Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s “Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!” reminded me of 2001′s “Waking Life,” which tries to make a lucid dream of a film, drifting from one thought to the next the way dreams do – symbols are unrelated, yet somehow connected.
An ambitious project at 87 minutes, “Skinny Fists” offers four musical suites near the 20-minute range. Each follows the predictable post-rock pattern of rising and falling action, but there’s something untouchable and abstract about “Skinny Fists,” much like how “Waking Life’s” main character moves from Alex Jones’ hopping mad conspiracy paranoia to a philosophy professor opining about postmodernism leaving no space for responsibility and stake in one’s own life to Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy returning to the world of Jesse and Celine in “Before Sunrise.”
“Skinny Fists” is the same sort of statement, with snippets of a man prattling with nostalgia for Coney Island or chatter that reads as white noise among waves of dissonance and despair.
Despair, as the philosophy professor in “Waking Life” noted, is a theory to which the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre never aspired, holding more tightly to the notion of joie de vivre.
There’s plenty of that in “Skinny Fists.”
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.