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Godspeed You! Black Emperor officially calls it quits, citing the Iraq war as a primary catalyst. "The last American tour that Godspeed did was in the run up to the current war in Iraq. For what Godspeed did, it was very difficult for us to work out a way for us to communicate directly with the audience about what was going on." Umm...yeah. So who's to fill their giant post-rock shoes? Well, most of the members have moved on to other projects, most notably Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band (among others). That's not to mention the slew of next generation bands that have culled GY!BE as a primary influence to get your fix: Sparrows Swarm and Sing, Sweek, The Seven Mile Journey, or johnnytwentythree, just to name a few.
posted by Christ, what an asshole (77 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 4:28 PM on February 12, 2008


Wow. I was actually at a Godspeed show the night the Iraq war broke out. They made an announcement shortly after the end of the show and urged everyone in attendance to let their voice be heard on the issue. That was how I found out that the invasion was underway. They'll be missed. It's a shame this war has outlived them.
posted by TrialByMedia at 4:32 PM on February 12, 2008


I went to the first Silver Mt. Zion show in the states and while the band was repairing an instrument, they took questions:

Some Guy: "When is Godspeed You! Black Emperor coming back?"
Ephraim: "Godspeed You! Black Emperor ... has turned into a band called the Arcade Fire. Come see us play Fashion Week!"
posted by griphus at 4:47 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Goodbye to a great band. They went out on top.
posted by ardgedee at 4:47 PM on February 12, 2008


The surge is working!

That diabolical threat to the US's occupation of Iraq GSYBE is finally ended.
posted by sien at 4:52 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Despite believing that a band breaking up because of a War is so unbelievably self important and completely Bono-Geldoff-esque that it is laughable it is sad that such a fine band is breaking up.

Their music was something else.
posted by sien at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is sad news.

The Dead Flag Blues never fails to raise the hair on the back of my neck.
posted by winna at 4:57 PM on February 12, 2008


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posted by eustacescrubb at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2008


Silver Mt. Zion's new album is awesome, if you can get past the obnoxious first 12 songs (about four seconds of feedback each).
posted by klangklangston at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2008


maybe i'm a *little* overboard here, but the first time i saw godspeed!, i left the club thinking 'i never got to see the velvet underground, but i HAVE seen gybe!' they were marvelous. and i will miss them.
posted by msconduct at 5:04 PM on February 12, 2008


"Godspeed You! Black Emperor ... has turned into a band called the Arcade Fire. Come see us play Fashion Week!"

Is there a relationship between those two bands, other than that they're both from Canada?
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2008


Man... I love Godspeed... I saw them 4 times and each show would have me dancing like a fool... what a great live band. And very friendly. After two of these shows I approached band members and thanked them and they were very gracious and nice.

And a killer live band.
posted by Kattullus at 5:13 PM on February 12, 2008


Never saw them. Always wished I had.

.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:14 PM on February 12, 2008


Godspeed you into your next projects.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:16 PM on February 12, 2008


........!!!!!!!!!!..........
posted by stinkycheese at 5:17 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


How sad! You know, I just learned how to play "They Don't Sleep Here Anymore" (or at least a gross approximation) last week on the piano. What a great song. What a great band.

I wish I'd gotten to see them in person, but I fear that they are/were one of those bands where there's a noticeable difference between their studio sessions and their live performances.

Can anyone offer their opinion regarding this?
posted by chara at 5:18 PM on February 12, 2008


I'm sure there are many here who know more about their relationship than I do, but they certainly know each other at least a little bit - likely much more. They're both from the same 'hood and some of Arcade Fire's first shows were in clubs owned by GSYBE alums.
posted by mikel at 5:19 PM on February 12, 2008


Nooooooooooooo!

