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New Arcade Fire album...BUY IT!
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Collin Souter
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:52 pm    Post subject: New Arcade Fire album...BUY IT! Reply with quote

(Kindly indulge me in a little album review)

It was definitely worth the wait.

I first heard Arcade Fire's Funeral at around this time two years ago and it sounded like nothing I had ever heard before. I listen to a lot of albums at my day job thanks to the abundance of CDs at my local library and friends who burn them for me. I've heard a lot of great albums simply due to word of mouth, but Funeral was the one that I had on rotation on a regular basis, as though it were the answer to every question I had regarding my love for music and whether or not there was life after U2 (There is).

For the past two years, I've tried to get my hands on as much Arcade Fire music as I could find. I filled up four or five CDs with demos, live tracks and interviews found on the web. I collected the vinyl and saw them live twice. The second time at The Riv in September, 2005 solidified this as "my band." No one else could have it, share it with me or ruin it for me with a stupid break-up. Sure, the band only had one album and one EP to their credit (along with an odd single here and there), but in just over an hour, they gave their audience the most exhilirating, joyous and most satisfying concert they would see all year.

So, naturally, the build up to a follow-up album came with ridiculously high expectations. I decided many months ago that I wouldn't waste time comparing it to Funeral. The two listening experiences couldn't possibly be equalled. I did, however, wait until I had an official copy of the album in my hands...lyric sheet, liner notes and all. I wouldn't put up with leaked versions. I wanted to do this right. The new album, Neon Bible, showed up in my mailbox today, one day before the US release date.

The inevitable shorthand reviews will read "Not as good as Funeral," but this is a non-issue for me. The point is it's still a great album, well worth your time and money. Arcade Fire have not lost any of their spontaneity, passion, musical wit, unpredictable structures or their ability to take you on a journey you haven't been on in a long time. It begs to be played without a roof over its head. It could earn you countless speeding tickets if you let it. It's fun without being mindless. It aches without being ponderous or melodramatic. It's courageous without being pretentious.

Where Funeral painted a surreal suburban landscape filled with dysfunctional families, power outages, poetic rebellion and, yes, funerals, Neon Bible takes the next logical step by taking that same Neighborhood landscape and infusing it with visions of holy wars, prison cells, battlefields and a father with 9/11 paranoia who wants his child to be the next great pop singer and/or Christ figure. Yet towards the end, there's a celebratory light at the end of the dark tunnel (dark in the lyrical sense. The music is more than uplifting). The album's pentultimate track, a remake of the EP favorite and concert staple No Cars Go, celebrates life and an afterlife that occurs "between the click of the light and the start of a dream."

Arcade Fire's music has never been about one singer or one guitar player. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a single guitar or piano solo anywhere on any album. The whole 7-piece band shines throughout Neon Bible, layering their songs with gigantic pipe organs, hurdy-gurdys, church choirs and probably every other instrument in the world you can think of, all while evoking the likes of Bruce Springsteen, U2, Talking Heads, Wilco, New Order and even a burst of '80s pop (the first half of "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations").

Like Funeral before it, Neon Bible will be on constant rotation in my CD player (or iPod, if I ever get one) throughout the rest of the year and probably well into next.

Buy this album!

(11 tracks, 47 minutes)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to go ahead and authorize any shillery for Arcade Fire as being worthy of space.

Loved Funeral, and I know Laura did too. It's starting to look like the rest of the world is catching up, which is a good thing.

Collin, may I suggest you take a look at:
Of Montreal
Belle and Sebastian
Bright Eyes
Broken Social Scene
Caribou
Mocean Worker
Starsailor
Keane
Hayden
Four Tet
Chk Chk Chk

...in order of awesome.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keane's great, but remember there's about 200,000 bands below them.

So, like, they're pretty high up.
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MP Bartley
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bought it yesterday, and yes it's a mighty mighty fine album. I'd love to see them live, but like a lot of bands I think they have yet to realise that there is an England outside of London - particularly up north Confused

Keane are great, as are Kaiser Chiefs who I saw the other night - quite possibly the greatest band I've ever seen live.
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Collin Souter
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
I'm going to go ahead and authorize any shillery for Arcade Fire as being worthy of space.

