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Preview: Low

The Duluth, Minnesota duo comes to One Eyed Jacks Feb. 6



"Low and slow" is sound advice for stewing, whether in the kitchen or elsewhere. It's served as a kind of surname for the Duluth, Minnesota, duo of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker (and their supporting cast) since 1995, when the glacial pacing of second LP Long Division made an in-joke out of its title, a gradual reduction of traditional time signatures down to what felt like 1/1. But longtime fans know Low isn't so much slow as careful, knowing exactly where its foot will land before it takes a step. Sparkhawk started out with the maxim that drives all great chefs: minimum number of ingredients (guitar, bass, snare, cymbal), maximum level of quality (behold the paralyzingly beautiful Things We Lost in the Fire, a missed opportunity for a Bobby Flay manifesto). On Low's 11th album, last year's Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop), the band leads with a list of shorthand sobriquets: "Gentle ... Quiet ... Careful ... Stable," Sparhawk and Parker harmonize, allowing each word its own bar, over a music-box tinkle and a staticky beat that sounds sampled from Nine Inch Nails' "Closer." It both recalls the pithy one-word track list of Low's debut I Could Live in Hope and scrapes against itself, as this album is none of those things. Without losing any original character, advance single "No Comprende" and penultimate track "Landslide" in particular locate the raging rock band that's been living inside Low for two decades — at least two things they found in the fire. Tickets $20.

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