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October 15, 2007 1:35 AM   Subscribe

"Not much chance for survival, if the Neon Bible is right." Presented by Arcade Fire which is a band that hails out of Montreal. Okay. So I'm easily entertained, but you will believe a turkey can roast marshmallows. Requires flash.
posted by ZachsMind (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's nice, but it's no Arcade Fire and the Boss! !!! Well, it might be, not having seen any video of the absolutely massive collab.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:43 AM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


There is a pretty excellent version of that Neon Bible song on Take Away Shows. Features the tearing of pages out of a magazine in place of a snare.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 2:05 AM on October 15, 2007


This is the first time I've heard their music, and I really like it. Thanks for posting.
posted by Brittanie at 2:17 AM on October 15, 2007


Cool site.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:53 AM on October 15, 2007


They rock... especially as there's about 96 people in the band and it should be a big sludgy mess.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:53 AM on October 15, 2007


Don't all Canadian bands have a population density like Bangladesh's? They like, get more government money that way or something?
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:09 AM on October 15, 2007 [6 favorites]


Arcade Fire is a band I really didn't want to like - my first impression was that were were a bunch overly pretentious art students with more style than substance. But I was first won over by their fantastic live take on the Talking Heads "This Must Be the Place", and then I picked up the first album, which I appreciated more with every listen. There are so many subtle bits in their arrangements that 10 plays into an album I still notice new things.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 4:12 AM on October 15, 2007


They have been overly hyped, almost enough to make one despise the term "indie", as if the term itself lends credibility to a band, but they don't suck.
posted by caddis at 4:32 AM on October 15, 2007


It's flashy (yuk yuk) but it doesn't do anything for me. Their earlier websites were way more inventive, when it was (ex-) members of the band creating them.
posted by loiseau at 4:34 AM on October 15, 2007


I never understood why people hate hipsters until I went to an Arcade Fire show. The show was pretty good but all the indie-dorks treating it like some kind of religious experience just ruined it for me. The only time I've felt more hating at a concert was while watching some Hitler-crazed nazi crowd at a white-power show a few years back.

I'm not equating Arcade Fire fans to nazis but I can sort of imagine that the backgrounds of these people and the process of joining their subcultures is quite similar.
posted by uandt at 4:37 AM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can sort of imagine that the backgrounds of these people and the process of joining their subcultures is quite similar.

"I hate Jews, so I'm going to help a bunch of fascists take over Europe and commit genocide..." is not remotely similar to "gee, I feel really ostracised by mainstream culture, so I'm going to dress funny and listen to arty, literate bands from Canada..."
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:45 AM on October 15, 2007 [10 favorites]


That's the biggest Godwin leap I've seen in months. Hipsters to Nazis in one easy step. Kudos.
posted by rokusan at 4:51 AM on October 15, 2007 [6 favorites]


I used to kind of like them, until they stole my basketball at the USC gym.
posted by Flashman at 4:55 AM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Good lord Flashman - you can't go around hating every band that steals athletic equipment. That's just part of the rebelious rock and roll lifestyle - groupies, trashing hotel rooms, not using napkins, drug abuse, and stealing various sporting goods.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:11 AM on October 15, 2007


I never understood why people hate hipsters until I went to an Arcade Fire show. The show was pretty good but all the indie-dorks treating it like some kind of religious experience just ruined it for me. The only time I've felt more hating at a concert was while watching some Hitler-crazed nazi crowd at a white-power show a few years back.

Never mind your silly Godwin, but I know exactly what you mean.

When AF were starting their last tour (in support of Neon Bible) and they did those tiny church shows, the YouTube videos that came out afterwards were pain-making. All of the giddy chatter and hushed awe of the assembled hipsters totally destroyed any desire I had to be among them. For god's sake, people, it's just a band, not the Second Coming. It was embarrassing.

Saying that, I am seeing them in November, for the third time. So, I am pretty much throwing stones from a giant glass house.
posted by LondonYank at 5:21 AM on October 15, 2007


That's the biggest Godwin leap I've seen in months. Hipsters to Nazis in one easy step.

Hey, maybe it's not so big a leap... I mean, Arcade Fire, Reichstag Fire? Huh? Huh? What, you think that's just a coincidence?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 AM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


For god's sake, people, it's just a band, not the Second Coming

That is so true. Everybody knows that Sigur Ros is the Second Coming.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 AM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


come again?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:39 AM on October 15, 2007


I just remembered this concert clip/interview from the Culture Show which points out the near religious fanaticism they whip up in their fans. (And a cover of Guns of Brixton at the end)

Your favourite band isn't god.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:40 AM on October 15, 2007


The show was pretty good but all the indie-dorks treating it like some kind of religious experience just ruined it for me.

maybe you should just concentrate on your own reaction to the music, and concern yourself less with those around you.