Actually, I read the FPP several times and have no idea what it says. Godspeed is a band I assume?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:21 PM on February 12, 2008


Pollomacho: Yes, they were a band, and they were damn great!
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is still one of my all time favourite albums.
posted by kolophon at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2008


Wow, when did I become so out of touch? Is that the right term? I read through all of this, even the wiki article and I couldn't find a single name I recognised until I got to the roots in Brian Eno and Phillip Glass part. Sad? Should I be sad? Perhaps. Maybe I was happier not knowing that this existed?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:30 PM on February 12, 2008


I take part of that back, I have definitely heard the Velvet Underground, though I doubt they knew they were in this genre (nor did anyone other than fans of this genre for that matter) and I think I've heard of Stereolab maybe. Not to poo-poo the loss of this apparent giant among the genre, sorry, I just am amazed at how I've been totally oblivious for what appears to be at least a decade or more.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:35 PM on February 12, 2008


chara: I wish I'd gotten to see them in person, but I fear that they are/were one of those bands where there's a noticeable difference between their studio sessions and their live performances.

Kind of... the songs were always recognizable, but the arrangements would be different, sometimes very different. But the main difference was the sheer scale of the band. Nine musicians make a lot of noise.

Have you uploaded anywhere your piano version of They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach (I presume that's what you mean)? That would be interesting to hear.
posted by Kattullus at 5:41 PM on February 12, 2008


They broke up because of the War in Iraq?

The Terrorists have officially won!

seriously, that is a very ludicrous excuse to dissolve a band. Laughable, even.
posted by blastrid at 5:43 PM on February 12, 2008


Um... not so much: Godspeed Still on Hiatus, Not Completely Broken Up.
When contacted by Pitchfork, Menuck gave the following statement via Silver Mt. Zion's publicist:

"The Drowned in Sound thing is a misquote, I'm in the middle of dealing with it now. It's true, Godspeed hasn't existed for years, we've been on permanent hiatus since 2002. If and when we do call it quits permanently, it won't be because of the Iraq war."
posted by The Michael The at 5:46 PM on February 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


I was at East Hastings and Main today. GYBE definitely captured the spirit of that place.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:46 PM on February 12, 2008


Is there a relationship between those two bands, other than that they're both from Canada?

Well, they both have a rotating cast of members that usually numbers around a dozen.

I wish I'd gotten to see them in person, but I fear that they are/were one of those bands where there's a noticeable difference between their studio sessions and their live performances.

I'm torn on this one - I saw them in 2003, at this creepy-as-hell Masonic Temple, and they were a little meh. Compared to the opener (Black Dice), they were the best act ever, but truthfully, after like 90 minutes, I found myself waning. The visuals were, to me, what made the show worth going to. All those loops of 16mm film were really gorgeous.
posted by god hates math at 5:48 PM on February 12, 2008


F♯A♯∞!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:55 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wish I'd gotten to see them in person, but I fear that they are/were one of those bands where there's a noticeable difference between their studio sessions and their live performances.

Can anyone offer their opinion regarding this?


I can only speak for ASMZ (and friends who got a chance to see GY!BE -- they blackballed the US west coast for some political reason), and what I can tell you is the experience amounts to epic proportions. I haven't been able to go back and listen to ASMZ records since because it was all put to shame.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 5:59 PM on February 12, 2008


Chara, they were absolutely fantastic live. As or more compelling than on record. Being enveloped by that sound being produced by real instruments spun by real players ten feet away was an experience like no other. They also sometimes played excitingly different venues, like movie theaters and barns, which only added to the experience.

That their hiatus was more or less permanent has been pretty clear to anyone following closely for quite some time. This (apparently mis-)quote doesn't really change anything.

Anyone who cares should track down live recordings of Gamelan and Albanian, which were played during their last set of tours and are both pretty incredible pieces.

For me, gy!be really defined the era in which they played and released music, and while the fpp drops the names of a few bands it suggests are heirs to their sound, for me at least no one during or since has held a candle to what gy!be created, with the exception of the best moments of their side/successor project A/Thee Silver Mt. Zion.
posted by kowalski at 6:00 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Their name is too long.
posted by jonmc at 6:03 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


One time I was considering seeing their show. I could have managed to go, but it would have been a huge hassle. I decided I'd see them next time when I didn't have other things interrupting me. Of course, that was the last time they toured.

Fail.

