Results for slowcore

interviews

Damon and Naomi

After the breakup of their first band - the hugely influential indie group Galaxie 500 - husband and wife team Damon and Naomi considered an early retirement from music. But then they began writing songs together. Twenty years later, they're one of rocks longest-running duos. This week Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang drop by the studio to perform music from their new album, False Beats and True Hearts, and share some tips for keeping a band and a relationship going strong over the decades. The key, says Damon, is change.

The couple met when they were just teenagers - students at the same Manhattan prep school. It wasn't until college that they and Harvard classmate Dean Wareham began making music together. (They also went to school with another hot touring act from the past year) With Damon on drums, Naomi on bass, and Wareham on guitar and lead vocals, Galaxie 500 helped to define the dreamy lo-fi sound many call slowcore. The band broke up in 1991 after releasing only three studio albums, but unlike so many of their peers, Damon and Naomi aren't interested in a reunion tour. They say they prefer to keep moving forward. They have eight studio albums to their name and can boast collaborations with musicians like Bhob Rainey, Smokey Hormel and the Japanese band Ghost. As Jim observes, that love of collaboration is just part of their rhythm section mentality.

Go to episode 298
reviews
Within These WallsWithin These Walls available on iTunes

Damon and Naomi Within These Walls

Husband and wife duo Damon and Naomi also have a new album out called Within These Walls. The two were founding members of the "slowcore" group Galaxie 500, and fans will hear that same dream-folk, Fairport Convention-inspired sound here. But, Jim and Greg explain that the duo have branched out more on this album by including a brass and string section. Jim, who says that he loves pretty much anything Damon and Naomi have ever done, is impressed by the experimentation. It led to even more beauty and lushness. He gives Within These Walls a Buy It. Greg would also encourage listeners to get the album, but takes issue with some of the other instruments. In particular, he says that this album would get a much more enthusiastic rating with the omission of jazz great Bhob Rainey's soprano sax, which Greg describes as horribly "Kenny G"-like. That said, it gets a Buy It from both critics.

JimGreg
Go to episode 105
Ones and SixesOnes and Sixes available on iTunes

Low Ones and Sixes

Duluth, Minnesota trio Low has been making hushed, minimal music since 1993, leading critics to dub their sound "slowcore" over the band's objections. (Low stopped by the studios back in 2011). For their eleventh album Ones and Sixes, the band headed to the Eau Claire, Wisconsin studio of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. Greg cringes when people think of Low as mellow and soothing – the music may be quiet, but it's also disquieting, often reaching into dark, even apocalyptic, places. He loves how the band consistently finds new directions to take its sound even while working within the same palette, this time adding texture with electronic static and quaking bass lines. Ones and Sixes doesn't have the same amount of dynamic contrast as some previous records, so it took a while for Jim to warm up to it. But after repeated listens, he now counts it as one of his favorite Low albums. That makes it an enthusiastic double-Buy It from both critics.

JimGreg
Go to episode 512
Drums and Guns (Bonus Track Version)Drums and Guns available on iTunes

Low Drums and Guns

Drums and Guns is the new album from Low, the Duluth, MN "slowcore" band comprised of married couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker and Matt Livingston. The band recorded this album with producer Dave Fridmann, and the result is a bit of a departure. Jim notes that they've gone in a more electronic direction, but thinks that the traditional Low sound emerges after a few listens. He appreciates their experimentation, but because of a few misses, he must give the record a Burn It. Greg was also put-off by the electronic elements at first. But, like his fellow critic, he grew to appreciate and understand the album more after additional listens. Greg thinks the band did a great job of juxtaposing the noisy sound with the evocative lyrics. He gives Drums and Guns a Buy It, but warns listeners to proceed with caution.

JimGreg
Go to episode 68
dijs

Jim

“Candy Says”Velvet Underground

It's safe to say that few artists did more to establish rock and roll than Lou Reed. In fact, both Jim and Greg said as much in their obituaries of the music legend, who died last week at age 71. He deserves more than just a track in the Desert Island Jukebox, but for this episode, one will have to do. It's "Candy Says," a song by the Velvet Underground writen by Reed that, Jim explains, highlights the songwriter's contributions to Slowcore and his amazing sense of compassion.

Go to episode 414