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VERY VERY VERY sinister
that is a GREAT wesbite.
the AF seem to be going totally goth. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. The website reminds me of a weird mixture of Radiohead's website, GYBE artwork and weird Victorian childrens books...
hope of the states went for and never really got.
The GYBE connection aint too surprising given their connections wiith the band. Gorgeous website though. any US/canada citizens phoned the number? does it come up with anything?
There is also a really weird pamphlet on Pitchfork. They seem to be totally into La Fontaine. http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/page/news/Mysterious_Arcade_Fire_Pamphlet_Surfaces#40952
I really really like it when bands do exciting/interesting publicity campaigns.
album is a bit of a letdown though
i'm not expecting 'funeral'- standards, but something fairly excellent nonetheless. I am still worried about this decision to fiddle with 'no cars go'.
im always up for a bit of fiddling.
i didn't take one, cos i'm an idiot.
but i wish they wouldn't do so much in the way of promotion gimmicks etc.
it makes them seem self-important when they aren't pushing any envelopes and just leads to a fall. they're a straightforward indie pop band: presenting themselves as 'edgy' and 'important' means they'll just be compared to better bands.
sometimes, less is more.
as you call it. At least on funeral. Theres a lot of bravery in the music on there and the band pull it off well. reconsider.
who? name some names. there are few better bands that are still around in my opinion. Theyre the best band to appear in the last 3-4-5 years.
because it's entirely subjective, but fuelling their own hype like this can only be a mistake.
apart from the general quality of their songs, the reason why they're so popular is because they bring together various popular elements of today's 'indie' music.
they're a product of influence rather than that of new ideas, and i think that in those circumstances they'd give themselves a more favourable legacy if they laid off on all of the fuss.
obviously they have no control over hysterical reviews (ie. Arctic Monkeys) but they've got control over all of this. they're basically asking for a backlash.
but what band isnt.
on the subject of influence..
yeah. i dont consider em groundbreaking as such, but they manage to fuse the styles very well to produce a very original acessable, sound. i agree with you on the whole 'they should quit with the marketing'. not because theyll get compared to bands they dont deserve to be, but because it makes em seem more pretentious than they are.
but in terms of using those influences to create something new entirely? i don't think Arcade Fire do that. they haven't really 'come out of nowhere' and surprised people, it's the lack of surprise that gives them most of their success in my opinion.
they're an alright band, but i very much doubt that in 20 years people will hold them up as an example of musical innovation in the 00s, and their marketing seems to suggest they will be.
i don't think it's pretention as much as it is inflated self-worth.
i dont expect a band to come out of nowhere. and i think youre wrong about Arcade fire getting held up, they will, but some of it i do think will be false. Theyre a good band who have made a debut album that didnt have a bad track on it. Stone roses are getting held up for exactly the same thing now as we approach the 20 year mark, and they werent all that great- even though their marketing explicitly stated that. Okay, bands like beirut, smz, and many of their influences should be held up, but arcade fire marry experimentalism with certain sensibilities that makes them highly enjoyable and exciting. just because a band has hooks doesnt stop it being experimental or original as long as they innovate in other areas. not everything has to sound like drone, ambience, or avant to be experimental, and not everything has to be pop to be catchy. Arcade fire strike a nice balance.
theyre not really explicitly saying ' were amazing and fresh' in those pamphlets are they? Theyre just trying to add a little suspense and excitemtn to the otherwise bland 'BUY OUR ALBUM' ness of modern marketing.
sorry..there i go again.
the band DOES have power over how they are perceived, and by relentlessly self-publicising like this it will lead to irritation.
i'd disagree entirely about Arcade Fire being experimental, but that's not to say i think they should be a drone band or something.
they largely retain the same features as countless other Canadian indie bands and they generally stick to certain formulae when they make a record. there's a sense of predictability to what they do, and i found "Funeral" to be lacking in any sort of depth beyond the 'catchy hooks', etc.
sure, they've made a good debut record, but just like the Stone Roses i don't think anyone will ever take anything more from it than that.
they aren't going to be very interesting/good.
look at what the Roses have spawned: all they did at the time was create a more palatable Krautrock, and bands that hold them up as a major influence (ie Kasabian) generally come across as stale 3rd generation pap.
