I've used the words "quietly devastating" to describe this Minnesotan trio more than once, and while that phrase should go down with "soundscapes" and "angular" in the music-writing graveyard, it's hard to find a more apt one for them. For fifteen years now, guitarist Alan Sparhawk and his wife and drummer Mimi Parker, along with a rotating cast of bassists (they just replaced their third bassist, Matt Livingston, with lucky number four, Steve Garrington) have illustrated love and anxiety with the sparest of elements, matching obtuse lyrics with hyper-minimal instrumentation to make sonic mountains from moments. Since signing to Sub Pop, they've released a plugged-in gem (The Great Destroyer) and a gorgeously acidic rumination on all that's fucked up about our current world (Drums and Guns). Playing from the latter at the Triple Door last year, strobe lights illuminated single, sonorous notes and brushes of Parker's snare. They wrought psychic damage on the dressed-up crowd enjoying their dinner and wine it may have been unintentional, but it was certainly, fittingly, righteous.
Sat., July 12, 6 p.m., 2008