But this post did let me know that the new Silver Mt Zion has leaked, though I liked "Fuck You Drakulas" better as a title and I hope they still come out with that.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:06 PM on February 12, 2008


For me, gy!be really defined the era in which they played and released music, and while the fpp drops the names of a few bands it suggests are heirs to their sound, for me at least no one during or since has held a candle to what gy!be created, with the exception of the best moments of their side/successor project A/Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

As said FPP...I must agree. Definitely a once-in-a-generation band.

The only current bands that manage to blow my mind these days (albeit no at GYBE levels) are The Most Serene Republic, Moving Mountains, Asobi Seksu, and The Music. (I also happen to manage one of said bands) :D
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:11 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I came in here to gripe about people accepting such an obvious misquote at face value, but I see someone's beat me to it. Instead, I'll wonder how Explosions in the Sky hasn't been mentioned. They're a step beyond simply being "influenced" by godspeed, but they do a good job of it.

I saw godspeed live, and hearing the whole of Slow Riot for a New Zero Kanada with the soapbox preaching dialogue overtop was epic.
posted by Adam_S at 6:14 PM on February 12, 2008


A Silver Mt. Zion is one of my favorite bands, but I never could get into Godspeed. I'm sure they'll be back, in some form or another.
posted by interrobang at 6:18 PM on February 12, 2008


Explosions in the Sky are touring again. Go see them! They are amazing live.
posted by ninjew at 6:32 PM on February 12, 2008


I'll wonder how Explosions in the Sky hasn't been mentioned.

Their brand of post-rock/instrumental guitar rock is in a completely different vein than GYBE. Their influences were more Mogwai/Dirty Three-influenced.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:38 PM on February 12, 2008


Been listening to GYBE since near the beginning, great stuff...shame this has to happen but everything has its time.

"Everytime the baby grins, give my baby a bottle of Gin..that's what we'll do with a baby-oh...."
posted by samsara at 6:45 PM on February 12, 2008


For something a little more subtle then GYBE, and yet just as powerful, give a listen to Tarentel and Stars of the Lid. Both make fantastic, cerebral music.
posted by rsanheim at 7:11 PM on February 12, 2008


Their brand of post-rock/instrumental guitar rock is in a completely different vein than GYBE

I'll give you that Explosions are generally more upbeat and melodic than the often darker Godspeed, but..a completely different vein? Really? I enjoy Explosions, but sometimes I shake my head at how seriously they've copped Godspeed, not to mention Mogwai.

Sorry, I don't want to start a post-rock fight. We'll agree they're all great and this article is stupid.
posted by Adam_S at 7:16 PM on February 12, 2008


Fair enough. I guess I'm just so embroiled in the "scene" that the differences between the two are night and day to me.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:27 PM on February 12, 2008


Global warming cost me my job and the Howard Dean scream made me quit the piano.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:39 PM on February 12, 2008


If it wasn't for my horse, i wouldn't have spent that year in college.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:40 PM on February 12, 2008


Ah, crap. I loved GYBE. Oh well.
posted by eclectist at 7:55 PM on February 12, 2008


Godspeed you, Godspeed You!.

.

Black Emperor (Obama?!)
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:25 PM on February 12, 2008


Why is a Canadian band supposedly "breaking up" because of a US war? Are they saying that they can't survive without touring in the US? If so, bullshit. GY!BE saw fit to play in cultural hotspots like Tulsa and Nashville while refusing (and yes I heard this third-hand) to play in Canadian cities that didn't start with Mo, To, or Va.

Do Make Say Think and Silver Mt Zion have played to sold-out houses in Calgary while the mother lode refused to set foot here (because touring in Tennessee was presumably more, what, artistically fulfilling?). I don't get it. Now that they can't bring themselves to run the gauntlet of airport security to play to the crowd that matters (in NY or wherever Canadian artists go to have their self-worth affirmed), they take their balls and go home. Sucks.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:35 PM on February 12, 2008


I was working at the club they played on March 19th, 2003. I loved the music, and it felt appropriate to the time. What I didn't love so much was the announcements they made from the stage, which felt more like the band were scolding us, the audience, for somehow letting the war happen, or for being complicit in the war happening. The thing is, I can't imagine that anyone who came to see that show felt anything but sickened by the war, so being essentially lumped in with the people who were to blame was really twisting the knife. It was still a great show, but that sweeping condemnation of every person who lives in this country, including people who had payed money to see them, left a bad taste in my mouth.

