>> We've been informed that Steve Keller -- who had drummed for Philadelphia dream poppers Hisoft as well as the Precollections-era iteration of Kurt Heasley's inveterately chameleonesque band Lilys -- died Dec. 23. Linked above is an undated video of Hisoft performing the amazing track "Josef Albers," which was released as the flip of a single by The Low Numbers, a defunct precursor band to Hisoft. We just got our hands on the song after scouring the Internets for several years; longtime readers will recall these posts. As part of all the snooping about online referenced in those links we got in touch with someone who had a cache of Low Numbers recordings, including the aforementioned "Josef Albers," which we were thrilled to finally receive last week. The aforementioned track was the b-side to the "Telekom" single released on Pittsburgh's Numeric label in the late '90s, although the song clearly maintained some currency with Low Numbers and Hisoft fronter Gerhardt Koerner, as Hisoft continued to perform the number. The act released its sole EP Amateur in 2006 on Chocolate Hearts and if you don't own it you need to seriously reconsider what your priorities are in life. Anyway, sad news. While we don't know if Mr. Keller drummed on the recording, for what it is worth here's an MP3 of "Josef Albers," regarding which there is no information anywhere (we mean anywhere, not GEMM, not MusicStack.com) about purchasing the song or the "Telekom" single. Like many great songs, it would seem to have disappeared with the 20th Century.
The Low Numbers --
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>> It is a strange feeling indeed when one learns that one's favorite acts have been around for 20 years. This landmark is being claimed by :: clicky clicky :: fave Swedish indie rockers The Wannadies. The band's song "Hit" is a high water mark, and the video for same made such a strong impression on us one rainy day in Amsterdam that we insisted on watching MTV Europe until the clip rotated back through the lineup once more. We seem to talk about this song or video at least three or four times a year, and we highly recommend watching the video, as the song is one of a handful that never fail to incite an urge to smash things every time we hear it. Anyway, an email from the band reports that Wannadies will issue an EP of new material this year as well as a hits compilation, although the cool kids among you should already own the self-titled 1997 set that RCA foisted on America that mashed up some Wannadies records and singles and is probably a servicable proxy for a hits collection. Since the last Wannadies record was issued in 2003 fronter Par Wiksten has kept busy producing and writing tracks for acts including Bosses Vanner and Edith. So there. When we learn more about the EP we'll let you know.