Tortoise commands you to rise. - Oh My Rockness

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Tortoise commands you to rise.

September 13, 2006
Millions now living will never die... if you get off the couch and go see Tortoise's rhythmic deliverance at the Bowery Ballroom next Sunday. The band's dubby synths will stir your dormant soul, their seductive ambience will awaken your spirit, and their jazzy sways shall make you rise up like Lazarus to live and see another day. I mean, if you're into this stuff. If you want to stay dead, go right ahead.

Oh Tortoise, my Tortoise. Forming in the early 90's, this legendary Chicago crew (whose members were also in just about every Chicago/Louisville band ever formed) have been near-unanimously tagged as one of the few forefathers of the "post-rock" movement. We now accept that forever thrown around term automatically, because if we really thought about it, we would realize how silly it sounds. Whoever coined "post-rock" (no write-ins please, as I don't really care) probably had good intentions, but the genre has come to mean everything and nothing at the same time... it could mean Tortoise, Mogwai, and Godspeed, or it could mean TV on the Radio, Boris and Broken Social Scene. Sadly, post-rock has also been linked with "boring." But if your post-rocker of choice (name any band) really knows how to bring it, boredom shouldn't factor into the equation.

I would say 8 times out of 10, Tortoise really knows how to bring it (the other 2 times, well, we all have our things). This is especially apparent on their latest release, a box set called A Lazarus Taxon. I defy you to find a better instrumental song in the history of instrumental songs than the epic, "Gamera." I defy you! When these guys are on, they are ON.

Check out this show. It's not often you get to see a pioneer, even if they were pioneers of a genre with a nonsensical name. Still, it beats being dead on the divan.

Tortoise play Bowery Ballroom, on Sunday, September 17th.


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