(but yeh, i hear where you're coming from)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:43 AM on October 15, 2007


near religious fanaticism they whip up in their fans.

as opposed to all those girls screaming at the beatles gigs, right? i'm sure it's never happened before. never at a cure gig. never at U2, nor the stones or bob marley. nor any one of thousands of bands with any following.

so what? when people are youngish & impressionable, they can sometimes put the bands that play their favourite bedroom or ipod music up on a massive pedestal. come concert time, it does become like a bit like a religious event.

it has been before, so it shall be again. and people who are uglier than you and i - they take what they need, and just leave.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:51 AM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


No "arcadefire" tag?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:53 AM on October 15, 2007


Funny, I saw them live a couple weeks ago in Kansas City and, while the reaction may have been different closer to the stage, the crowd seemed completely normal where I was standing.

The best part had to be some guy I overheard who was commenting on openers LCD Soundsystem: "Yeah, they were pretty great, but I'm here to see The Fire!"
posted by mikeh at 6:55 AM on October 15, 2007


so what? when people are oldish & cynical, they can sometimes put the bands that play today's youth's favourite bedroom or ipod music behind a giant magnifying glass of shit. come death, there will not be a contemporary band left you care about.

Not to be a prick or anything, but what's wrong with a bit of rock & roll magic? I weep thick black Morrissey tears for those who lost the ability will to be enchanted.

Or maybe there's just too much caffeine in your bloodstream, and a lack of real spice in your life.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:59 AM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


huh? i actually like TAF, although my fave is *in the back seat* - the girl has so much better a voice than the guy. they should let her sing more.

i was only describing the *get off my lawn* mentality of others who weep at people getting all religious over their favourite bands. i think it's a great thing. personally, i'm very much looking forward to *the cat empire* in two nights' time - another religious experience, but more of a dionysian one!
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:09 AM on October 15, 2007


I wasn't addressing you in particular, UbuRoivas, just the general sentiment.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:20 AM on October 15, 2007


Apparently, those of you who are disgusted by fans put Arcade Fire on a pedestal have never been to a Bruce Springsteen show.

"They're not booing, they're saying BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE"
posted by bobot at 7:23 AM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


fans *who*, I should say
posted by bobot at 7:23 AM on October 15, 2007


I have a confession: I really, really hate Arcade Fire. I want to enjoy this cool flash thing but being forced to listen to "Ne-on Bi-ble / Not much chance for sur-viv-al" chanted over what seem to be sloths messing around with guitars isn't really my idea of fun.
posted by Electrius at 7:34 AM on October 15, 2007


The show was pretty good but all the indie-dorks treating it like some kind of religious experience just ruined it for me.

Yeah, man. Fuck people who enjoy things. Especially when they clearly enjoy them way more than I do!

Did they also run over your dog in the parking lot afterwards after keying your car?
posted by sparkletone at 7:49 AM on October 15, 2007


Apparently, those of you who are disgusted by fans put Arcade Fire on a pedestal have never been to a Bruce Springsteen show.

Cough.
posted by sparkletone at 7:51 AM on October 15, 2007


Arcade Fire! Neat site! Moody music! Obtuse lyrics! Arty aesthetics! Canadian! I still don't get it!

My loss.
posted by psmealey at 7:58 AM on October 15, 2007


I saw Arcade Fire play a good while ago, before there was any hype, before they had put out any recordings. They were first on of 3 or 4 bands at a smallish venue (The Horseshoe Tavern) and most everyone was there to see the much louder Constantines, though Jim Guthrie was also playing that night, and maybe Royal City as well. At the time, those three bands were among the best live players in the counry, imo.

Arcade Fire kicked major fucking ass. It was certainly one of the best live performances I've ever seen and absolutely was the best show I'd seen by a band I'd never heard of.

A friend of mine was in the audience and she owned a fantastic record label. I said, "You're signing these guys, right? You've got to put this out" but she said it wasn't happening and was a little avasive. I thought she was out of her mind as it was clear they were going to be huge. A short while later she revealed to me that she was shutting down the label in order to move the the USA and become a full time manager (for another respected indie musician).

I don't much listen to Arcade Fire these days (Neon Bible was disappointing) but that show will definitely be remembered a good long time--I don't even remember the other performers' shows that night.

