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Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 16th, 2010, 12:13 am
by Nathan Bransford
Anyone else listening to the new Arcade Fire album? I'm really impressed by it. I think it's pretty amazing how it's both backward looking and forward looking in both music and lyrics. There are musical touches that evoke the 70s and 80s so it kind of harkens back to our generation's childhood, and yet also sounds new and modern. The lyrics too are kind of both about the suburbs and cities as present as past - partly lamenting how things are changing ("I used to write letters/I used to sign my name"), partly feeling complicit in the change ("You wouldn't trust a millionaire quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them but I'm starting to have my doubts"), partly apocalyptic, partly nostalgic.

There's a push/pull throughout the album that plays on the nostalgia of childhood mixed with the "where are we now" of the present.

Anyway, finding it both great music and inspiring.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 16th, 2010, 11:42 am
by Mira
Awesome recommendation - I'm not familiar with this band, but I'll check it out on I-tunes tonight. Sounds like the lyrics reflect the ambivalence in the culture about how fast everything is changing.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 16th, 2010, 6:59 pm
by abc
ZOMG, Nathan, I've only listened to the album a hundred times already! And I'm about to go seem them perform next week and anticipating greatness! I love them.

And The Suburbs--so rich. The themes of my own creative works are often nostalgia and geography and understanding identity with the changing times (especially since we so largely create our identity in our childhood--when we (at least me) wrote letters and taped music from the radio and rode our bikes through the town like it was no big thing. I am stuck on this image of me riding my bike to the Walgreens for a candy bar. My yellow bike. No helmet. My daughter will never have that.

I dream constantly of the streets of my childhood neighborhood. And of course the whole time I was a child I was intent on going far away.

My favorite song (this moment) is City With No Children in It.

But anyhoo, I'm obsessed with the album. And Arcade Fire. And Win Butler. And it's probably not healthy.


Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 16th, 2010, 9:46 pm
by Nathan Bransford
They're awesome in concert!!! That's going to be great. I opted against going to see them at the upcoming show in Berkeley, and now that I've heard the album I'm starting to regret that.

I really like City With No Children too, but can't decide if Half Light II or Sprawl II is my favorite.

Also abc you saw the html5 video right?

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 16th, 2010, 9:59 pm
by abc
I have seen the video, thanks! And Sprawl II and Half Light II are also great. Sprawl II makes me nearly cry. I hope you caught the live web show (directed by Terry Gilliam) on you tube. My husband said I shouldn't watch it so it wouldn't spoil the live experience, but I couldn't NOT watch it.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 16th, 2010, 10:13 pm
by jkmcdonnell
Triple J had it as their feature album when it first come out, and I'm pretty sure they played every song on it - this album is basically flawless. Loving the 80s vibe at the start of Half Light II, and I especially dig Half Light I - reminds me of my favourite AF song of all time (of all time!), Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels).

I love how Arcade Fire's music is identifiable but always evolutionary. Such a different sound to Neon Bible yet just as inspiring. Makes me want to write about childhood summers in the suburbs, sitting on the curb with the neighbourhood kids as the sun goes down.

Here's hoping they head to Aus for Big Day Out 2011...

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 21st, 2010, 10:03 pm
by Dankrubis
My wife's been chanting "Rococo" around the house for about two weeks now. It's kinda adorable.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 25th, 2010, 1:12 am
by sylvallenfisher
I'm a die hard with a vengeance kind of Arcade Fire fan. I geek out on themes in general, but their records do it with such EFFORTLESSNESS, it's sick. They take it to the next level on this one, taking the thread of a single lyric and weaving it through multiple songs, ("towns they built to change"). My fave song right now is Suburban War 'cause it makes me think of growing up in a small town, playing in bands, back when my husband and I could claim our cool points. "Now the music divides us into tribes / You grew your hair so I grew mine" - we could so relate.

I also waffled on whether to go to the show or not, since I'd seen them twice before. The first was in New York at the United Palace Theatre - part time church and music venue, pretty perfect for Neon Bible, uh-mazing. And the same year in a crappy hockey arena in St. Paul. They played the same crappy arena this time, but you could tell the last three years has taught them a thing or two about playing larger venues. It was e-lectric. And Regine Chassagne singing Sprawl II, dancing with multi-colored ribbons? Man, she's a force of nature. I'd see 'em again next week if I could.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 25th, 2010, 7:00 pm
by SwampOfBoredom
One of the best features of an Arcade Fire album is the ability to stick it in your car CD player and let it play for weeks on end. I've done that with all three of their albums. While I agree that The Suburbs is a great album and one of the best of 2010, it still pales in comparison to Funeral and Neon Bible. I miss the organs and unique sound of Neon Bible and the raw emotion of Funeral. Lyrically, though, they all stand above the crowd.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 25th, 2010, 7:31 pm
by Claudie
I've been a raving Arcade Fire fan for a long, long time now, and I have to say that while nothing has trumped Funerals in my heart yet, The Suburbs is an incredible album. I was lucky enough to see them in concert this last July, before the disc was out, and they were fantastic.

Re: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Posted: September 28th, 2010, 9:02 am
by N.G. James
I've actually been writing to a playlist with this album and another--High Violet by The National--for the last few weeks. The two collate on random as though they were made for each other, and I think it will be my go to listening for a long time. There's something profoundly joyful about this album while still retaining that edge, almost as though the band is a huge fan of UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre and were writing this during his rise to champion-hood while still recalling that he punches and is punched for a living.