‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend



Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Get to know the name, (the band, not the 1976 japanese motorcycle gang documentary namesake) They’re the hot new thing out of Canada. Godspeed formed roughly twenty years ago. Twenty. So, you’ve already failed the hipster test. Yet! there is much to know, if you’re into the post rock/fringe experimental genres then GYBE needs to be worked into heavy rotation.

I’m not a proponent of hallucinogenics, But, laying in a field in East Texas, the way Bill Hicks recommends, with GYBE blaring through my BEATS by DRE, I may or may not have, been transported to the moon with the two Ronalds, Reagan and McDonald, playing a game of mini golf.

If nothing else, You’ll find a new found affinity for the use of exclamation point! So! Get into their back catalogue, confuse your car’s track text analyzer with albums like “F♯ A♯ ∞“, “Yanqui U.X.O.or the appropriately titledLift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven“.

Once you’re on to the goodness that is Godspeed, jump right into the new record, “‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” (although released 2012, this is still new to me)

Now, the main reason for the sudden resurface of this group to my spotify playlists is their statement about the recent Award show.

(The following is a press statement from the band, released on their record labels website)


hello kanada.
hello kanadian music-writers.

thanks for the nomination thanks for the prize- it feels nice to be acknowledged by the Troubled Motherland when we so often feel orphaned here. and much respect for all y’all who write about local bands, who blow that horn loudly- because that trumpeting is crucial and necessary and important.

and much respect to the freelancers especially, because freelancing is a hard fucking gig, and almost all of us are freelancers now, right? falling and scrambling and hustling through these difficult times?

so yes, we are grateful, and yes we are humble and we are shy to complain when we’ve been acknowledged thusly- BUT HOLY SHIT AND HOLY COW- we’ve been plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now, and “this scene is pretty cool but what it really fucking needs is an awards show” is not a thought that’s ever crossed our minds.

3 quick bullet-points that almost anybody could agree on maybe=

-holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do.

-organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all.

-asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS FUCKING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.

these are hard times for everybody. and musicians’ blues are pretty low on the list of things in need of urgent correction BUT AND BUT if the point of this prize and party is acknowledging music-labor performed in the name of something other than quick money, well then maybe the next celebration should happen in a cruddier hall, without the corporate banners and culture overlords. and maybe a party thusly is long overdue- it would be truly nice to enjoy that hang, somewhere sometime where the point wasn’t just lazy money patting itself on the back.

give the money to the kids let ‘em put on their own goddamn parties, give the money to the olds and let them try to write opuses in spite of, but let the muchmusic videostars fight it out in the inconsequential middle, without gov’t. culture-money in their pockets.

us we’re gonna use the money to try to set up a program so that prisoners in quebec have musical instruments if they need them…

amen and amen.

apologies for being such bores,
we love you so much / our country is fucked,
godspeed you! black emperor

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