And then of course there’s the thing inside the album sleeve that everyone remembers, the Canadian penny crushed by a train on the tracks that runs near the band’s Hotel2Tango headquarters. There’s no explanation of what the crushed penny has to do with anything, but Godspeed did have a line about a wallet full of blood, and the penny belongs to the state, and money is the root of all evil, and all of that. But even more important, the penny is a reminder of life away from the record player and outside of the apartment, where the forces of the natural world are always at work and living things are dying and being born. And if the penny is for outside, here, by the record player, the vinyl has that locked groove at the end of the second side. I love the sound the needle makes when it slips into that endless circular pit with a small crackle, as the final droning note can now potentially last for as long as the machinery holds out.
I wrote a column about Godspeed in 2010.
This column is actually one of the main reasons I write about music now. Also one of the main reasons I care at all about Godspeed.