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Arcade Fire - Funeral


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Yeah, I like it quite a bit too. Reminds me of Broken Social Scene at times, albeit with a much grittier, lo-fi/DIY/punk feel. "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" is an absolute monster of a track.

Edited by opus

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I've been wanting to hear this for ages now, and finally have a copy coming in the mail later this month.

Pitchfork gave it a 9.6 or so, I believe-- perhaps their highest rating of 2004? I know it's a point higher than what they gave the Fiery Furnaces...

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As I've mentioned earlier, I didn't care all that much for the Fiery Furnaces disc, so I'd probably side with Pitchfork on this one. I'm listening to Funeral right now, and it's continually growing on me. That moment in backseat when the girl's voice begins soaring over the churning strings - pure goosebump material.

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Here's an interesting article.

This is the philosophy of the Arcade Fire, one of carpe diem, of living life to the fullest during our short time on this earth. No doubt the funerals that inspired the album title play specifically into this, but it's also something every member of the band shares. Tim says, from talking to Win about death, one thing that he feels strongly is that death is very real. He's pretty scared of the idea of sitting around and not doing anything, of following a spirit that will lead to nothing. It's easy to get stuck in a routine or a habit. Part of what this band is about is actively avoiding that state.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Awesome cd. I've never heard anything like it and I've never been so unable to describe what they sound like to my friends. I bought it on my way home from work last night and I didn't want to get out of the car and couldn't wait to get back into my car when I finally did, get out.

"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

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Awesome cd. I've never heard anything like it and I've never been so unable to describe what they sound like to my friends. I bought it on my way home from work last night and I didn't want to get out of the car and couldn't wait to get back into my car when I finally did, get out.

A good description I read somewhere was "a stripped down Polyphonic Spree meets Death Cab for Cutie with more abstract lyrics."

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A good description I read somewhere was "a stripped down Polyphonic Spree meets Death Cab for Cutie with more abstract lyrics.

Ugh... Sorry, but I couldn't stand that Polyphonic Spree album. However, listening to Funeral right now, I can see where that comparison might come from, even if I object to it. tongue.gif

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sweet... they're coming to Omaha on November 29!

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 4 weeks later...

There's a bootleg of a recent show here. It was recorded with a lapel mic, but still sounds incredible. "Neighborhood #2" almost brought tears to my eyes. And it's fun to hear just how much the crowd gets into the music... can't wait to see them for myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw The Arcade Fire last night, and wow... these are guys are amazing live, playing with an almost religious intensity. I agree, "Wake Up" is simply phenomenal live, as well as "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)", "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)", and "Rebellion (Lies)". Heck, the whole dang set was pretty much phenomenal. It's rare to see a band throw themselves so recklessly into their music as if their very lives depended on it.

My girlfriend said it was one of the best shows she's seen since seeing U2.

Oh, and forget Pitchfork... Arcade Fire's cover of Talking Heads' "This Must Be The Place" is, well, phenomenal.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been listening to this album a lot recently, and man... it looks like I'm going to have to go back and revise my 2004 Top 10 list. This is one of the most promising debut albums I've heard in many moons.

What's astonishing is how ambitious and complex it is. This is one of the most grand and complicated rock albums I've heard since OK Computer, and the musicianship is excellent, as is the songwriting.

What's depressing about it is the glaring absence of God in Arcade Fire's world view. The entire album is so concerned with death and loss, and the complete lack of the Divine from their equation is so noticeable, that this album is bleak, troubling, and, for me, difficult to listen to.

Still, technically, it's one of 2004's best.

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This is one of the most promising debut albums I've heard in many moons.

Yes, and I can't wait to see how they'll follow it up.

What's depressing about it is the glaring absence of God in Arcade Fire's world view. The entire album is so concerned with death and loss, and the complete lack of the Divine from their equation is so noticeable, that this album is bleak, troubling, and, for me, difficult to listen to.

