Current Spiderman Andrew Garfield is a different type of hero in the video for Arcade Fire's "We Exist", which examines transphobia and acceptance.
Chapel Hill's The Chorus Project sings songs by artists as diverse as R.E.M, The Kinks, Adele, David Byrne, St. Vincent, and Justin Timberlake. Loosely inspired by the 70’s Langley Schools Music Project, Glee and Polyphonic Spree, the chorus is made up of singers from different schools and diverse backgrounds. Subscribe to their YouTube channel to get their latest releases, and to enjoy the songs they've already done. [more inside]
Back at the beginning of 2010, Peter Gabriel released Scratch My Back, an album of covers of various artists. He had hoped those same artists would, in turn, cover songs he had written. Well, it didn't all come together as smoothly as he had planned, and not all the artists participated, but he's finally released And I'll Scratch Yours. NPR has a limited time preview of both albums running right now. [more inside]
After appearing on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live (is that Colin Stetson back there on sax?), Arcade Fire aired a strange but alluring late night special called Here Comes the Night Time, featuring Bono, Michael Cera, James Franco, Ben Stiller, Zac Galifianakis, Bill Hader and a nightclub in Montreal. [more inside]
Arcade Fire are back with a groovy single, Reflektor, accompanied by an amazing interactive experience. [more inside]
Last night, Saturday Night Live said good bye to Kristen Wiig. It did so after an opening featuring Kristin’s small-handed character, Dooneese Maharelle and Jon Hamm. The guest was 70ish Mick Jagger performing with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, and Jeff Beck. The show ended with a last dance.
After he beat out some popular dance music favorites to win a Best New Artist Grammy last week, many asked Who Is Bon Iver? Some, confused further, asked Who Is Bonnie Bear? Parents everywhere answered: Um, THIS is Bonnie Bear. Fortunately, all this confusion has had a charming result. All the while, Bon Iver has blithely been making music. Yesterday Justin Vernon released a live video of him and frequent BI contributor Sean Carey rocking two minimalist pianos on some old favorites and a brand new cover of Bonnie Rait's "I Can't Make You Love Me". [more inside]
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive film featuring a new Arcade Fire song. (HTML5 & Processor intensive)
Arcade Fire devise 'synchronised artwork' for The Suburbs. Montreal band develop album art in the digital age, providing bonus material to accompany the download of their latest LP. "The idea is simple... Tightly sync a series of images with specific moments in a song using the m4a format. Like some podcasters do, but with micro chapters for each lines of the lyrics. In addition to that, we were able to add good old hyperlinks also synchronised to the song. This gives the possibility for the band to add, at any moments, all kinds of references related to each song. They plan to change and update those links occasionally." says: Vincent Morisset, director of Arcade Fire's Miroir Noir live DVD
The Most Serene Republic, quite possibly the most underrated of all the acts on the Arts & Crafts label, create music in a similar vein to fellow Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. Experience their explosive, big-band, polyphonic, experimental flair by listening to their 3 releases in full: Underwater Cinematographer (2005), Phages EP (2006), and Population (2007). A few video music videos as well: The Men Who Live Upstairs, Oh God, Content Always Was My Favourite
Did Win Butler (of Arcade Fire) steal some guy's basketball? Blogger says he did (with comments), Wil Butler (Win's brother) says he didn't. Drama!
Chicago based designer & music fan J Tyler took it upon himself to craft a music video for The Arcade Fire song "My Body Is A Cage" using clips from the classic Sergio Leone film Once Upon A Time in the West. The clips evoke the elegaic, reflectively somber beauty in the song remarkably well - so well that the video reached the attention of someone in the Arcade Fire's camp, who emailed Tyler and requested his permission to post his work on their official site. If you have the bandwidth, I highly recommend this direct download link to a high-res quicktime version, it's much, much better than streaming flash.