Godspeed You! Black Emperor
I bought this the day it came out. I listened to it as soon as I unwrapped (yes, I actually bought the compact disc).
Driving north on Cahuenga Blvd. I vaguely remember the 1st song from their live performances a year ago. A sitar-ish, Middle Eastern riff gone into disarray. I’ve listened to this on planes. I’ve listened to this on trains. I’ve listened to this in a few different automobiles. I’ve listened to this on headphones. I borrowed my friend’s vinyl version to listen.
A month later, I listen to it at home. Same noises on the street. About a week goes by, I listened to it stoned driving south on Interstate 405. Some of build-up parts of the 2nd song shock me back into real life. It doesn’t last long. The 3rd song made the drive seem like a purgatory lull. Planes flying overhead. Departure grind below. It was only a matter of time before I get pulled in a proper direction or pulled over by a cop. Neither happened. Yesterday, I listened to the 3rd song again. Stone sober. On my bed, in the dark, windows shut. I got pulled down into something. It made my bed and me on it feel completely foreign. Today, it was listened to again stoned driving south on Interstate 405. The 4th song had me dreading its ending. The shocks on that song were particularly felt. The songs fades and Torrance does not appeal to me at that moment. Same soundtrack, Different lights, different (re)actions. Musical cinema evolved once again.
- John Guerra