Cumulus Post Rock Festival

Friday, January 23

Whether you own an iPod or not, there’s no denying that we live in the age of the shuffle. An unfortunate consequence of the mp3 player’s rise to popularity is that few of us have the patience to sit down and listen to an entire record anymore. Plenty of people can’t even make it through a whole song without skipping to the next one preemptively. And that is a shame, because bands like Earth, who headlines the Cumulus kick-off show at Chop Suey on Friday, create a lush sonic experience on their records that demands attention. Earth songs are best experienced not singly, but as one movement in a larger symphony. Albums like The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull were designed to be listened to while lying on your back, staring at the ceiling and maybe blazing a fatty. You know, the way your parents did it. Same with Saturday headliners Hypatia Lake, whose conceptual albums documenting the fictional transgressions of a small town require attention in order to perceive the music’s subtleties. Which is what’s so interesting about the post-rock genre; the term we use to describe bands like Earth implies modernity, but the way to listen to these bands is the same way my dad listened to his records as a youth: lying on his back and (most likely) smoking a doobie.

Fri., Jan. 23, 8 p.m., 2009

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