The first time I heard Italian electronic pioneers Goblin
was in college, more than 20 years ago, when a horror-buff friend sat a bunch of people down in a candlelit room to watch her fuzzy, beat-up VHS copy of Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece, Suspiria
. The film is unforgettable—that scene with the blind man and the dog in the town square, oh God—but it wouldn’t have had nearly so much impact without Goblin’s manic, brilliant, surging-and-pulsing soundscapes. All the collaborations between Argento and Goblin have this effect: they’re greater than the sum of their parts. But the band on their own don’t lack anything, and for the past decade and change a growing audience has been coming to realize this; Goblin’s innovative approach to synth-rock and creepy ambient arrangements has influenced a generation of artists tinkering with sound and painting aural scenery. This belated cult appreciation has apparently built to a point where it’s enough to persuade this 41-year-old band to embark on their first North American tour—as far as I’m concerned, it’s the event of the year. You might want to sleep with the lights on afterward. —Monica Kendrick Secret Chiefs 3 open.