Tortoise let you live. Albeit slowly. - Oh My Rockness

Band We Like

Tortoise let you live. Albeit slowly.

December 18, 2007
Millions now living will never die...if you get off the couch and go see Tortoise bring their rhythmic deliverance to the El Rey. The band's dubby synths will stir up your dormant soul, their seductive ambience will provoke your spirit to awaken, 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, MogwaiTV 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 know 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 are pioneers of a genre that couldn't have possibly existed in the first place. Still, it's better than being dead on the divan.


Tortoise play the Aragon, on Sunday, December 30th.


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