A Lifetime of Temporary Relief: 10 Years of B-Sides & Rarities

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While many artists release B-sides and rarities that are often little more than curiosities, the Duluth, Minnesota band Low consistently issued excellent non-album tracks on various singles and compilations during the course of its first 10 years together (1993-2003). For an indie group with such a seemingly limited palette--male/female vocals, guitar, bass, and spare percussion--the trio is surprisingly dynamic, with songs ranging from trademark slow, minimal pieces to gentle folk tunes to, yes, even punked-out rock numbers.

Of the 50-plus tracks featured here, more than a dozen are covers, ranging from a reverb-laden take on Wire's "Heartbeat" to an intentionally bad rendition of Journey's "Open Arms," with tunes by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, the Smiths, Spacemen 3, and others scattered throughout the collection. Both the quality and wealth of material here is staggering--not only is this three-CD/one-DVD set essential for any Low fan, but it's sure to convert those curious about this beloved post-rock ensemble.

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