Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

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Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
Two human hands making gestures in front of exploding red lights on a brown background.
Cover art by John Arthur Tinholt
Studio album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Released 9 October 2000
Recorded February 2000 at Chemical Sound Studios in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre Post-rock, experimental rock, drone, noise, dark ambient, shoegazing
Length 87:21
Label Constellation, Kranky
Producer Daryl Smith
Godspeed You! Black Emperor chronology
Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada
(1999)
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
(2000)
Yanqui U.X.O.
(2002)

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (also known as Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven! and Levez Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas to Heaven) is a 2000 double album released by the Canadian post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Structure and details[edit]

The four tracks on Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven are composed of individually named internal movements. The whole album is instrumental, except for sampled voice inserts.

The inner panels of the vinyl edition released by Constellation contain a diagram used to illustrate the relative lengths of movements within the four tracks; each movement is drawn, by Efrim Menuck,[1] as a rectangular block with its length determined by the proportion of the track it comprises. Some of the blocks are shifted slightly upwards to show an increase in intensity. The movement title and the numerical length are denoted either above or below the square. The same diagram is provided as a paper insert in the CD edition from Kranky.

The inside cover drawings were taken from William Schaff's "Notes to a Friend; Silently Listening No. 2", and the cover was a redrawn version of one of the pieces on "Notes to a Friend", by John Arthur Tinholt. The flip side of the vinyl contains various images taken by the band.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 84/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media (9.0/10)[4]
The Austin Chronicle 4/5 stars[5]
Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5 stars[6]
Alternative Press (very favorable)[2]

The album was universally praised upon release, receiving a Metacritic score of 84 based on 13 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim".[2] Pitchfork Media called it a "massive and achingly beautiful work" calling the first disc " a refinement of the sound that crystallized on the Slow Riot EP" whilst the second disc "flirts with moments of vertiginous shoegazing, looser rock drumming and reckless crescendos of unalloyed noise".[4] Alternative Press called it "a massive instrumental effort" that "(is) as skilled and musical as it is on-the-fly improvised and messy" (#150, p. 94).The A.V. Club called the album "as beautiful and disarming as its predecessors". Tiny Mix Tapes called the album "alternately hypnotic and captivating, sleepy and startling" comparing its sounds to "a far subtler Pink Floyd".[7] The Austin Chronicle called it "cinematic" and "breathtaking in its grandiose beauty".[8]

The album went on to be included in numerous year-end and decade-end music lists. Magnet (1-2/01, p. 45) included it in its "20 Best Albums of 2000" list. NME (12/30/00, p. 78) ranked it number 16 in its "Top 50 Albums of the Year". Sputnikmusic named it the 6th best album of the 2000s.[9] Pitchfork Media named it the 5th best album of the year.[10] and the 65th best album of the decade.[11] They also ranked the first movement of the track 'Storm' at #283 on their list of "Top 500 tracks of the 2000's".[12] Tiny Mix Tapes ranked it 7th on their "Favorite 100 Albums of 2000-2009" list.[6] LAS Magazine ranked it the 14th greatest album of the decade.[13] The Needle Drop included the album in its list of all-time "classic" music releases.[14]

Track listing[edit]

The album consists of four continuous tracks on the compact disc release. Time lengths of individual movements are taken from the official discography.[15] Times for each movement appear in the album's cover art, but those times are very inaccurate. While the movements of the tracks are listed, the names of the four tracks that make up the album are unlisted on the CD.

Disc one
1.1: Storm
No. Title Length
1. "Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven..."   6:15
2. "Gathering Storm/Il Pleut à Mourir [+Clatters Like Worry]"   11:10
3. "'Welcome to Barco AM/PM...' [ L.A.X.; 5/14/00]"   1:15
4. "Cancer Towers on Holy Road Hi-Way"   3:52
Total length:
22:32
1.2: Static
No. Title Length
1. "Terrible Canyons of Static"   3:34
2. "Atomic Clock"   1:09
3. "Chart #3"   2:39
4. "World Police and Friendly Fire"   9:48
5. "[...+The Buildings They Are Sleeping Now]"   5:25
Total length:
22:35
Disc two
2.1: Sleep
No. Title Length
1. "Murray Ostril: '...They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach...'"   1:10
2. "Monheim"   12:14
3. "Broken Windows, Locks of Love Pt. III."   9:53
Total length:
23:17
2.2: Antennas to Heaven
No. Title Length
1. "Moya Sings 'Baby-O'..."   1:00
2. "Edgyswingsetacid"   0:58
3. "[Glockenspiel Duet Recorded on a Campsite In Rhinebeck, N.Y.]"   0:47
4. "'Attention...Mon Ami...Fa-Lala-Lala-La-La...' [55-St. Laurent]"   1:18
5. "She Dreamt She Was a Bulldozer, She Dreamt She Was Alone in an Empty Field"   9:43
6. "Deathkamp Drone"   3:09
7. "[Antennas to Heaven...]"   2:02
Total length:
18:57

Notes[edit]

  • "Broken Windows, Locks of Love Pt. III" was originally named "3rd Part".
  • "She Dreamt She Was a Bulldozer, She Dreamt She Was Alone in an Empty Field" was originally named "John Hughes", presumably after the film director.
  • "Monheim" and "Chart #3" were recorded on 22 November 1998 (but not broadcast until 19 January 1999) for John Peel's radio show before the release of Skinny Fists as the first two movements of a piece called "Hung Over as the Queen in Maida Vale".[16][17] The closing movement, which has never been officially released, was named "Steve Reich" after the minimalist composer, and is loosely based on his piece Violin Phase.

Personnel[edit]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Other musicians
  • Alfons – horn
  • Brian – horn
Production

Charts[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 66

References[edit]

External links[edit]