Interesting... the main singer/songwriter did go to college for religious studies, though I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Unfortunately, none of the interviews I've seen really delve into this aspect, but only mention it in passing.

Personally, I don't find the album bleak. Certainly depressing and volatile in places, but I think there are bits of hope strewn here and there. However, there is certainly a great deal of desperation and anxiety in there as well. However, I had a fairly powerful experience/connection with the disc, so that might explain it for me.

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Well, that does it--now I *have* to buy this album. I'd been poo-pooing my students' enrapturement with Arcade Fire and rolling my eyes at the critical gushing that surrounds them, but that probably says more about my own frustration with the whole Music Thing than it does about the quality of the album. You guys are a source I always trust about this kind of thing, so I guess I know what I'm buying when I go to my favorite bookstore this weekend...

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Well, that does it--now I *have* to buy this album. I'd been poo-pooing my students' enrapturement with Arcade Fire and rolling my eyes at the critical gushing that surrounds them, but that probably says more about my own frustration with the whole Music Thing than it does about the quality of the album. You guys are a source I always trust about this kind of thing, so I guess I know what I'm buying when I go to my favorite bookstore this weekend...

I had the same thoughts recently until I listened to "Neighborhoods #2" on the recent Paste sampler. Picked up the album last night.

I'll perhaps post more on it when I give it a few more spins, but I love the energy that this band provides the album. I'm normally not a fan of Pitchfork, but I think their high rating on this album was justified.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You can find a video of the band's recent Conan O'Brien performance here.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I only just got introduced to this bunch yesterday, thanks to Greg Wolfe's excellent arts journal. (Does his inclusion of their work mean they are Christians? I know MOST of his featured artists are...) I guess I should read this forum more regularly.

Anyway, I have only heard three songs courtesy of the Merge Records site, (Neighborhood, Rebellion & Wake Up) but I've been playing them constantly - Wow. This is a must-have.

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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Not a lot has been said about the group's spirituality (if any). The main singer/songwriter did go to school for religious studies (which is how he met his wife and co-vocalist), but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's an older interview, courtesy of Splendid.

The Pitchfork interview takes awhile to get going - it's interesting that the first 1/4 or so is as much about Pitchfork as it is about the band - but there are some nuggets in there.

Pitchfork: A lot of people hear some religious or gospel influences in the music, and I know that you majored in religious studies at Concordia.  What drew you to that?

Win: Actually, after I transferred to McGill, I ended up in religious studies, but I took a class in scriptural interpretation, which basically looked at how different readers get different meaning out of the same religious text.  Like, you take a passage in a bible that's shared by Islam and Judaism and Christianity and kind of look at extreme medieval writers and see how they interpreted it, different tools they had for getting meaning out of it, how those tools changed over time. It's really fascinating. It seems like up until the 1960s, at least in the West, so much literature is so based on scripture that I felt like I didn't really understand anything that well, not having more of a background in it.

Pitchfork: Do you consider yourself to be a religious person?

Win: Yeah, I would definitely consider myself to be a religious person. I mean, not in a denominational sense, but it's something that I love arguing with people about, and thinking about it. And I think that religious texts have been exploring in really sophisticated ways questions about humans, that a lot of secular stuff isn't anywhere near as sophisticated about.

Pitchfork: Do you think it informs your music?

Win: Maybe in subtle ways. I don't know, I mean R

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  • 1 month later...

I, too, just got hold of it, and I'm impressed. I'm on listen #3, and it's increasingly intriguing. I find it much more satisfying than the Modest Mouse album, and I like the way they fuse echoes of Talking Heads, Modest Mouse, Pixies, and even B-52s in with their own unique sound.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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It's the key change in 'Rebellion' that does it, on the "every time you close your eyes" Bam! - change key. Marvellous.

I hear lots of the Cure in this, and maybe also the very distant wailing sound of some of the Montreal Constellation post-rock scene.

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