Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Artist Profile: Godspeed You! Black Emperor

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From their debut album in 1997 to their latest release this year, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have managed to keep it interesting while staying true to their post-rock roots. With tracks averaging fifteen minutes, every song is like album in itself, each heavy with crescendos of cymbals and aching guitars. In essence, they sound like the grandfathers of bands such as Explosions in the Sky, or have at least paved a way for music of the same nature. The name comes directly from the title of a 1976 Japanese documentary about a group of motorcyclists dubbed the Black Emperors.

Originally a trio from Montreal, Canada, the band’s roster of members peaked and dipped as local musicians joined and dropped. GY!BE stabilized as a band of nine after the release of 1996’s F#A#Infinity. The precision and grace that goes into building each album is immediately apparent upon first listen. Their latest album, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is emotional, stunning, and almost overwhelming. Their live performances are something incredible, turning each album into a unique aural and visual experience. GY!BE are the kind of band whose hands you’ll want to shake after a live set.  

Don’t miss this Canadian cult favorite on Thursday at City Plaza!

Categories
Concert Preview

Post Rock Block Presents: One Small Step For Man & Pan

The Post Rock Block & Slim’s Downtown are excited to present the first edition of our bi-weekly concert series featuring: One Small Step For Man and Pan.

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The Post Rock Block hosted by DJ Cabbage, Sarahnade, and Riff Raff airs every Sunday from 6-8pm. The show features an array of post rock, shoegaze, metal, math-rock, and anything else that’s long, weird, mostly instrumental, and takes you on a musical journey.

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One Small Step For Man, is quickly becoming the post rock darling of the Raleigh area. The boys are taking the stage at 9:15 and will be playing music from their previous EP’s: Looking For Alaska and Moonlight Sessions and upcoming EP, set to record in March. Keeping up with the experimental nature of the band, Cole Kratzer, OSSFM’s lead guitarist, promises a vocal track, something the band has yet to do at a live show.

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Pan writes music that fulfills the post rock genre, and beyond. The South Carolina youngsters write music that is fresh and thunderous. Pan’s uplifting music features: vocals, guitars, bass, drum, and violin. They will be playing music off the September 2013 release: Meta Major.

Slim’s Downtown is located at 227 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601. Show starts at 9:15, tickets are $5 at the door.

To stay up-to-date with all things Post Rock, turn your dial to the left every Sunday night from 6-8pm, follow us on Twitter: @PostRockWKNC, like us on Facebook, or shoot us an e-mail: postrock@wknc.org.

Stay tuned for a recap of the show later this week and information on our next Post Rock Block installment!

Categories
Concert Review

Show Review: El Ten Eleven at Kings Barcade

This was my first time seeing El Ten Eleven. The LA-based post rock (even though they hate being categorized) duo recently released its fifth full-length album Transitions, a fast-paced hypnotically layered ten-track.

Kristian Dunn plays a Wal fretless bass and a guitar/bass doubleneck, using multiple loop and effects pedals to create full sounds.  Tim Fogarty has his drum kit fed into some of the pedals, giving Kristian the ability to control loops on that as well. By the way – this is all done live. No samples, no pre-recorded loops. They made it a point to make sure the audience knew this. Without dropping names, they were able to subtly bash artist who essentially just hit the play button on their Mac.

As a matter of fact, when a mic went out on stage they decided to do an improv song. Kristian asked the audience for a key to play in, and major or minor. This led into an album-worthy rendition he dubbed “Raleigh in F minor.” This equated to the best stage banter I’ve heard, and compensated for when he tried to say something generic like “so how about that local sports team?” to the audience. Usually this wouldn’t have stricken a nerve, but he got booed for that comment. Apparently only NC State fans were at the show. (Our football team unfortunately lost to UNC for the first time in six years, and it was also their first in-state win of the season.) I forgive you, Kristian.

I couldn’t stop smiling or dancing the entire show. Seeing how the songs came together was incredible and added a lot to the experience of listening to them, live or at home. The projection panels behind them intensified the beats. Plus, being surrounded by zombies, mimes and a Bob Ross was great.

