Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Music Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "f#a# (infinity symbol)"

So. One of my favorite movies EVER is 28 Days Later. It scared the shit out of me in the theater, great storyline, great performances, Christopher Eccleston AND Cillian Murphy, an awesome heroine in Selena, post-apocalyptic zombies...I mean, really. That's like catnip for me. Anyway, for some reason, I've been really into the soundtrack lately. I own it and haven't listened to it in years, but dug it out the other day. But then I remembered that my favorite musical interlude from the film isn't on the official soundtrack and I didn't know why. And if there's thing I love to do, it's unraveling bullshit trivia like that.

My favorite bit is the music that plays over the scene where Jim is wandering around the deserted city. It's from the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor's album "f#a# (infinity symbol)" [Ed. Actual infinity symbol. I just don't know how to do that. And don't care that much.] from the second...movement, I guess you'd call it, "East Hastings." Huh. I had never, ever heard of that band. And of course, when I check on the dark mother iTunes, each track is "album only." Same situation on Amazon. Grrrr. I posted about it on Facebook all, "Uh, anyone every heard of this band? Do the suck? WTF?" and as I was hoping, one of my much-hipper-than-me, musically inclined friends answered and made some suggestions.

So, I headed to Youtube where I listened to the entire album.

...Whoa. The album consists of three long, instrumental sections: "The Dead Flag Blues," "East Hastings" and "Providence." The first track opens with a long, ominous tone and a spoken word monologue about...I don't know. The end of the world or something. IT'S REALLY FUCKING CREEPY. But also incredibly compelling. Each section sort of builds on itself. I could hear echoes of the section I liked so much from "East Hastings" in the earlier track. Throughout the album is the use of ambient noises and spoken word and many different musical influences from a country/bluegrass twang to straight up rock and a smoother, more classical sound.

It was, oddly, a really emotionally visceral experience. I was creeped out and sort of felt like I was going to cry at several points. Not because the music was sad. I guess because it was so complex and evoked so many contradictory emotions. I don't know, I think I'm sounding really pretentious here and not meaning to. Heh.

When I got to "East Hastings," I was all psyched because I'd found the first section so interesting. It was aaaaawesome. (Except for the end. I hated that part, but more on that later.) That rock bit is just so slammin' it's like I can't hold my body still when I hear it. I have to MOVE. Though the section ended with a long section of static. I hate that. The sound of static just really, really wigs me out. I think I blame The Ring, but whatever.

I know nothing about the culture surrounding this band, I don't know if they're like, a pretentious hipster band or whatever. But I really liked this album. Yaaaaay!


EGT said...

Okay, I thought you made the title of this entry up, and I was like, "Hahahahaha, she is hilarious!" And then I read the entry and I was like, "...Oh."

Bea said...

HA. I AM hilarious, but not hilarious enough to invent that ridiculous band name. Sorry.

Sorsha Ni said...

You do sound all pretentious. I tried to be offended, really. Couldn't muster it. Sorry. Maybe next time! :>)