Friday, 18 September 1998
Last night was the Denton Low show. Prepare yourself for corny descriptions, this is pretty impromptu. The first openers were Mandarin, Denton's own Tortoise/Sea and Cake/Touch and Go-y band that were very very good, lots of extended relentless grooves. Next up were Jetscreamer, a bassless double guitar sonic assault a la Sonic Youth or Royal Trux. The sound was a little too high-end, and the lyrics a little too hokey (something about black holes in souls, and black flags up flag poles) for my tastes, but I'm sure the Royal Trux faction were pleased.
Then came Low. I'll spare as much nerdy description as possible, but I will say that normally I find it sort of disconcerting to sit down during a show, but as I'm sure a million people have found out before me, it bills the mood perfectly in Low's case.
- Lord, Can You Hear Me?About midway through, the song was torn in two by an oncoming train (the show was outside, some 20 or 30 feet from the tracks) at which point everyone again burst into sympathetic applause as the band played on and sang over the rumble as best they could. Alan closed by remarking "That's my favorite remix of this song."
Just as they were about to start the last song, a faint rumbling grew louder, and another train came through just as loud and long as the last one. Mimi mouthed "another train" to Alan, who started the song completely nonplussed.
A guy standing behind me was taping the show on DAT and told me he was going to try and get it mastered soon; I got his e-mail address and will let the tape collectors know if I get a copy and it sounds good. It will have a lot of ambient noise outside of the trains, the club is across from some sort of ... rock .. processing.. plant or something. All through the show trucks were coming through to drop off their load of gravel onto the big gravel pile, but it was nothing too distracting. Apparently someone else was recording to mini-disc as well, but I couldn't spot him.
After that was Royal Trux, which was my cue to exit as soon as possible.
Before the show I talked to Low about the Felt Pilotes and John Porcellino, trying to figure out the connection and persuade them to play "Moving Day" (or "Peanut Butter Toast..." both of which were met with a hesitent 'maybe'). All three of them are pretty close to John, I think especially Zak. As we talked, he reminded me of a letter that ran in an old issue of King Cat (John's comic book), describing a nightmarish camping trip taken by a certain Mr. Mike, and none other than Zak Sally.