Friday, June 10th, 2005

Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean

To whoever described Austin’s Explosions In The Sky to me as a Mogwai clone: I have a bone to pick with you. Thanks to you, I didn’t bother discovering this band earlier and thus missed their show at the Horseshoe last Fall. I mean, I like Mogwai but the way you said it seemed so dismissive, like they were some cut-rate loud-quiet-loud-quiet, second-law-of-thermodynamics-inferior copy, that I didn’t think they’d be worth my time.


I was finally exposed to EITS a couple months ago when a friend lent me a copy of The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place and it’s still blowing my mind. I actually had to force myself to return the album as quickly as possible and buy my own so as to not wear it out. Yes, they’re an instrumental “post-rock” guitar band but while the aforementioned surly Scots prefer the more visceral, “kick you in the head and bludgeon you while you’re down” dynamic to get their musical point across, I find Explosions to be more compelling and involving, musically – it’s more orchestrated, refined and overall sophisticated. Different bands for different moods, see? They even got a thumbs up from Austin symphony composer Peter Bay for their modern classicist leanings. It boggles my mind that this music comes from just four individuals. It’s just beautiful.

There won’t be a new full-length anytime soon, at least not before 2006, but they have recorded an EP for the Travels In Constants subscription CD series that should be out sometime this Summer. In the meantime, I have to get my hands on a copy of their first proper album, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever, as well as the soundtrack to the 2004 smalltown football flick, Friday Night Lights, for which they composed the score. I don’t care much for football films in general, but I hear this one is good and I’d see it just to see how this sort of music is incorporated into the film.

Here’s a track from their latest album. It’s a six-and-a-half minute edit (the album version clocks in at just under nine), but it gives an idea of what they’re about.

MP3: Explosions In The Sky – “Memorial” (Edit)

For your further EITS media needs, check out this fansite which is actually easier to navigate than the official one and has more content, including videos of live shows and a link to the band’s section at The Live Music Archive, where you can download more than a dozen live recordings, all guilt-free. There’s also scads of content at these German and French fansites – check out the Peel Sessions tracks at the latter site. Amazing. Finally, check out this radio session they did for KVRX.

The Pitch interviews another of Austin’s fine musical exports, Britt Daniel of Spoon. Link from Largehearted Boy.

Thanks to 2Fives for pointing out that even though they’ve disbanded, Sea Ray are still updating their website, this time with an update on all members’ post-Sea Ray activities. Man, they were so good.

NME has the entirety of The Tears’ Here Come The Tears available to stream, but if you don’t feel like giving them your personal information and probably signing up for a lifetime of Babyshambles spam, Torr has the tracks directly linked.

I did make it out to see Catlow at the Cameron House last night. It was good. It was also late. I will write it up tomorrow.

np – Mogwai / Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003

By : Frank Yang at 8:19 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. karen says:

    hooray for austin.

  2. brian says:

    i wish i could’ve seen catlow–the album is pretty good!

  3. mishie says:

    eits is WAY better than mogwai…."the earth is not…" is one of the best post-rock albums ever made. i was madly obsessed with it the year it came out…

    glad you’ve finally got into ’em.

    and please tell me when sigur ros tix are on sale when you know. i’m not missing this one fo shizzle!

  4. radioDan says:

    They blew me away the two times I saw them open for <b>Trail Of Dead</b>. There’s just something about seeing a guy lay his guitar down and beat it with a tambourine at the crescendo of a song. Anyway, <i>Those Who Tell The Truth…</i> might be even better than <i>The Earth Is Not…</i>, in my opinion. "Yasmin The Light" is almost as good a song as "Memorial", and the rest of the disc flows together like a single story.

    <i>Friday Night Lights</i> is definitely worth seeing. As you’ve heard, it’s not at all the typical football movie and the music is perfectly placed.

  5. timothy says:

    thanks for the mention, frank!

  6. catherine says:

    friday night lights is a decent flick. if it weren’t for scrumptious billy bob thornton (yes i said that) and the explosions in the sky soundtrack, the movie would not have nearly the gravitas that it does. the soundtrack pretty much makes it.

  7. Frank says:

    for your excellent use of the word "gravitas", I will ignore your grossly inappropriate use of the word "scrumptious" in a Billy Bob context.