Eh, I still listen to them. If you dig GYBE, I highly reccommend Red Sparowes. I've seen them live and like them very very much.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2008


I've been a GYBE! fan since the beginning--actually went on a date with one of the co-founders of Constellation a couple years before he started it. Think we saw Palace play if I remember correctly. He talked about "always wanting to start a record label" and quitting his shitass corporate job. I've always been glad he did. I saw GYBE! play about 10 times, in venues that held 50 people to venues that held a few hundred. I almost always liked them live better than on album. I can only remember one "bad" show but that was more the venue and the choice of opener. Somewhere around here I have the ltd edition silkscreen poster on brown parchment paper from a show at the Bloor Theatre in Toronto.

Over the years I found I listened to them less and less and I haven't seen them play since 2002 (which make sense if they've been on hiatus). I like ASMZ some but they've fumbled a lot, imo, as have molasses (one of efrim's other bands). I much prefer Rachel's. Anyone who likes ASMZ should check out Rachel's (Systems/Layers is my favorite album by them).

Fans of GYBE! may want to check out Jackie O-Motherfucker (AKA JOMF) and Hochenkeit (mp3).

Fans of Do Make Say Think may (and that's a tough may) also dig Justin's other bands, Someone is Flying and Lullabye Arkestra. I like them both better than Do Make (though I think SiF is kaput).

Also, if you do get a chance to see Explosions in the Sky live, do it. They are tremendous. And, if you like the quieter ambient stuff, Stars of the Lid is currently on tour with a string quartet.
posted by dobbs at 8:44 PM on February 12, 2008


It seems like they have been broken up for a long time now, I think I remember a story about them getting turned away from entering the US from Canada because they were on the terror watch list. I really like the idea of them being on the terror watch list. So Rock'n'Roll...
posted by wolfewarrior at 8:48 PM on February 12, 2008


Oh and if you like your guitar-based instrumental rock much harder than GYBE! and Explosions In the Sky check out The Psychic Paramount (mp3).
posted by dobbs at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2008


I like Godspeed You Black Emperor!
posted by brevator at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2008


ummm....
posted by stresstwig at 9:53 PM on February 12, 2008


I saw Jackie O-Motherfucker when they toured with GYBE. They were pretty good, even though they had to deal with a bunch of shit from some members of the audience. I also saw them play a more intimate show at Hampshire College and that was really charming... they just kind of noodled with their instruments on stage and somehow it coalesced into a very enjoyable whole. Múm was like that back in the day (well... really early back in the day they were just two guys, a computer and a video artist, but the early days of the band they just sort of wandered around on stage in a what seemed to be a wondrous haze making beautiful, joyous music).
posted by Kattullus at 10:24 PM on February 12, 2008


Re: The Arcade Fire & Godspeed You Black Emperor:

The Arcade Fire had some involvement with Hotel2Tango early in their history, I gather, and at least on their first album some of the backing strings are done by core GY!BE members.
posted by Ryvar at 10:38 PM on February 12, 2008


Múm was like that back in the day (well... really early back in the day they were just two guys, a computer and a video artist, but the early days of the band they just sort of wandered around on stage in a what seemed to be a wondrous haze making beautiful, joyous music).

as jealous as i am, Kattullus, i just can't imagine Múm without the dreamy ~dottir vocals.

coincidentally, Explosions in the Sky are playing in Sydney, a short walk from my place, this Friday. i was overseas when tickets sold out, but should get just as much mileage by sitting on the grassy knoll opposite the uni bar & listening in...
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:29 AM on February 13, 2008


hm, it's a drizzly, overcast twilight here on Sorry Day.

*cues lift yr skinny fists like antennas to heaven!

it was a wonderful day when i bought that & aegaetis byrjun - my first cds from both bands - based on the cover art alone...
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:37 AM on February 13, 2008


They for sure have played plenty of shows in Cdn cities not starting with Mo, To or Va - I saw them at the Black Sheep Inn in the village of Wakefield, PQ, and I don't think that was an anomaly. I actually thought they'd (or Efrim had) shelved GSYBE back in ought-three or so, and like a couple of folks, have never quite gotten into ASMZ so much. Something different in Da Mix.
Alors, .
posted by Flashman at 12:54 AM on February 13, 2008


UbuRoivas: as jealous as i am, Kattullus, i just can't imagine Múm without the dreamy ~dottir vocals.

