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Giant step

The Low Anthem sign with Nonesuch Records
By CHRIS CONTI  |  April 15, 2009

NEW LIFE Adams, Miller, and Prystowsky. 

Indie-folk trio the Low Anthem — Jeff Prystowsky, Ben Knox Miller, and Jocie Adams — have signed with Nonesuch Records, which will re-release their highly-acclaimed disc, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, on June 9. Originally issued last September, Charile Darwin, the follow-up to their 2007 debut What the Crow Brings, received rave reviews and heavy support from NPR and BBC Radio. Rolling Stone called the disc "solemnly beautiful" and Mojo magazine labeled the band "truly startling songwriters and instrumentalists." Nonesuch is distributed through Warner Bros.; their current roster includes Joni Mitchell, Allen Toussaint, the Magnetic Fields, Wilco, Randy Newman, and Emmylou Harris, and a number of classical and jazz artists.

It has been a whirlwind few months since the Low Anthem last played a hometown Providence show, a memorably intimate gig at Firehouse 13 in February. The trio played six sets at South By Southwest in Austin and toured with folk troubadour Ray LaMontagne (wrapping up on April 15 in Toronto). They will play Newbury Comics in Boston on Saturday (the 18th) to celebrate Record Store Day and will be appearing with Elvis Perkins In Dreamland and Deer Tick at Lupo's on April 24 ($12 in advance). [Note: Deer Tick got a big boost in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. In "Hot Nights In Austin: SXSW's Breakouts," David Fricke wrote, "This pine-tree-country band came on like hardened pioneers, with cutting twang, bull fiddle and the junior-John Prine growl of John Joseph McCauley III."] In May they will make their debut in France, the UK, and the Nether-lands, then return to the States for the Bonnaroo Festival and a ju-st-added headlining gig at New York City's Bowery Ballroom.

Looking back on a conversation with Miller and Prystowsky in February, they were humbly aware of their promising future since forming at Brown University a few years ago: "Things have started to snowball a bit faster... it's like we reached the critical mass, the scale's tipped, and now things have started to get a bit easier."

On Wednesday morning, we reached Miller in Quebec and he sent us some answers to a few questions.

WHY DID YOU SIGN TO NONESUCH? We signed to Nonesuch because they are excellent and they offered us a fair deal. They plan to sell records profitably, rather than leach via a 360 deal and all the new bullshit that record companies are doing now . . . They sign artists they trust and don't care to meddle unreasonably. Nonesuch are also letting us continue to silkscreen our packages in Providence. Devil's Rainbow will be handling that, and we are thrilled about it.

WILL THE REISSUE HAVE ANYTHING NEW? Funny you should ask. We have had the reissue remastered by the king himself, Bob Ludwig. We just did the session with him in Portland, ME. The man is brilliant and the record came out sounding a thousand times warmer. Really sonically beautiful. He has the world's finest analog rigs, not to mention an amazing sensitivity to nuance — he's dialed in to something the rest of us can only glimpse. Amazing session. He's put new life into the thing.

HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE LUPO'S SHOW WITH ELVIS PERKINS AND DEER TICK? Honored to be doing Lupo's with those fine gents. Not a bad local music night! Can't wait.

