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.
Studio album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Released9 October 2000 (vinyl) [1]
8 November 2000 (CD) [2]
RecordedFebruary 2000
StudioChemical Sound Studios, Toronto, Ontario
ProducerDaryl Smith
Godspeed You! Black Emperor chronology
Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
Yanqui U.X.O.

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is the second studio album by Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor, released as a double album on 9 October 2000 on vinyl by Constellation and 8 November 2000 on CD by Kranky.

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 samples on the album are often used to send some satirical, political, or poetic message. 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,[3] 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.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[5]
Alternative Press5/5[6]
The Austin Chronicle4/5 stars[7]
The Guardian3/5 stars[8]
Q4/5 stars[11]
Uncut4/5 stars[14]

The album was universally praised upon release, receiving a Metacritic score of 84 based on 13 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim".[4] Pitchfork 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".[10] 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".[15] The Austin Chronicle called it "cinematic" and "breathtaking in its grandiose beauty".[7]

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.[16] Pitchfork named it the 5th best album of the year.[17] and the 65th best album of the decade.[18] They also ranked the first movement of the track 'Storm' at #283 on their list of "Top 500 tracks of the 2000's".[19] Tiny Mix Tapes ranked it 7th on their "Favorite 100 Albums of 2000-2009" list.[20] LAS Magazine ranked it the 14th greatest album of the decade.[21] Gigwise included the album on its list of the 50 best albums of the 2000s.[22]

Track listing[edit]

The album consists of four continuous tracks on the compact disc release split into two CDs. The double LP release has each track pressed onto its own side. Time lengths of individual movements are taken from the official discography.[23] 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 / Side 1: Storm
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 Arco 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 / Side 2: Static
5."Terrible Canyons of Static"3:34
6."Atomic Clock"1:09
7."Chart #3"2:39
8."World Police and Friendly Fire"9:48
9."[...+The Buildings They Are Sleeping Now]"5:25
Total length:22:35
Disc two
2.1 / Side 3: Sleep
1."Murray Ostril: '...They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach...'"1:10
3."Broken Windows, Locks of Love Pt. III."9:53
Total length:23:17
2.2 / Side 4: Antennas to Heaven...
4."Moya Sings 'Baby-O'..."1:00
6."[Glockenspiel Duet Recorded on a Campsite In Rhinebeck, N.Y.]"0:47
7."'Attention...Mon Ami...Fa-Lala-Lala-La-La...' [55-St. Laurent]"1:18
8."She Dreamt She Was a Bulldozer, She Dreamt She Was Alone in an Empty Field"9:43
9."Deathkamp Drone"3:09
10."[Antennas to Heaven...]"2:02
Total length:18:57


  • "Broken Windows, Locks of Love Pt. III" was originally named "3rd Part".[citation needed]
  • "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.[24]
  • "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".[25][26] 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.


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


Chart (2000) Peak
UK Albums Chart 66


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (artwork page)". Constellation Records. Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven by Godspeed You! Black Emperor". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  5. ^ Layne, Joslyn. "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven – Godspeed You! Black Emperor". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven". Alternative Press. No. 150. January 2001. p. 94.
  7. ^ a b Chamy, Michael (10 November 2000). "Godspeed You Black Emperor! Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Kranky)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  8. ^ Cameron, Keith (6 October 2000). "The anarchist rock book". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven". NME. 14 October 2000. p. 40.
  10. ^ a b Sirota, Brent S. (25 October 2000). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven". Q. No. 171. December 2000. p. 122.
  12. ^ McDermott, Leon (November 2000). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Levez Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas To Heaven". Select (125).
  13. ^ Rubin, Mike (December 2000). "Godspeed You Black Emperor!: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...". Spin. Vol. 16 no. 12. pp. 56–57. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  14. ^ Stubbs, David (December 2000). "Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Levez Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennae To Heaven". Uncut. No. 43.
  15. ^ "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  16. ^ Greer, Nick (11 June 2010). "Top 100 Albums of the Decade - Sputnikmusic (10-1)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Top 20 Albums of 2000". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  18. ^ "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 100-51". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  19. ^ "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 500-201". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Favorite 100 Albums of 2000-2009: 20-01". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  21. ^ "2000-2009: Albums of the Decade". LAS Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  22. ^ "The 50 Greatest Albums of the 2000s!". Gigwise. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  23. ^ "godspeed you! black emperor". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Godspeed You Black Emperor There's Only Hope". Exclaim!. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Godspeed You! Black Emperor Live at BBC Studios". Internet Archive. 19 January 1999. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Keeping It Peel - Godspeed You Black Emperor!". BBC Radio 1. 22 November 1998. Retrieved 8 September 2017.

External links[edit]