Alan Sparhawk, Mark Kozelek Are Retribution Gospel Choir
David Nadelle reports:
Slowcore godfathers Alan Sparhawk (Low, Black Eyed Snakes) and Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) are joining forces, along with Duluth comrades Eric Pollard and Matthew Livingstone, as the "Retribution Gospel Choir" for a U.S. tour this fall. This news is particularly divine for Sparhawk, who in May cancelled Low's scheduled North American tour and took some time off to battle personal demons that had tended, in the past, to rear their heads more readily while on the road.
Word on the street is that the Choir is a full-blown rock band. Considering both Low's notorious 1998 turn as a Misfits tribute band and Kozelek's AC/DC fixation, should we expect nightly axe battles, complete with whammy-bar histrionics, flurries of tapping and hammer-ons, and a war-chest of effects pedals? Yes. Maybe. In the press release for the fall tour, Sparhawk spells out the deal: "Mark and I have known each other for a while and we both have a secret love for classic rock and a penchant for playing guitar solos. I've always come away from any collaboration excited and invigorated. When Low worked with the Dirty Three, it was one of the most fulfilling things we have ever done. And really, musicians used to do this kind of thing all the time-- it was a way to inspire each other. I think it's something that still needs to be in music now and that you don't have to make a record to back up and validate the music that you are playing. I mean, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knigh!
t are touring together right now-- isn't that the same thing?" Yes, of course it is.
Most shows on the tour also feature power-poppers No Wait Wait, touring in support of their self-titled debut album on Sparhawk's label, Chairkickers' Union. The trek will culminate in a performance at the Chairkickers' CMJ showcase at Lit Lounge in New York City on September 17. Alas, Mark Kozelek will not be joining the Choir that night, but you can still revel in the glory of Sparhawk, Pollard and Livingtsone.
08-18 Eau Claire, WI - House of Rock
08-25 Minneapolis, MN Ð 400 Bar (Mark Kozelek solo)
08-30 Lawrence, KS - Gaslight Tavern *
08-31 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge *
09-01 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court *
09-03 Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe *
09-04 Portland, OR Ð Berbatis Pan *
09-06 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *
09-07 Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland *
09-08 Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit *
09-09 Pioneertown, CA Ð Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace (Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven Camp Out)$
09-10 Tucson, AZ - Plush *
09-12 Denton, TX - Hailey's *
09-13 Austin, TX - Emo's *
09-14 Houston, TX - Mary Jane's Fat Cat *
09-17 New York, NY - Lit Lounge (Chairkickers' CMJ showcase) *#
$ with Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Monks of Doom, Johnny Hickman
# Retribution Gospel Choir minus Mark Kozelek, with Kid Dakota, The Keep Aways
On the recording front, both Low and Sun Kil Moon have covers rolling up on us. Sparhawk and company will be lending their version of "Nowhere Man" to the upcoming This Bird has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul, out on Razor & Tie on October 25; Sun Kil Moon will be contributing a cover of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman" to an EP for the Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Junket Boy label (somehow in conjunction with Cameron Crowe's new film Elizabethtown) entitled Songs From the Brown Hotel which will be available in CIMS stores August 16. Proceeds from the EP go to the Center for Women and Families.
* Low: http://www.chairkickers.com
* Sun Kil Moon: http://www.sunkilmoon.com