Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Xylouris White | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Yannick Grandmont

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Xylouris White Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Sold Out (Music) 17+

When: Sun., Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Price: sold out
In 1994 Canadian postrock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor began forging the template for their oft-imitated but never overshadowed quiet-loud orchestral dirges honeycombed with field recordings and live film projections. Cassette and CD-R dubs of their output spread through underground music circles faster than juicy gossip—beginning with their first DIY cassette, up to and through their 1997 studio debut, F#A#∞ (pronounced “F-Sharp, A-Sharp, Infinity”). At the time there was perhaps nothing more entrancing and unnerving than that album’s opener, “The Dead Flag Blues,” with its detached and oracular narrator proclaiming “The car is on fire, and there’s no driver at the wheel.” In Godspeed’s 20-plus-year existence they have been pegged as anarchists and detained by the FBI on suspicions of terrorism; meanwhile they founded a recording studio, then paused for a lengthy hiatus, reunited to critical acclaim, and cranked out epic long-players of increasing instrumental sophistication and political intelligence. In repeatedly bookending drones with guitar-and-drum crashes, 2015’s Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (Constellation)—their second LP since reemerging—doesn’t really break the Godspeed mold, but it does cement the group as masters of their craft. The album serves as both an esteemed entry in the postrock genre and an unequivocally distinct tapestry of Godspeedness. On board for this pair of shows is the current eight-member lineup, featuring founders Efrim Menuck (guitar, tape loops, keyboards), Mike Moya (guitar), and Mauro Pezzente (bass) in addition to Thierry Amar (bass), David Bryant (guitar, tape loops), Aidan Girt (percussion, drums), Timothy Herzog (percussion, drums), and Sophie Trudeau (violin). Philippe Leonard will helm the film projections.
— Erin Osmon
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