I think the last time I mentioned this on the blog, it was Christmas Eve. However, more details have begun surfacing about Low’s upcoming 4‑disc box set over the past few weeks (and as usual, I’ve been a bit tardy in writing about them). Titled A Lifetime of Temporary Relief: 10 Years of B‑Sides & Rarities, the set is just that — 3 CDs of b‑sides, rarities, covers, and demos and 1 DVD of music videos (some of which were previously available on BlueSanct’s VHS release), documentaries, and live footage.
As any casual perusal of the music reviews will reveal, I’ve been a big fan of Low’s music for going on 7 – 8 years. I can’t remember how I heard about them, though it was probably through some shoegazer or 4AD-releated e‑mail list I subscribed to back in the day. After some searching, I stumbled across a nascent version of what would become the Chairkickers, band’s official website, and found a soundclip from the band’s first album (and still my fave), I Could Live In Hope.
I don’t think I’ve ever come as close to wearing out a CD as I did with that one. My roommate couldn’t understand my fascination with this really slow, boring music — but I was completely captivated. Even to this day, I can listen to a song like “Words” and still lose myself in the band’s simple, yet oh so captivating style. Subsequent releases have been up and down, but the band continues to play around and breathe new life into their trademark formula, which always revolves around the haunting, world-weary harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.
I don’t think there was ever any doubt that I’d pick up A Lifetime Of Temporary Relief…, but just looking at that list of (53) songs and (14) videos has me excited. There are a few tracks that I wish would’ve been included — I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love a decent recording of the band’s performance of “Do You Know How To Waltz?” with Godspeed You Black Emperor!, or of their Halloween performance in the style of the Misfits — but I’m not going to complain. For my money, Low is one of the most trustworthy and dependable (and industrious) bands in the “biz,” and they’ve certainly earned a right to some sort of retrospective.