Loved Funeral, and I know Laura did too. It's starting to look like the rest of the world is catching up, which is a good thing.

Collin, may I suggest you take a look at:
Of Montreal
Belle and Sebastian
Bright Eyes
Broken Social Scene
Caribou
Mocean Worker
Starsailor
Keane
Hayden
Four Tet
Chk Chk Chk

...in order of awesome.


Thanks, Oz. I've heard of half of those and the ones I have heard, I like. Mocean Worker, Starsailor, Hayden, Four Tet and Chk Chk Chk are new to me , so I'll check 'em out. I have not heard the band Of Montreal, but there is a lot of buzz on them in the AF circle. Cool!

I don't write album reviews (or outright shill-ery) often, only when a band that means this much to me comes out with something I truly love.

And Bartley, next time make the pilgramage. You won't be sorry.
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: New Arcade Fire album...BUY IT! Reply with quote

Collin Souter wrote:
(11 tracks, 47 minutes)


Seems kinda short. I've gotten spoiled on the 70-minute album.
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laura
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been liking some moderately commercial stuff lately: Regina Spektor, Shiny Toy Guns (!!!)... and The Sounds and Patrick Park are really great too.
Well, hey, you can read my playlist on Myspace haha.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh and Cold War Kids and Wolfmother, I think too, I like.

K I'll stop.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't stop 'til you get enough.
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Jason Whyte
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Loved Funeral, and I know Laura did too.


Ahem, I was trying to get you to listen to the CD when I was crashing on your couch during VIFF '04. Smile I do second all of your other music recommendations however.

"Funeral" has been one of the most addictive records of my life. It still gets the occasional spin from time to time. I just can't believe "Tunnels" wasn't released as a single, as Rebellion, Neighborhood #2 and Wake Up are played endlessly on local radio here.

Neon Bible is a fantastic followup to "Funeral" and it's interesting to see alternate takes on No Cars Go and Intervention along with their new stuff. Right now I'm hooked the most on "Antichrist Television Blues". Smile

Collin is absolutely right about their concerts...they are unbelievable. I was in the audience only a few feet away from Regine and could have died happily (and could have died, actually, from the swarm of teenagers that were crushing me at that show!). Their show has only been outdone by Sufjan Stevens when I saw him last October in Vancouver, but only by a little.

Right now I'm hooked on an album by the San Francisco band The Paper Cuts if anyone cares. Little Man Tate, the new Bloc Party disc, Mutemath and Sunset Rubdown are also recent good ones I've listened if anyone is interested.

Jason
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laura
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why aren't music videos on TV anymore? I love them.

Got some time to kill?

Here are some favorites I found or rediscovered on YouTube....

2 really sad, but beautifullll ones:
Bright Eyes and also Evan Rachel Wood's in it as she apparently is like the new music video star because every musician has a crush on her, including ugly/gross ones like Marilyn Manson
Death Cab for Cutie <-- can't really watch that anymore without crying : )

Some other great ones:
New Young Pony Club
Kylie Minogue (old, but I've always liked it)
Ok Go (classic)
Regina Spektor
All American Rejects (not a great band, but the vid's real cute/touching/funny)
Dixie Chicks (shut up and sing!!!)
Imogen Heap -- vid 1 and vid 2
Tori Amos

and of course this is my very favorite by far
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: New Arcade Fire album...BUY IT! Reply with quote

David Cornelius wrote:
Collin Souter wrote:
(11 tracks, 47 minutes)


Seems kinda short. I've gotten spoiled on the 70-minute album.


See, to me, 50 minutes is a perfect length for an album. When you get past 60 minutes, there's likely to be a lot of self-indulgence from an artist or band that don't know how to edit themselves. Always leave them wanting more.

But that's just me.

