Published Sep 01, 2004"Is this too weird for you guys?," asked Lou Barlow as Jason Lowenstein fiddled with the small stereo that sat on a stool between the two guitarists and emitted the sound of pre-recorded drums. "Not that I'd want you to tell me," Barlow added with trademark self-deprecation, "I can't handle criticism." Despite the lack of live back-up, the duo seemed to have lost none of their chemistry since Lowenstein took a break to record his solo CD, At Sixes and Sevens, two years ago, and the substantial, if not eclectic, crowd was overjoyed to see the two together again. In Converse and T-shirts, Lowenstein and Barlow shared vocal duties and reached into their grab bag of over a decade's worth of songs, delivering crowd favourites like "On the Rebound" and "Happily Divided" with genuine enthusiasm. While Barlow promised to bring a drummer next time they came to town, the scruffy, slapdash atmosphere merely showcased the quirky talent of indie rock's most endearing sad sacks. The opening act was one member of Alaska, Imaad Wasif, who seemed to be brand new to the solo world and spent most of his droll set tuning his guitar and apologising to the crowd for starting over. And over. After a particularly lengthy number, he told the clap-happy fans, "Back in America, they call me Long Song Silver."