Oh, they were in Múm right from the start of their band phase. The vocals were just more haphazard and hazy.

UbuRoivas: it was a wonderful day when i bought that & aegaetis byrjun - my first cds from both bands - based on the cover art alone...

I love when that happens. My greatest random CD buy was when I picked up Beta Band's 3 EP's and Modest Mouse's The Lonesome Crowded West only because they both had an air of interestingness about them... or something... they just both jumped out at me.
posted by Kattullus at 1:02 AM on February 13, 2008


Is it just me, or is the smell of a GSYBE album sleeve one of the best things in the world?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:29 AM on February 13, 2008


that probably depends on how much your partners like their albums.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:32 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


terrible band, and some of the nastiest people I've ever met.

at least some good came out of the Iraq War!
posted by dydecker at 2:01 AM on February 13, 2008


dydecker, are you Steve Albini?
posted by Flashman at 2:20 AM on February 13, 2008


Godspeed You! Black Emperor placed itself into voluntary administration today, citing their embarrassment over a misplaced exclamation mark as the primary catalyst. "No one told us that those things go at the end of a sentence - not just wherever the hell you want to put 'em. Boy, do we feel stupid," said the group's red-faced spokes-Emperor, Efrim Menuck.

The admission immediately caused ripples of grammatical doubt to radiate throughout post-rock pond-life. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band called an emergency board meeting after receiving a tip-off that one of their words was misspelled. "It's THE, you idiots," read a brief open letter from group auditors Allen & Overy, published in the Wall Street Journal.

The majority of next-generation bands listed on Post Wall Street all lost points in early trading. An analyst from Baker Mackenzie, speaking on a condition of anonymity, explained the crises in these terms: "Investors seemed to have woken up to the fact that 'johnnytwentythree' suffers from a lack of capitalization and unclear numbers. And 'Sweek' isn't even a fucking word. I mean, come on."

The Seven Mile Journey was one of the few winners in the market meltdown, actually increasing its share price while that of other groups plummeted. "Our conservative strategy on punctuation, capitals and alphanumeric characters has enabled us to weather this storm," the group claimed in a prepared statement. Indeed, investors seem confident that the group will exceed their own forecasts, with some predicting that an eight or even nine-mile musical journey will be completed by the end of the financial year.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:26 AM on February 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Confound You! Quidnunc Kid
posted by Flashman at 3:00 AM on February 13, 2008


"No one told us that those things go at the end of a sentence - not just wherever the hell you want to put 'em. Boy, do we feel stupid,"

You know not of what you speak.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor is named after an incredibly obscure Japanese motorcycle documentary movie.

As you may see here, the band name originally had the exclamation point at the end of the name. And while I don't know the Japanese to confirm this, the IMDB as well as the review linked above translate the movie title with the exclamation point in the center. The story is that some time before their last album, the band found or was informed that this positioning was the more appropriate translation, and so corrected their name.

I could make an argument that "Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band" is an odd "In Soviet Russia, car drives you!" joke, but that one I'd just be making up, to the best of my knowledge.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:36 AM on February 13, 2008


Good riddance. Dirty hippies.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:46 AM on February 13, 2008


You know not of what you speak

Yeah, actually very few of the facts stated in my comment above are correct.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:26 AM on February 13, 2008


Fuck, I better unload that Seven Mile Journey stock right away then.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:34 AM on February 13, 2008


Heh!

