See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The 30 Year Low

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2007 at 12:00 AM

No whimper for this Brooklyn alt-country quartet, but a bright fiery crash involving principal songwriters Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle. Like Linda and Richard Thompson before them, Bracy and McArdle —who married just over two years ago — celebrate their parting and the band's dissolution after a dozen years, utilizing a white-hot airing of grievances.

It's clear this won't end well from how it begins: "I'll never know if I'm alone when I'm sleeping/You come and go like the ghost of filth and dirt," Mcardle sings in the first stanza of melancholy, opening ballad, "Since I Came." But that's nothing compared to the heat McArdle generates with the bustling little rock rave, "31 Candles," in which she assails his behavior and latest conquest, complains about getting being told about it in a letter, and accuses him of "drawing blueprints, laying marble/built a shrine around your dick." Bracy's always been more reserved and cerebral, answering with an extended, metaphor on the country-inflected title track which equates their love with a tanking market, observing "You was blue chip once, you had quite a rap/but you suffered from inflated crap." This terrific eight-song mini-LP is accompanied by a bonus disc of cover, outtakes and live tracks of more interest to ardent fans. It's a sad climax for a band near the top of its craft during the past five years.

Chris Parker writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit