After the success of their debut album, GYBE released an EP. Being ever cryptic, the EP cover is a series of letters in Hebrew, with no mention of the band. The Hebrew says: “Tohu va bohu” (formless and empty)
There are two tracks on this disc. The first is called “Moya” and is something of a reworking of Gorecki’s third symphony. The second is “BBF3” which refers “Blaise Bailey Finnegan III” the man who rants through much of the song.
“Moya” is ten minutes long (on vinyl it is played at 45 RPM). Ominous strings open the song. Indeed, much of the song is made of violin and cello passages intertwining. Until about 4 minutes when the guitar starts playing. Drums bring drama to the song about half way in. And that’s when the guitars and strings intertwine to make a huge sound. By around 7 minutes the song has built to a huge crescendo, but the addition of pounding bass makes everything even more intense. It resolves with a great fast riff from the strings which the band plays for a few minutes until it settles down with just a cello and violin playing the end.
“BBF3” is a nearly 18 minute piece (on vinyl it is played at 33 RPM) with waves of music behind Finnegan being interviewed. He tells about the American government and then about his speeding ticket (and what he told the judge–“shut your fucking mouth and listen”). After about 3 minutes, the music changes to a new chord, a brighter sound. As BBF3 declares that America is a “third world, third rate, third class slum,” the drums get very loud and then drop away to near silence. The guitar pokes around quietly for a bit until it turns into a big song–drums and strings and guitars that only grows bigger as it progresses. It builds more and more and then drops away again as BBF3 begins talking again, this time about his gun collection. And then he reads his “poem” (which is actually the lyrics to an Iron Maiden song, “Virus”). And then the song builds once again. This time faster and more intensely. It more or less grinds to a halt at around 15 minutes and then resumes after a few second of silence with some strings resuming a mournful melody until the end.
This is a pretty intense collection of music. And according to Wikipedia, Users of the website Rate Your Music rate it as the greatest EP of all time.
Godspeed You Black Emperor! has had a few lineup changes over the years. For this EP, they changed violinists and lost the french horn.
- Thierry Amar — bass guitar, double bass
- David Bryant — guitar, tapes
- Bruce Cawdron — drums, percussion, keyboards
- Aidan Girt — drums, percussion
- Norsola Johnson — cello
- Efrim Menuck — guitar, keyboards
- Mike Moya — guitar
- Mauro Pezzente — bass guitar
- Sophie Trudeau — violin [replaced Christophe – violin]
no longer with the band: Thea Pratt – French horn
[READ: January 26, 2016] “How to Become a Mascot”
This story is indeed a how-to account of becoming a mascot.
It is even told in a technical manual type of style. Although the beginning is pretty unexpected: “First, quit you day job and go back to school, even though you’re thirty-two already. Do this because your boyfriend is dead and you will never get to run your fingers trough his curls again.”
But aside from this rather dark opening, the rest of the story is kind of funny.
The narrator is aware of a gingerbread man costume at the local outdoor shopping centre–her aunt works administration there. No one knows how the costume got there, but she thinks it would be a good idea to take it on as a job–$15 an hour.
The first few paragraphs describe fitting it and getting used to wearing it. “Burn 700 calories trying to undo the zipper.” Then you must learn routines and dances.
She is nervous about going to her first event until she sees the kids eyes light up when they see her waving to them. The joy is even greater when she sees video of herself at the parade and can’t believe that that’s her in that costume.
She will work from Thursday through Sunday until Christmas Eve and she walks to the shopping center in her costume. A guy on a Harley gives her a “right on man.” And mostly she is treated well. But she learns to beware the bratty kids and the ones that push her buttons.
There’s not really anywhere for this story to go in the end, so there’s a weird ending that involves a bakery and the giant gingerbread man purchasing gingerbread cookies. But aside from the flat ending I enjoyed this rather a lot.
I can’t decide if having a link to Jill Margo’s real-life adventure as a mascot impacts the story at all.