the same could be said of all those bands that still do takes on The Clash and The Sex Pistols.
what i really mean is that they mix experimental influences well with good tunes. Unlike say, Hope of the states, instead of trying to pass experimental music off as their own and just singing over the top, on funeral they put heart and soul into what they do and reallly have thought about combining different influences and styles to shape something of their own.
they certainly dont sound like other canadian indie bands. Otherwise why arent Broken Social scene, Stars, or say, wolf parade, elicit the same support throughout both altenative and mainstream audiences? though cross pollination in the highly incestuous montreal scene is inevitable.
I flat out dont agree with predictability- look at tracks like wake up- that christmas disco bit at the end is far from predictable. Though i do agree that they may not be used as an influence in the future.
The problem here is that were drifting out of the easy arena of 'has it been done before?' into the arena of personal taste, so i'm going to try anyway.
Apologies to other DiS for the innacessability of the argument.
i can hear lots of BSS and especially Decemberists in what they do, as well as sharing most of the same influences.
they certainly do it well, even if i'm not overly enamoured with it. but i certainly wouldn't venture to say that their sound surprises me: if anything they combine every facet of north american 00s indie into something accessible to the masses.
By predictable, i meant the way that almost all of their songs seem to fit the pattern of reaching a big moment at the end, either by speeding it up or generally getting louder or whatnot. they don't tend to straddle many genres or write different kinds of song from the ballads or the 'epic' danceable ones.
Of course, there is the whole argument that incredibly popular bands generally never are truly innovative and the real legacy of the era will be from the 'underground' bands that the musicians of the future become obsessed by blah blah blah, but I'd say that in terms of the platform they're on now the Arcade Fire are still smaller than Bowie or Lou Reed or Black Sabbath were and their influences stretch far and wide now even if they never did sell as many as they could(/should?) have done. Although the industry has changed a massive amount, clearly.
I have to sum my point up i think really, and it's that as probably the most recent, highest profile 'credible' band, the Arcade Fire cannot compare to musicians that have been in their position before in terms of innovation etc., and by marketing themselves in such a conspicuous manner i think they're acting to their own detriment. I believe that without making such a fuss about their new record, the music would be allowed to speak for itself but as such it won't be able to and will draw out of place comparisons to 'superior' artists that can stand up to analysis better than they can.
and to sum THAT up:
bands shouldn't stress their own importance, especially when making pop records.
POP RECORDS CAN STILL BE INNOVATIVE!
i didn't word that properly.
but they need to be given a bit of room, y'know. it's easy to come up with an opinion on a pop record very quickly, and ramming it down people's throats will mean they dismiss it far more easily.
I only really engage with their music on an emotional level, if the lyrics don't move me then there's really nothing left to enjoy. Funeral worked so well because it mixed some pretty tight songwriting chops with levels of emotion, passion & energy reflected in the pretty awesome lyrics and delivery. The music is really nothing special, and if the emotional punch is missing on this record I can see myself tiring of it pretty swiftly.
Also its funny you should mention GSYBE & Silver Mt. Zion because Efrim really doesn't like the Arcade Fire.
(read the funeral thanks list and recording studio and performers list) the Hotel2Tango crowd must feel betrayed by the amount of selling out the arcade fire have done, and all those adverts. Actually, yes, their advertising and marketing pisses me off A LOT!!!
but then, he hates Radiohead.. cmon man..
i cant agree with 'unoriginal' though.
do you engage with all music on anything other than an emotional level at the end of the day?
and ive come to the conclusion that Neon bible will actually be crap- ive heard that screw over with No Cars Go and it sounds overproduced and sickly. but that doesnt detract from funeral. Its still good.
...the only advert they did was for that (red) campaign?
and (red) represents the corporate figleaf for third world abuse and capitalisms failure to provide adequate healthcare after its rape of Africa. even i think that.
live struck me as being very much like an arcade fire that takes itself far less seriously.
i also think that website's a bit shit.
and i liked the hots one.
capture some really good absurdist themes in their music. i dont see how they sound like arcade fire though. Nor do i see how bss do, as they sound much more like American Analog set.