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Parker & Lily
THE LOW LOWS
(Warm)

Parker & Lily are singer-guitarist Parker Noon and organist Lily Wolfe. Based in New York, the pair have made two albums about the cramped spaces and the fleeting sweetness of big-city romance ó about staying up too late talking about old movies and getting up too early to work crappy jobs. On The Low Lows, their third album, Noon and Wolfe are joined by a small group of extra musicians on drums and horns and strings, and itís a good thing: since the album is about the slow dissolution of the two principalsí long-running relationship, they could use the company.

Noon is not really one for beating around the bush, so he fills the songs here with deadpan dispatches from splitsville. "This spring is overgrown," he sings in "June Gloom," "I hope it blooms to death." Occasionally, he indulges in a bit of morbid gallows humor ó "Bar light, bar bright/First bar I see tonight" ó but mostly he undersells his heartbreak, blankly confessing, "Itís true Iím a lousy man, but Iím a fine, shiny gun." What rescues the couple from insider tedium is the musical settings, every one of which sounds like the Flamingosí "I Only Have Eyes for You" slowed to a brutal indie-lounge crawl and saturated with weeping pedal steel and self-pitying reverb.

(Parker & Lily appear tonight, February 10, upstairs at the Middle East, 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square ; call 617-864-EAST.)

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: February 11 - 17, 2005
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