Related: Interview: The Low Anthem, Branching out, Hail, Deer Tick!, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Music, LOW ANTHEM,  More more >
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Giant step
Beware the Ides of March.
By gordon on 03/05/2008 at 3:11:26
Giant step
Barack Obama is the stronger candidate in taking on Hillary as Hillary Clinton is the better candidate for taking on Barack. While they're having a spirited contest, it pales in comparison to whatever the Republicans throw at either one of them. Concerned about what happens with their followers. While Barack and Hillary will hug and admire one another - one the nominee, the other not - at the August convention in Denver, their respective followers may not be agreeable to going along with the happy but stage-managed harmony. Concerned also with the racial demographics found in voters' exit surveys. Barack scores heavily with African-American voters while Hillary scores well with white voters. Barack Obama and John McCain each have an ability vital to success in November. Their cross-over appeal to Independents and voters in the other party. Barack's weakness is that he's a charismatic figure campaigning for a constitutional office. The demands of the presidency require an ability to deal with congress, press, public and foreign leaders and their governments on specific programs and nit-pickin' particulars. Not the stuff of charisma. Hillary's dwelling on "experience" shows she - unlike Barack - is fully familiar and comfortable with workman-like details. McCain's biggest weakness is the economy and other domestic issues. His position on assimilation of so-called "illegal aliens" is well known as is his co-sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold campaign reform bill. But, where's McCain on health care, education, Social Security, social services and all the rest? Hillary's weakness is her not being able to free herself from the excess baggage of the Clinton administration. The more she brings out Bill, the easier she makes '08 a referendum on the less attractive aspects of the Clinton administration - and her presumed participation. While reference is made to Pennsylvania, North Carolina is sending 134 delegates to Denver, with 115 selected in their May 6 primary and the balance being superdelegates. John Edwards, former N.C. senator, has yet ti release his 56 delegates and has not endorsed a candidate. Could be a key player. My guess for now . . . if the election is decided on terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, McCain wins. If the election is decided on the economy and domestic issues, the Democratic nominee wins. - LorenzoJennifer
By L-J on 03/06/2008 at 9:25:43
Giant step
Just to clarify, yeah, that's me - LorenzoJennifer - billed as L-J (above). Little tough getting my fastball across the plate this early in Spring Training.
By L-J on 03/06/2008 at 9:47:16
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Obama will surprise you.
By gordon on 03/06/2008 at 11:26:58
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I agree with L-J, to a point. Yea, we need to get Obama's Rezko connection, and Clinton's tax return issues, behind us now, or the Repubs will kill us with it in the Fall. Likewise for any other "real" stuff out there. The problem comes when the attack ads turn really ugly and non-factual. Case in point - Hillary's "red phone" ad which all-but-says that Obama is unprepared to be Commander in Chief. Look, if Obama becomes the nominee, we know that McCain will hit him with that regardless. But now he can say..."Even Hillary Says So". Likewise, not to take sides here, Obama is now going to be forced to respond in kind to Clinton. This thing is going to turn really, really ugly. So, no matter whether you support Clinton or Obama, the prospect of seven weeks of open warfare in Pennsylvania is not good news for the Democrats' chances in November. Steven, you were right several weeks ago...this thing is beginning to look like a slow-motion train wreck for the Democrats. Vic
By Vic in Chicago on 03/06/2008 at 12:42:37
Giant step
It make come to Obama having to play knight in shining armor and despite his lead in delegates, lay is mantle over the puddle for Clinton and let her be queen for a few years. As a veep, he'd certainly be great at keeping her worse tendencies at bay--and he'd learn tons from her about how to wield a switchblade on the streets of Washington.
By gordon on 03/06/2008 at 6:26:29
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Then again, it is the Cloak of the Black Man, with 400 years of history behind it. Slavery will not end until King's son becomes king.
By gordon on 03/07/2008 at 2:35:01
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from LorenzoJennifer (L-J) Response to Gordon, 03/06/08, 6:26 pm Must disagree on the VP. Agree with Ted Van Dyk's comment (Toteboard, 2/22/08) that the presidential nomination loser would better serve the public and their own ambitions by returning to the senate. Going further, it'll be tough enough electing either the first woman or first African-American president. Made doubly difficult if they share the ticket. While Dick Cheney has redefined the Vice-Presidency, would expect that any incoming VP (1-20-09) would find his/her role dramatically reduced. They'd be limited to the Constitutional roles of serving as President of the Senate (a formality) and casting the tie-breaking vote when a Senate vote is tied on legislation. To quote John Nance Garner, FDR's long-suffering VP, "the Vice Presidency is worth a pitcher of warm spit." Many contend the actual statement by the earthy rural Texan Gardner described the VP as being worth a "pail of warm s--t" but was cleaned up by the press of the day. Barack Obama would be squandering his future as VP. Hillary Clinton would not accept the second position in any administration. About the only benefit would have the losing VP nominee in 2008 becoming the presumed front-runner for 2012. John Edwards could have pulled this off had he sought and won re-election as N. C. senator in 2004. (NC election laws permitted him to run for both Senate - a state election - and VP - a federal election - in the same year).
By L-J on 03/07/2008 at 7:40:59
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from LorenzoJennifer (L-J). REPLY to GORDON, 03/07/08, 2:34 a.m. Slavery will not end until the King's son renounces the crown, distributes the wealth of the kingdom to all, banishes slavery and any other form of involuntary servitude, and establishes a form of government in accordance with the will of the people. "There go the people," goes an old saying, "and I must follow them for I am their leader."
By L-J on 03/07/2008 at 7:49:59
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Reply to L-J: intelligent comments, but Obama giving up the crown would be like Lear distributing his kingdom to his daughters...I'm for blockading the Denver convention if Obama isn't nominated. Who's in!
By gordon on 03/07/2008 at 1:09:21
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King LEER is an apt description of Bill Clinton's role in a Hillarious presidency. He could usurp the V.P. role of traveling abroad to attend funerals held for dead heads of states. Bill would console the widow. Would consider blockading Den-vah when it's Springtime in the Rockies or if Judy Collins gives a free concert. Getting gassed, cuffed, busted and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay ("Guantanamera . . . Guantanamo . . .")? At the end of August? Pourquoi? Mais non! Would simply ruin everyone's plans for the Labor Day week-end. We can't have that!!
By L-J on 03/08/2008 at 8:17:43

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