Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Waiting around for World War III inevitably leads to lots of cable-news consumption. If you’re like me, though, you turn the sound down after the prattle of talking heads becomes less bearable than the idea of Earth slowly being consumed by fire. So try this: Take your daily dose of Middle East crisis with Horses in the Sky, the latest disc by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, playing in the background. The group—an offshoot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the original Canadian indie-darling musical collective—features Efrim Menuck singing phrases such as “God bless our dead marines” and “Hang on to each other” as orchestral arrangements and group vocals drone and swell around him. At times it’s hauntingly pretty; at others it’s darkly hopeful. Against a visual backdrop of death and destruction, it seems to deliver one message: Thank the stars that wars, so far, don’t kill everybody. One also would assume that the fighting in Lebanon is of deep interest for Black Ox Orkestar, a Montreal group that shares members with Silver Mt. Zion and plays modern klezmer music with Balkan and Persian influences. Jewishness percolates through every dark, passionate melody, but the net effect is moodily proud, not militant. Celebrate life when the bands play at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Joe Warminsky)