I have been addicted to Regina Spektor's Begin To Hope CD for the past several months. She's a goofball and I love it. Summer In The City is one of the saddest songs ever. I will definitely take a look at those links, Laura.

Here are a couple of Arcade Fire in concert. Enjoy! Very Happy

Haiti
No Cars Go
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one who never heard of Arcade Fire until this thread came along? Sometimes I feel old...

Personally, I miss stuff like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zlf_17hecY


UDM
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UDM wrote:
Sometimes I feel old...


Hell, half of Laura's list makes me feel old. The kids these days with their hippity hop and their rock and/or roll...

Collin Souter wrote:
When you get past 60 minutes, there's likely to be a lot of self-indulgence from an artist or band that don't know how to edit themselves.


See, many of the bands I like are self-indulgent. So there you go.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UDM wrote:
Am I the only one who never heard of Arcade Fire until this thread came along? Sometimes I feel old...


You don't have to be young to like this band. I'm 34 and I know a lot of fans who are in their '40s and '50s. Heck, my mom owns the Funeral album and she's 65. Age matters not.

But no, I'm not surprised when I hear that people haven't heard of them (yet). They're still on an independent label and they make a point of not shoving their music in people's faces. The only soundtrack they've popped up on was Six Feet Under, Vol. 2. A lot of people only jsut discovered them when they were on SNL a couple weeks ago.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Collin Souter wrote:
Age matters not.


Only old people say that. Twisted Evil Wink

Arcade Fire? Well they're ok I guess. They remind me of all that crusty stuff from the UK of the early 90s like latter Wonder Stuff.

Now, The Morning After Girls - That's what I'm talking about.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Goss wrote:
Matt Dentler wrote:
We've decided that the unofficial anthem of the 2007 SXSW Film Festival will be "No Cars Go," by the Arcade Fire. Trust us, our steering committee went through thousands of songs to find the right anthem, and it's a perfect fit.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Every time I listen to that song in the car, I get a speeding ticket. It makes my car go really, really fast.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

laura wrote:
Why aren't music videos on TV anymore? I love them.

Got some time to kill?

Here are some favorites I found or rediscovered on YouTube....



I watched a few of these...

Regina Spektor...like I said, I've been listening to Begin To Hope regularly for the past 6 months, yet never bothered to look up her videos. I should watch more. She's great! I shoudl also pick up Soviet Kitsch while I'm at it.

The OK Go video is a lot of fun.

Death Cab... Crying or Very sad Smile Is there a video for Transatlanticism? There should be.

Bright Eyes...did Michel Gondry direct that? It seems to have his stamp on it.

If you like New Young Pony Club, you might enjoy this fun little group called Art Brut (the lead singer doesn't really look like that)

Great stuff, Laura! Thanks!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know any of the directors... though Gondry might've done the Kylie Minogue one.

But I do indeed like that song, and I'd probably like the band too if I listened to more. Cool.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm seeing Bright Eyes on Thursdayyyaysdyfsydfsydfsydfs;lkafjlskfdjlasjdf

I would very much like to have sex with Conor Oberst.

I might see Aqualung too.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He can be Bright Eyed and you can be Bushy Tailed!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belle and Sebastian is the dullest shit ever. I'm not big on Bright Eyes either, his lyrics are awkward, there's nothing special about the music itself and he has this awful fake vibrato (I can tolerate the lisp, but that vibrato...).
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumb! That's disgraceful! I'll have to take you out back and throw numerous copies of 'The Life Pursuit' at you, until you repent that heinous opinion. Who doesn't have a little room in their soul for 'I'm A Cuckoo'?

I agree with you about Bright Eyes though Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bright Eyes rules. I am right and you are wrong. And I totally overslept and missed him. Oh well. I saw Aqualung.

And are the Fratellis good? I've heard so much. I have a chance to see them tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Fratellis are excellent - I saw them support Kasabian just before christmas. Very T-Rex, glam rock Bowie era with songs that lodge themselves in your brain straight away.
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