That's an interesting piece of information you provided, by the way.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:39 AM on February 13, 2008


One of the nasty people from the band wrote this to Drowned in Sound:

"the internet remains a refuge for lazy writing and diminishing conclusions- the statements attributed to me in this 'news piece' have been pulled out of their original context, and pasted benath a misleading headline, in the name of scoring some sort of bullshit 'news exclusive'. godspeed's interminable silence will continue into the foreseeable future, but it wasn't the iraq war that made it impossible for us to continue functioning as an active band- a whole host of internal disagreements and external pressures contributed to us ending our long march together. there were 9 of us in the band, and i expect that if you asked each member to summarize the factors that led to our current hiatus, you would get 9 different answers. the truth is almost always both complicated and boring, and can't be articulated via bullet points and pull-quotes, especially in the hands of charlatans only interested in increasing their banner-ad rates by juicing their page-hit totals..."

yrs.,
efrim
posted by dydecker at 5:50 AM on February 13, 2008


seriously, that is a very ludicrous excuse to dissolve a band. Laughable, even.

&c--

As has already been pointed out, they aren't, technically, any more broken up than they already have been for the past five years.

However, I believe that one of the main things he was trying to say, in terms of music and the Iraq war, was that he felt that instrumental music isn't a clear and direct enough form of political speech--that the present political situation needs "clumsy words," ie music with lyrics.
posted by flotson at 5:56 AM on February 13, 2008


While I like GY!BE, they have a fucking lot to answer for from exposing me to the visceral douchebag horror that is Jackie-O Motherfucker at a Boston show some years back. Jackie-O is the sort of band that makes you wish your fists were made of acid and currently punching the guy on stage; that your vomit was bees and stinging, stinging, stinging the sax player rather than staining your shirt; or that your every how of disgust was a killing word that booed them off stage in the most gory of manners. The set would end and the lights would come up on a blood-red hive of smoking hate honey and you would breathe deeply of the acrid validation.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:59 AM on February 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


A nice GYBE-inspired video for East Hastings.
posted by anthill at 7:10 AM on February 13, 2008


I'll always remember GYBE as the only band that VICE magazine gave an 11 out of 10 in their album review section, for lift your fists... Never saw them live. :(
posted by anthill at 7:11 AM on February 13, 2008


archive.org has some live show recordings that are quite worthwhile
posted by sponge at 7:56 AM on February 13, 2008


robocop is bleeding: While I like GY!BE, they have a fucking lot to answer for from exposing me to the visceral douchebag horror that is Jackie-O Motherfucker at a Boston show some years back.

I was at that show too and I though JOMF were really good... the only problem was the heckling.
posted by Kattullus at 9:23 AM on February 13, 2008


I still haven't found anything that quite compares to Godspeed You! Black Emperor - a lot of bands people put in the same category sound sort of tighter and more electronic, or just not quite reaching that almost transcendent state that GYBE seems to be able to - somehow they feel a little other-worldly while still managing to rock the fuck out. It kinda reminds me a bit how when I first discovered Pink Floyd as a kid I asked around for other bands that were like them and people gave me all kinds of names, and I discovered some other cool bands, but none of them were really anything like Pink Floyd to my mind. It's some weird quality that doesn't translate.

Not to say I don't love Explosions in the Sky & Red Sparowes & so on, but I was a fan of Mogwai & Stereolab before I even discovered GYBE... it isn't just instrumentalism. They seem to have patience & intensity in a way that not every band bothers with.

The other sound band I really love is Matmos, although they have a much more focused, almost mathematically humorous approach to music, so it's really kind of on the other end of the spectrum in terms of attitude. Whereas GYBE sometimes feels a little over-the-top, sort of heart-poundingly sincere, Matmos can sometimes almost feel sarcastic or ironic... They are both really good at what they do, though.
posted by mdn at 11:33 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I saw them in Fort Worth and they were awesome; it was a powerful concert experience.

The sound wasn't that different from their recordings, other than some passages lasting longer or shorter....when something hot was popping off, they'd ride with it, signaling each other with polite nods to indicate the moves into the next changes. They hung out before and after the show, and were really cool interesting people.

On the way back, my group was expressing concern about them traveling through the South without getting hassled. Sure enough, the next day a gas station guy in Oklahoma called them in as possible terrorists or something, and they got swarmed on by the Feds and the local laws. "We're just lucky we're nice white kids from Canada," said Efrim. It's amazing how much controversy a band with no lead singer (or lyrics of a traditional nature) was able to provoke throughout their career. I still find myself listening to their music quite often--it's good stuff.
posted by First Post at 3:09 PM on February 13, 2008


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