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Sunday, August 09, 2009 

Black and white / Fading on

After a mostly cold week, today it's an almost unbelievable forty-one degrees celsius if you include the humidex. I'm still sore from helping my mom move (because 1. I'm woefully out of shape 2. she owns more furniture than anyone I've helped move before 3. her new house, while beautiful and one I wouldn't mind living in myself, is the worst place to move into I've ever experienced) and on top of that I came down with a sore throat last night, the kind of sore throat that presages full-bore illness for me.

So today I went to Marketfresh to replenish our supplies of fruits and vegetables, and was reminded that the easy, direct, normal route to the store is blocked by construction. My chest, throat and nostrils all seemed to be backing up with debris as I wheezed up the stairs. I felt like a consumptive. Low's pitiless Drums and Guns proved to be a fitting soundtrack for the walk. It's always nice to revisit something you praised a few years ago and discover your feelings haven't changed at all, except perhaps for growing a little more intense.

Similarly, in the car back from Mom's after moving the furniture on Friday, I put MONO & world's end girlfriend Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain on, looking out the window at the black countryside interrupted only by the occasional, fleeting glimpse of a light. It was perfect. I'll still argue that the twenty-minute concluding fifth part of it is the equal, as a composition, of anything Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed You Black Emperor! or hell, Mogwai have done; but the genius of it is that that fifth part is even more moving, triumphant, terrifying, incantatory, everything after the music that precedes it. As an album, I think it may be the best thing this wing of the nebulous "post-rock" genre has ever done.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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