Show Review: Godspeed You Black Emperor @ The Mohawk (10/10)

Sure, ACL starts tomorrow. Doesn’t mean we get to take off from live music, especially when you have a band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing the friendly confines not once, but twice.

Weather did its best to cooperate. The crowd was excited to witness. I was too, I spent a little time with GY!BE many years ago, but they fell off the radar, likely due to the relative silence form the band. But with their first new recorded material in ten years, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! seemed like the perfect excuse to mount a bit of a tour and take up brief residency at The Mohawk.

Dark, noisy pics and dark, noisy thoughts after the break…

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Show Preview: Godspeed You Black Emperor @ Mohawk (10.9) (10.10)

Date Tuesday, October 10th
Location Mohawk
Doors 6:30 PM
Tickets SOLD OUT

I’m not surprised by this in the least, but the legendary cult status of Godspeed You Black Emperor remains, with the band selling out two nights in a row over at our favorite venue The Mohawk.  Perhaps this is because the group are releasing their new album (first in ten years) on tour; it’s titled Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (that’s a whole lot of exclamatory notes). Regardless, those that search the annals of indie rock history will find that the group has earned their status, even with limited releases, so do what you gotta do and scour the Internet for someone selling a ticket. It’ll be a night, or two, Austin won’t soon forget.


Download: Godspeed You Black Emperor – Moya [MP3]

Do Make Say Think – Other Truths

Do Make Say Think - Other TruthsRating: ★★½☆☆

I’ve always had rule with the music to which I have chosen to listen.  This rule can be encapsulated into a single word: variety.  Having limited space on an mp3 player makes for a stringent selective process.  You can’t have too much metal, indie rock, hardcore, country, or hip hop for fear of over saturation of that particular genre.

This rule applies even more strictly for “epic” (mostly) instrumental post rock.  The bands in this genre (Godspeed You Black Emperor!, A Silver Mount Zion, Explosions in the Sky, etc.) ask a lot of their listeners.  When your compositions range from 10-20 minutes you are begging for patience, since the songs pay off is often buried somewhere in the middle or the end. Frankly, too much off these type of bands can kill the shuffle function of an iPod, so I usually keep only about two or three of these bands in a rotation.

Since the release of 2000’s Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord is Dead, Toronto’s Do Make Say Think, have struggled to fit into this rotation (I know they have been eager to make it!).  Every album DMST put out is a solid release. They are great albums to put on and get creative, but aside from a few really strong tracks, they tend to be ultimately forgettable. That is until 2007’s You, You’re a History in Rust and it’s accompanying 2008 EP, The Whole Story of Glory.  These two releases stood leaps and bounds above DMST’s  previous ventures. They felt like whole releases rather than a couple of bright spots held together by solid, but meandering, interludes. The high bar set by You… and …Glory had me tremendously excited for what would come next from Do Make Say Think.

The four tracks, clocking in 43 minutes, of Other Truths (Constellation) brings me both excitement and trepidation. The first time I put the album on and listened to the album opener “Do”, I thought that this album would definitely make my year end best of list.  “Do” is probably on of the best songs this band (or any band, for that matter) has released in their long career. It is propulsive, carrying along the staccato guitar riffs and fuzzed out bass to epic heights (Seriously, this song is [EXPLETIVE DELETED] unbelievable!). Unfortuneatly, like with most of Do Make Say Think’s albums, Other Truth’s peters out into the comfortable territory of jazzy noodling and repetitive phrases that lead us nowhere.

It’s a shame that bands in this genre become so comfortable with just being background music. It is possible to provide atmosphere without being tremendously boring and predictable.

FT5: Extended Hiatuses & Welcomed Returns

0911top5coverWe all have our hobbies. Whether it be collecting records, knitting, or making graffiti stencils, we all have something that steals away our time and makes the monotony of everyday life a little more bearable. But sometimes our hobbies consume too much of our time or, God forbid, our hobbies become just as monotonous as our day job. You must take a step back and to see what you loved about that hobby in the first place.

For this Friday Top Five we will take a look at several bands that have for one reason or another taken a break. These bands have never formally broken up; they have just gone on extended hiatus.
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