On his blog, Paul “Cassandra” Krugman posted on Arcade Fire last night. I’m just going to repeat that: Paul Krugman wrote about Arcade Fire.
I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t even aware of the band until the Grammys — but hey, I’m 58! And as I suspect is happening with Brad, as an aging baby boomer I find it vastly reassuring to see that there are honest, creative artists still making their way up amid the commercialization. And their live performances are truly addictive. So:
Two notes. 1.) Starting today, Noise Narcs will cease its coverage of last week’s Pitchfork and instead cover last week’s Keynesian economics. 2.) James Fallows, you better step up your game from Pomplamoose.
Might as well just call us Sufjan & Arcade Fire Narcs with all the posts we’ve done lately, but this interactive video for “We Used to Wait,” made in partnership with Google, is flat-out amazing. It uses dynamic images from Google Streetview and Maps of your house. Requires latest version of Firefox, Safari, or Chrome (preferably Chrome) since it uses the newfangled HTML5.
Here is my long overdue initial contribution to the Noise Narcs community.
When I was growing up my mom insisted on my brother and me taking piano lessons, and when I was about 12 I quit to focus on my athletic career. This turned out to be a mistake, as I have yet to impress any girls with my baseball or basketball skills. I imagine I might be able to woo them if I could sit down at a piano and play something romantic, like some Chopin, Beethoven, or the piano version of Sisqo’s opus “The Thong Song.”
I stumbled across this amazing video of Arcade Fire playing the title-track from their 2007 album Neon Bible while in an elevator, and if my mom would have just had the foresight to make me take magazine playing lessons, I probably would never have quit, and I would be an acclaimed musician who had the ability to impress the ladies.
I’ve been reserving judgement on the new Arcade Fire album, The Suburbs, which dropped today. I never fully embraced Funeral until after I became obsessed Neon Bible. And it took me five or so listens (and about a million on-repeat listens of closer “My Body Is a Cage”) to fall for Neon Bible.
But having listened to The Suburbs a good number of times now, I can safely say that this album is going to continue growing on me. And seeing them, with openers Spoon, knock the socks off Philly’s Mann Center last night, against a beautiful and rain-threatening sky, seals the deal. I still feel like it’s a little fatty, that a song or two could be cut, or at least some of them shortened. But it’s an album to be excited about.
Even as its focus moves from politics writ large to the smallness of suburban life, the music has become richer, more bombastic. “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” is the standout, both because it (soft) rocks and because it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, or anything else Arcade Fire has produced. Lil’ brother William Butler (were his parents Yeats fans?) told WXPN yesterday that the working title was “That Abba Song.” I might quibble and suggest “That Late Abba Song,” but with a track this synthed-up and driven, why be such a musical stick in the mud?
Noise Narcs has been a bit very slow of late due to massive traffic crappy WordPress configuration and crappy hosting. We’ll be experimenting with a few changes so excuse our motley appearance. In the mean time, do check out the new Arcade Fire songs that leaked over at One Thirty BMP; they’re quite good.