There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Tweeners in the NBA are players whose smaller size doesn’t allow them to play the position they did in college. (A 6-foot-5 player who was a power forward in college is likely to get crushed in that position in the pros.) Tweeners in life are those born between 1960 and 1965, between the Baby Boom and Gen X. Tweeners in music are those bands who float between ambient drift and songwriterly narratives without committing to either. Low (pictured) is the quintessential tweener band. The Duluth, Minn., group’s fifth studio album, Secret Name, continues the band’s quiet explorations of space and rhyme: slow, sad, minimalist tales supported by reverb, tremoloed guitars, droning keyboards, and the robotic rhythms of drummer-singer Mimi Parker. While much of Secret Name is typical Low, a few tracks present some of the band’s most affecting songwriting: “Starfire” is almost Galaxie 500-like (though without the flourishing melodic basslines); guitarist-singer Alan Sparhawk’s creaky, cracking whisper even sounds like Dean Wareham’s. “Missouri” plays on the pronunciation of “Korea” and “career,” making it an ode to either misery or the Show Me State. Shannon Wright, who fronted the electrifying Crowsdell for two albums, on the other hand, is no tweener. Flightsafety, her dusty debut as a folkie, is all about acoustic guitars and desolate stories. Bottom out with Low and Wright at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Christopher Porter)