Low: March 20, 2013 Society For Ethical Culture – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

March 24, 2013

[Photos by P Squared Photography]

Seeing Low inside a non-denominational church (the Society For Ethical Culture, a favorite spot of the Wordless Music Series) seems appropriate. The by-now-legendary Duluth, MN band, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has a sound that demands reverence. This audience of superfans gave it to the band, too, as the church stayed as pin-drop quiet during the mellowest parts of the band’s catalog as it filled with applause after every number. I was blown away by the Low show I saw at Bowery Ballroom two years ago, and this show may have bettered that one.  The band played the bulk of their current Sub Pop release, The Invisible Way, but delved into some rarities, too, such as “I Hear… Goodnight” from their In the Fishtank EP with The Dirty Three.  While the current record is a less full-on rock affair than 2011’s, C’Mon, it is still a comparatively noisy outing for the band who gave birth to the “slowcore” genre. Some of the noisier new songs were among the night’s best, particularly Alan Sparhawk’s squalling guitar freakout during “On My Own”.  The band was joined for the final quarter of the set by the night’s opener, the ACME String Quartet, and the added strings gave added depth to Low’s spare arrangements. The ACME players seemed as honored and gratified to be sharing the stage with Low as we were to be sharing the evening with all of them. During a pause in their playing during “So Blue”, I noticed one of the ACME players gently nodding, a huge smile on her face. The smile just about said it all.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK5 microphones at head height from the third row, center, in the audience.  That position, while great for watching a show, is not ideal for recording, especially as the PA stacks were placed outside the edges of the stage. Further, the large variations in volume mean that quiet portions of the program were especially quiet, which introduced some hiss from the analog signal chain.  I have done considerable editing to this recording to tame the hiss and raise the vocals and overall sound levels without ruining the dynamics of the band’s sound. After a lot of work, I am pleased with the results, even if it falls a little short of my usual standards. Enjoy!

Stream “On My Own”

This NYCTaper recording is being hosted on the Live Music Archive.  You can stream the entire show by clicking the song titles below.

Download: MP3s are [HERE], 16-bit FLACs are [HERE] 


Society For Ethical Culture
New York, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK5 (cardiod, 3rd row, DFC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Aerco MP-2>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition (noise reduction, parallel compression, smooth peaks)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 3.0 (tracking, fades, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:44:28]
01 Waiting
02 Witches
03 [tuning]
04 Holy Ghost
05 Monkey
06 Clarence White
07 Mother
08 Words
09 Murderer
10 Shame
11 Pissing
12 Plastic Cup
13 July
14 [banter1]
15 Dinosaur Act
16 I Hear… Goodnight
17 Especially Me
18 [Intro Acme String Quartet]
19 So Blue
20 On My Own
21 Last Snowstorm of the Year
22 Soon
23 [encore break]
24 When I Go Deaf
25 To Our Knees
26 Just Make It Stop

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Low, like them on Facebook, and purchase The Invisible Way and their other releases directly from SubPop Records [HERE]


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2 Responses to Low: March 20, 2013 Society For Ethical Culture – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

  1. Julián Orduña
    March 25, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Thanks so much!

  2. cameron k.
    March 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    NYC, you are the man! I didn’t think this show was going to be captured, and am thrilled that you, of all people, did. I couldn’t be more pleased! Both the RGC and now Low, man, you ROCK (this time in a beautifully quiet way). Thank you so very much.

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