what is this grouping? I don’t know, they may be classified as “mood sensing songs”. I just sense these belong together… er, hmmm… by mood. Post-Rock? noooo! perhaps it is the atmosphere they create, and how they each affected the comfort with groups that were to followed– not according to their release date or influence, but my discovery timeline. thus, yes, this is the grouping that lacks words to describe the music… and then best to proceed to the verbiage.
- “Then” : why did I buy this album? this is something that I cannot remember, and, given that they had released their most popular albums by the time I heard of them, then even stranger. it is said that the first album one gets from a band comes to define that band, and that is the case here: this is my favorite YES album, followed by the album to follow: The Yes Album. as this album must have been early in my time of following music, and thus it was not like anything else I was listening at the time. more importantly, I noticed that, like with The Who (about the same time), I would latch on to the bass guitar and drums on first listens. Bill Bruford and Keith Moon are at opposite ends of drumming styles, and this also was to be significant. the atmosphere in this song remains as fresh today as upon first listen.
- “East Hastings”: « what is this? » I do not think the album sank in, though I am grateful that I bought tickets for the two nights of this tour, when they played The Great American Music Hall on this tour. after the show, the question would be « what the fuck did I just witness? ». not only musically, but visually (with films themed as the cover), and the puzzlement of some 10+ people on a small stage with violas, violins, multiple guitars, two drummers. Godspeed You Black Emperor‘s “East Hastings”, and in particular “The Sad Mafioso” movement, were and still are otherworldly. to this date, I think I am approaching 20 gigs from this band, and it is the only one group where the gig is a religious experience of sights and sound… and full body shivering when this, and a few others, are played. they call this Post-Rock, but I do not care for that moniker. the only parallel experience I can think may apply in the history of music would be attending gigs for Miles Davies circa Bitches Brew and/or In A Silent Way. (can’t speak for the Avant Garde musicians.)
- “A Touching Display” : two albums in a row, and a song that was to shape my convergence into how I listen to music— or what sits closest to my heart upon first listen. very few groups do that, and one of them (perhaps the one I have listened the most: at least while working, and since the digital age) is not in this grouping. how can I describe this song? well, I cannot… and the trivialization is that I love the dual meaning of the title… and how Edward Graham Lewis sings it… and all the musical trickery which was quite the advancement from the previous (second) album Chairs Missing. as previously mentioned, this album 154, along with PiL‘s Metal Box and Joy Division‘s Unknown Pleasures, are not only released in 1979, but they form the pillar for that music which hits in a very personal manner.
- “The Fact You Failed” : in the 90s there was a craze with indie labels releasing 7″ only records, and eventually some LPs. early on with the singles releases was this band: Hood. again, a shift in what I recognized as quick-to-impact, and be extremely visceral, but not quite the music that I could put in a mix-tape or explain to others that they should seek out this music. that is, until this EP came out. Home Is Where It Hurts does not have a single “bum note” in it. completely affecting from beginning to end.
(as an aside: in the days of Flickr, I would take song titles from Godspeed You Black Emperor and Hood to title the photographs… really love their approach to naming tracks, and the photography used in their work. “A Touching Display” would be used in many other ways)
- “Adrift” : if you can get over the vocals, then Cranes will sit nicely as you can imagine a David Lynch-like film in your head. again, the first album defined Cranes from me, and Forever is the album I always play after a long period of not listening to them. that said, except for one album, their albums are all quite good… and that is great, because I could not find much in the way of Cranes-adjacent sounding bands. ohyeah, they went electronic as more albums were released with their last eponymous being absolutely wonderful and not as isolating from other bands.
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