In short, my point is that I do not think they're a band that is overhyped without justification. Even when they were unsigned, unknown, and unrecorded, they were among the best live bands I'd ever seen.
posted by dobbs at 8:00 AM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Neon Bible was disappointing

It's a bit of a let-down, that much is true. My wife is a much bigger fan than I am, and she hasn't even bothered to buy it.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2007


In short, my point is that I do not think they're a band that is overhyped without justification. Even when they were unsigned, unknown, and unrecorded, they were among the best live bands I'd ever seen.

I think there's truth in this too. A friend of mine who's taste in music I think is quite respectable saw Nickleback years ago before they were ridiculously huge and said that they blew everyone off the stage. She didn't want to buy the CDs or anything, but she said they did put on an awesome live show.

Same with Muse too, now that I think of it. A lot of people I know who would never think of buying their CDs still say that their live shows are still completely jaw dropping.

Hype can probably come from at least one of three things: Albums, Live Shows, or Advertising. Many bands go to shit when they start to become recognized, but they probably got to that point off the merit of something - unless of course they were just some industrial project. And fuck that shit.
posted by Alex404 at 8:52 AM on October 15, 2007


That guy has some long, long arms.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:27 AM on October 15, 2007


For me, the striking thing about their music is how they synthesize elements of various disparate musical styles (the Boss, Celtic, Bowie, punk, Gainsbourg, etc) and come up with something new that I really like.

I took my 10 year old daughter to see them at an outdoor show in Vancouver in June. She was dancing around pumping the air with her fist yelling, "they are really good".
We were both blown away by the music and the stagecraft.
She is not a hipster and neither am I, but I guess we could change.
posted by dougzilla at 10:03 AM on October 15, 2007


It's not the fact of a pedestal, it's the height. They're good, yes. But the fervor they elicit isn't really justified. Bruce has earned—and continues to earn—everything he's got.

I like the Arcade Fire, too, just not enough to brave the crowds of the converted. And they were so much better before Funeral, when I saw them at the Tavern at Hampshire College! I bought the 3-song tape they were hawking, thereby cementing my indie cred for another decade at least.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:39 AM on October 15, 2007


So, I am pretty much throwing stones from a giant glass house.

kristallnacht
posted by juv3nal at 12:46 PM on October 15, 2007


Nice one, juv3nal.

Why do we have to be so hung up about pop music in this country? Why can't we be like Britan or Japan and just accept the river that is pop music and revel in it?
posted by DenOfSizer at 5:27 PM on October 15, 2007


Neon Bible was disappointing

It's a bit of a let-down, that much is true. My wife is a much bigger fan than I am, and she hasn't even bothered to buy it.


Well, duh. I didn't *buy* it. I downloaded it and paid for a concert ticket. Much more honorable.

Neon Bible is very good. I didn't like it as much as Funeral at first either, but it's very good. Just my2c. Throw out "My Body is a Cage" and I'd say it's better.

I used to kind of like them, until they stole my basketball at the USC gym.

UC Berkeley!!

I can understand the sentiment (I suppose), but it seems silly not to like a musical artist/band because you don't like his/her fans. It's not like professional sports (mostly same players in different uniforms).

I loved the Unicorns, but I'm not sure I'd like hanging out with their fans ... and as mentioned, I do like Springsteen but can't stand the "BRUUUUUUUUCE" appeal.

That said, I'm not clicking on any of the links. HA!
posted by mrgrimm at 6:33 PM on October 15, 2007


For the record, I'm no hipster, and prior to happening across the neon bible website by chance I'd never heard of Arcade Fire before.

I just thought the flash was cool. But it's ..educational to learn this band generates so much fervor in some, and animated apathy in others.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:56 PM on October 15, 2007


mrgrimm: I loved the Unicorns, but I'm not sure I'd like hanging out with their fans ...


It may interest you that Alden ex- of the Unicorns and Brendan ex- of Arcade Fire have started a band called Clues... they have an album already recorded but I'm not sure when it's being released. They've been mixing for-freakin-ever.

posted by loiseau at 3:23 PM on October 16, 2007


Why can't we be like Britan or Japan and just accept the river that is pop music and revel in it?

heh heh. I live in Japan, but I'm more given to avoiding that particular river rather than reveling in it. It's mostly pretty damn horrible music! J-pop, that is.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:30 PM on October 16, 2007


Thanks for introducing me to them. After listening to a few clips I bought two of their albums in eMusic, including Neon Bible.
posted by mike3k at 1:26 PM on October 17, 2007


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