A little after 1:00AM, Kristian announced that they would be playing their final song – they’re “real” final song. He called other artists out for “faking” the encore, the say goodbye but let’s still leave our instruments on stage and walk back out after we let the audience tell us how much they love us for approximately 75 seconds. From the opener “Thanks Bill” (my favorite) to the last note of the last song, the band was on point and engaging. I’m looking forward to catching them again sometime.

Categories
New Album Review

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 11/19

Other Truths dares you not to hum along
4.5/5 stars
by DJ Matticus Rex

Do. Make. Say. Think. A list of instructions; suggestions, perhaps. Sound strange to you? Well, welcome to

post-rock, where the music is almost as strange as the band names. For a genre this obscure, an introduction is in order; most people have never heard of it, and many who have still have no clue what it is, so don’t feel bad if it takes a bit of explanation.

Post-rock is, according to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge) “the use of ‘rock instrumentation’ for non-rock purposes.” There are rarely any words. Post-rock is what you listen to when you want music, but you also need to be able to think about other things, or when you don’t want to think at all. It lacks the aggressive demand for attention of most popular music, and that can be a welcome change for many.

Toronto natives Do Make Say Think, whose sixthalbum “Other Truths” came out October 6th, are considered forefathers of the genre, alongside bands such as Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. I’ll be honest; I’d listened to them quite a bit, but I had never quite “clicked” with their music until this release. They’ve often been criticized for being minimalistic, boring, and repetitive, and until now I would have agreed wholeheartedly. This album, however, is something different. I can no longer step away from my iPod. My personal relationships have suffered because of this album, and strangely, I don’t mind. It’s just that good, and I hope I can explain these four tracks that stretch about 43 minutes well enough that you’ll understand why.

Perfumes are described as having sets of “notes,“ which unfold slowly and work together to make a (hopefully) pleasing blend. Many of DMST’s songs could be described using the same metaphor (though, incidentally, more literally). Track one, aptly named “Do,” begins with a lone, undistorted electric guitar picking out an achingly beautiful melody. One by one, more instruments are added as both volume and anticipation build to a climax, as is common in post-rock. Several of these climaxes come in quick succession, and then the track begins to devolve in an orderly fashion to a serene, ambient electronic melody, eventually fading to a close.

“Make” begins (gradually, as usual) with a pseudo-European tribal feeling that is realized several minutes into the piece with a low chanting. The track continues its journey with a growing “rock” vibe and builds to the album’s climax (which, as in life, comes in the center), but just when you think you’ve caught on, the track changes direction and slows down, ending in a slow dirge of horns and quiet guitars.

Twin pieces “Say” and “Think” depict a much more pensive and haunting scene, and while they more often slip into repetition, they never truly become a bore (even to my wife, whose idea of being driven to insanity involves being forced to listen to old Do Make Say Think on repeat). These tracks are mellow, but still lend themselves to further inspection for their complexities if one has the time. “Think” draws to a close at a haunting whisper, providing a perfect end to an album that accomplishes the goal of all cerebral music: to portray life as it is, in all of its raw comedy and tragedy.

Give this album a try. Who knows, you might be able to add a new genre to that “Music” block on your Facebook.

88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.

Categories
Music News and Interviews

The Post-Rock Block

Be sure to check out our new speciality show, the Post-Rock Block. As you can probably guess our speciality will be Post Rock, we’ll also play related genres like Krautrock and Shoegaze, the direct descendents of post rock. Many of you probably have no idea just what “post-rock” is exactly. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, post-rock is:

Do Make Say Think

…a genre of alternative rock characterized by the use of musical instruments commonly associated with rock music, but using rhythms, harmonies, melodies, timbre, and chord progressions that are not found in rock tradition. It is the use of ‘rock instrumentation’ for non-rock purposes.

On the Post-Rock Block you can expect to hear more of the longer, stranger, more experimental tracks that you won’t hear during regular rock programming.

The Post-Rock Block will on Sunday from 6-8PM and will be hosted by myself as well as Bridges, Cabbage, May Day, and Matticus Rex.

Listen, it’s gonna be great!