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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

The instrumental multimedia Montreal group Godspeed You! Black Emperor create extended, repetition-oriented chamber rock. The minimal and patient crescendo building of the band's compositions results in a meditative and hypnotic listen that becomes narrative-like when combined with found-sound splices and the films of their visual collaborators. First appearing during the late 1990s, the group's breakthrough came with 2000's majestic double-album Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, which received widespread praise and has endured as an underground classic. After a lengthy hiatus, during which the group's members concentrated on numerous other projects, GY!BE returned with 2012's 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND! and continued releasing funereal yet optimistic full-lengths like 2021's G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END! GY!BE formed in 1994 and self-released a limited-run (33 copies) demo cassette entitled All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling. The band's first studio recording, F#A#(Infinity), was initially a limited-run release of 550 LPs on the Canadian label Constellation in 1997, but was picked up by Kranky the following year and released on CD as well. Early 1999 brought the EP Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada (issued by both labels) and increased recognition for a band intent on retaining anonymity. Nevertheless, interest in GY!BE only continued to grow among new music fans, with much positive attention from The Wire magazine, the band's participation in the John Peel-produced Peel Sessions for the London BBC, and the group's consistently impressive live shows, including their performance at Quebec's 1999 new music festival FIMAV and a tour with Labradford later that year. GY!BE performances generally include at least nine or more musicians and a projectionist. The instrumentation consists of three guitars, two basses, French horn, violin, viola, cello, and percussion. The year 2000 brought about the release of Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, pushing their diverse orchestral rock sound even further into the universe. Yanqui U.X.O. followed in 2002. While the bandmembers stayed busy with countless other projects, most notably A Silver Mt. Zion and Set Fire to Flames, GY!BE remained in absentia until they reassembled for a tour in 2010. Another tour commenced in September 2012 with stops at both the Pitchfork and All Tomorrow's Parties festivals of that year. In October, GY!BE announced 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND!, their first recording in a decade, a mere two weeks before it was released. Drummer Tim Herzog replaced Bruce Cawdron around this time and GY!BE played sporadically for much of the next two years as they worked on their sixth album between late 2013 and 2014. Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress was recorded in Montreal and North Carolina; it marked the band's first single LP-length release since 1999. Recorded and mixed by Greg Norman, it was issued in the spring of 2015. This was followed two years later by the turbulent yet ultimately optimistic Luciferian Towers. The group returned in 2021 with their seventh album, G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END! Recorded in their native Montreal with Besnard Lakes' Jace Lasek producing, the original structures of the album were written while the band were on the road, before being pieced together in the studio in late 2020 during the breaks between COVID-19 lockdowns.

Main Event: 21:30