Listen to Nothing cover Grouper's "Heavy Water / I'd Rather Be Sleeping" from new outtakes compilation - WXPN
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Nothing | photo by Nick Sayers | courtesy of the artist

Longtime listeners of Philly’s Nothing will know that, noisy as this four-piece can be, frontman Domenic Palermo has a serious soft spot for spectral ambient music. So it should surprise no one that, in the process of recording last year’s excellent Dance on the Blacktop, they laid down a smoky, swirling cover of “Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping” by millennial ambient luminary Grouper — aka Pacific Northwest artist Liz Harris — from their 2008 album Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill.  

Amid speaker static and distorted fuzz, high-tone guitar leads reminiscent of Fripp and Floyd break through the clouds of the four-minute track; and even though a comparison to the soundtrack of Lost In Translation is sort of my go-to for music that sounds like this, goddamnit, it fits.


The cover will be featured on Spirit Of The Stairs – B-Sides & Rarities, a new compilation of live performances and outtakes from the Blacktop sessions and before due out March 8th on Relapse Records. Some tracks date back to the band’s earliest days, like a 2011 performance of Ride’s “Vapour Trail” on WKDU, while others are more recent, like Concrete Blonde’s “Joey” from the band’s World Cafe session on WXPN. Watch the video for that below, and check out Nothing’s full spring tour itinerary, which includes a May 14th Philly stop at the TLA. Tickets and more information on that show can be found here.

Tour Dates
03/06: Asbury Park Brewery – Asbury Park, NJ*
03/07: Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY*
03/08: Amityville Music Hall – Amityville, NY*
03/09: Wind Up Space – Baltimore, MD*
03/10: Amo’s Southend – Charlotte, NC*
03/11: Republic NOLA – New Orleans, LA*
03/12: Stereogum Range Life – Austin, TX^
03/13: Three Links – Dallas, TX +
03/14: Official Levitation SXSW Showcase at Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX^
03/15: Dr. Martens Unofficial at Container Bar – Austin, TX^
03/16: Thrasher x Vans Deathmatch – Austin, TX^
05/11: The Broadberry – Richmond, VA $
05/14: Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA $
05/16: Royale – Boston, MA $
05/17: Rec Room – Buffalo, NY $
05/18: Mr. Smalls Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA $
05/21: Hell at The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA #
05/22: Metro – Chicago, IL #
05/24: Exit / In – Nashville, TN #
05/25: The Citadel – Indianapolis, IN #
05/26: Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI #

* w Tony Molina & Candy
^ SXSW in Austin TX
+ w Soft Kill, The KVB, Chastity
$ w Basement & Teenage Wrist
# w Basement & Gouge Away

Spirit Of The Stairs – B-Sides & Rarities Tracklist

1. Fever Queen – 2014 Wilkesbarre Demo
2. Pattern After Us – DOTB B Side
3. In Metal – 2013 (Originally by Low)
4. Dig – 2012 Philly Demo
5. The Mohegan – DOTB B Side
6. Vapour Trail – Live WKDU Philly 2011 (Originally By Ride)
7. I Hate The Flowers – NPR World Cafe Live Session
8. Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping – DOTB B Side (Originally by Grouper)
9. Dirty White Glove – DOTB B Side
10. Leave Me Alone – 2013 (Originally by New Order)
11. Spell – TOT B-Side
12. Joey – NPR World Cafe Live Session (Originally by Concrete Blonde)
13. Us/We/Are – Live Piano Version Dreamland Studios
14. Tic Tac Toe – 2013 Ave C Demo

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