Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"The car's on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel..."

#23: F#A#oo - Godspeed You! Black Emperor (1997)

The opening words that would haunt, inspire, and speak of an immediate apocalypse in my life in early 2002. Buildings toppling in on themselves, mothers clutching babies? What? All I knew as I stared out my 20ft. window in Durham was that there was and is something beautiful here. Urgency! This 10-piece 'band', 'orchestra', collective full of anarchists from Canada knows they won't change the world, nor will we, but gets us off of our couches with thundering cataclismic climaxes perhaps asking us to make things better with our time.

My cousin (Hunter/Captain Ultra) introduced me to these guys in the back seat of his ride- hee, hee. Back in Durham I walked down the street to the most kickass record store in this galaxy and found that he had all 3 GYBE albums on vinyl. Well, I started here with the first one. Inside I found a crushed penny from the train tracks outside the 'bands'' studio in Montreal. Also, and as would be the case with all 3 subsequent releases, desperate sketches; this time of a Low/Godspeed flier with a sinking bomb with "Repent" on the side and also a schematic for a ruined tape machine that somehow lays out a manifesto/diagrammnig fear, self-doubt, lack of money/confidence, regret, desire, and hope. Huh?

No song titles on the record. Just two sides of trains rumbling by, looped street preachers, radio hiss, and of course strings/drums/slide anthems. Oh yeah, and some more glockenspiel-im gonna try and have 1 release a day that features the instrument. I don't know of a more influential album on the whole 'post-rock' movement. Those of us who attended their 2003 show around the time of our Invasion,........

".....for sure as the Valley of Death, I opened up my wallet, and it was full of blood"

#22: Handwriting - Khonnor (2004)

It's what you get when you combine a 17 year-old from Vermont armed with cheap equipment with a fan of Jim O'Rourke, My Bloody Valentine, and the Pixies. What Connor Kirby-Long got out of his accoustic, synth, and $10 mic led me to believe that I could make music with what was right next to me. And that's what I did. 2 months after Efrim was born I found this album and it became my 'summer' album. Every morning when he took a nap, I took a trip with these mini-epic songs. Not a lot of cynicism here, just the thoughts of an aged adolescent and some serious skill with the use of space. Anyway, I ended up packing up a crate of cables, pedals, and kids instruments and taking it to PA later that summer to play around with. 3 songs did happen.
There is so much haze goodness on this album. Daylight and Delight is my fav.


Big Cougar said...

Excellent notes on GSYBE. Who could forget the wallet full of blood? Man, that guy is a prophet if there ever was one. I'm surpised Khonner is so high up - maybe because it's so recent?

Captain Ultra said...

you grabbed my hand and we fell into it like a daydream or a fever ...

Aston said...

Nice post man.

Let's not forget:

we're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine and the machine is bleeding to death