not linking the album trailer because it’s ridiculous, perhaps as a comment on how ridiculous a trailer for an album is as a concept.) Jeff Tweedy from Wilco invited the band to his Chicago studio to record the record and he also took the producer’s helm.

In the meantime, the band has released their second pay-what-you-want digital EP, Plays Nice Places. It’s a collection of live tracks from their recent tour with Death Cab for Cutie. I can never forgive Ben Gibbard for slaughtering This Charming Man*, but it’s interesting to hear him take the vocals for “Words.” Download it using the widget on the right side of the page here.

Low was also featured in an episode of BYUtv’s surprisingly good new series, Audio-Files. Watch the whole 30 minute episode free here.

The Retribution Gospel Choir also remains active and will release their new album, 3, on Chaperone Records this January. “Q: How do you follow-up a four-song 7”? A: With a two-song full-length.” Sounds like they’re going to attempt replicating the live RGC experience this time. I’ve been lucky enough to see them once in DC and once in Santa Cruz, CA. If you haven’t seen them live yet, brace yourself. Prolific jazzy, Wilco-y guitarist Nels Cline joins on one song (half the album?)

 

*If you want to cover the Smiths, you bring your A game. You do not change the lyrics. Gibbard’s egregious offense:

This man said

“It’s gruesome

that someone so handsome should care.

to

This man said

“It’s crucial

that someone so handsome should care.”

No, a hundred times no. If there is one word that could ruin that song, he found it.

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