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Band: The Arcade Fire

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Band: The Arcade Fire

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Total votes : 236

Postby alex maiolo on Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:04 am

This just baffles me - all of it.
10 pages, and most of it is slamming this band.

I can't say they do a lot for me. They aren't bad, but I don't own any of their stuff. I have no idea how they got so big. Why do so many people like this music?

My understanding is that THEY still don't know how they got so big either.

In the snob/elitist thread I used them as an example of a band that did what they do, and somehow, through various means, got huge - they won the rock lottery basically - and they are pretty much still doing the same thing.

Which is to say, the public bought music by a band that formed the way all real bands formed - some people got together. In this case they had bazoukis, washboards, bowed saws or some other shit. They weren't some prefab BS.
I say good for them, really.

I have a choice as to whether or not I want to hear it. It's not like it's blasting from the radio in every store I enter.
This band has been great about helping out other bands, and haven't forgotten where they came from.

This is the kind of success story I'd like to hear about any one of your bands, assuming you'd like to make a living playing music.

-A
dontfeartheringo wrote:If $100 is too much for you to spend on a microphone maybe you should find a new hobby. People like you seem to like Magic: The Gathering a lot.
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Postby holmes on Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:11 am

i like them alot. the new lp isnt as good as funeral. they have good b-sides, one of which has been used on the new lp. a worrying sign. however funeral is full of good tunes and i like them alot.
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Postby holmes on Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:14 am

alex maiolo wrote:This just baffles me - all of it.
10 pages, and most of it is slamming this band.

I can't say they do a lot for me. They aren't bad, but I don't own any of their stuff. I have no idea how they got so big. Why do so many people like this music?

because it is very well written with lots of good melodies? i can honestly this is a band whose popularity does not even slightly suprise or confuse me.

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Postby alex maiolo on Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:34 am

holmes wrote:
alex maiolo wrote:This just baffles me - all of it.
10 pages, and most of it is slamming this band.

I can't say they do a lot for me. They aren't bad, but I don't own any of their stuff. I have no idea how they got so big. Why do so many people like this music?


because it is very well written with lots of good melodies? i can honestly this is a band whose popularity does not even slightly suprise or confuse me.



Sure, and I get that. It was more rhetorical, what I was asking. What I was saying in the bulk of my post, as you can see, is that this band is not worthy of the ire thery are getting. Did they sell out, Did they pander? Did they sign a deal with the devil? Then what's the problem?
They are on Merge and they are selling big. Great, right?

Running with your point though, you're not surprised that so many people like them when you compare it to what most people listen to?

It's like Beck. I could care either way about Beck. I'm glad he's doing OK because he puts out interesting stuff.
The thing is, most people don't like interesting stuff. Look at what's popular! So how did Beck and Arcade Fire make people take notice of their interesting music? What is their X factor?
I guess if I knew that, I'd be rich.

That's what I meant though.
And mainly I was just asking people why they seem to wish these people ill will when all they did was do their thing and people bought it.

-A
dontfeartheringo wrote:If $100 is too much for you to spend on a microphone maybe you should find a new hobby. People like you seem to like Magic: The Gathering a lot.
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Postby holmes on Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:41 am

fair play i stand corrected.
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Postby same on Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:48 am

alex maiolo wrote:It's like Beck. I could care either way about Beck. I'm glad he's doing OK because he puts out interesting stuff.
The thing is, most people don't like interesting stuff. Look at what's popular! So how did Beck and Arcade Fire make people take notice of their interesting music? What is their X factor?
I guess if I knew that, I'd be rich.


I think it's being in the right place at the right time. Dumb luck. I don't think you can calculate the time or place. It just happens.

The thing that's somewhat baffling about the popularity of Arcade Fire (vs. Beck) is that I don't remember seeing any promotion for them. I'm pretty sure they didn't have some wildly popular MTV video like Beck had during MTV's 90s alternative era. They are a decent, and at times great pop-rock band, but there are plenty of great pop-rock bands on indies like Merge that fly completely under most people's radar. This band got huge (three sold out nights in a row at the Chicago Theater!) simply by word of mouth it seems. It's pretty astounding.
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Postby alex maiolo on Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:22 pm

That's what I mean, Same. Dead on.

Earlier I mentioned a lottery. Dumb luck, just as you say.

Even with dumb luck theory, it's astounding.
I'm thinking all of that Gladwellian stuff about "viral" impact might be true here.
The right guy, in the right shoes, told the right woman, who knew Jack Klugman's nephew, who drives a Prius and works in Omaha...

Flash forward 2 years and Arcade Fire is playing Central Park with Bowie.

A thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters couldn't have marketed this better.

-A
dontfeartheringo wrote:If $100 is too much for you to spend on a microphone maybe you should find a new hobby. People like you seem to like Magic: The Gathering a lot.
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Postby rzs on Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:50 pm

I don't think that good melodies/songwriting has everything to do with it (although it explains a lot). If that were the case how come the same thing didn't happen for Bedhead?
There is just some intangible that reaches more people in the case of Arcade Fire. Like Alex M said.
Take the melodies etc, add in the intangible and then they win the indie lottery.

The promotional aspect of thing vis a vis Beck is a bad comparison in my opinion. I mean, Beck had promotion, Arcade Fire didn't...but the degree of success here is very different. "Loser" was a #1 single. A #1 single.
But as far as the intangibles, I think it is a good comparison. These aren't the types of musicians I would generally expect to be successful.

I think the reason that people attack Arcade Fire's success, other than not liking their music very much is that fans of indie music are elitist and they want to clearly differentiate themselves from others who they view as stupid. They can't like what everyone else likes, even if it is good, because if they did, they couldn't say everyone was stupid for liking it.
Fine, some people really don't like their music, I get that. I don't like the Minutemen, Nick Drake, Minor Threat, etc.
But I do think that you can explain the specific hatred for Arcade Fire to a large degree by this type of elitism.
Same thing happened in the Iron & Wine thread.

People hate bands when they sign to majors, and they hate them when they are successful on indies. What is a band supposed to do. Just break up or make crappy records?

Arcade Fire- Not Crap. I like them. Haven't heard the new record and am in no hurry to, but I do like the ep and Funeral.
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Postby John George Peppers on Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:39 pm

The Arcade Fire just came along at the right time. A few years ago
"indie" rock or the idea of "Indie" rock music became very popular. Fuck, not only with music. This "indie" thing has been branded and made up into a "lifestyle." It's this new preppy hipster thing.

I see the rise of this former preppy now sudo-arty crowd everyday. Here in Chicago look no further than Wicker Park. The neighborhood is seen, at least in the distant past it was true, as a artist area in Chicago. However, the people who are actively moving in the area are no different than the people in the more "traditional" parts of town.

It's a bunch of really preppy kids that now shop at stores like American Apparel, tell everyone how much they love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind( I guess this is as "indie" of a movie as it gets for them), and listen to bands like the Arcade Fire/Wilco.

At some point a chunk of the really preppy kids branched off and got behind this music/"lifestyle" The Arcade Fire is the leading band for them. Arcade Fire seems to represents their desire to be more "artsy" than say their peers.

Is this not happening in other cities? These people now far outnumber the actual "Hipsters" in Chicago.
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Postby alex maiolo on Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:00 pm

It's happening everywhere, but I'm wondering how the AF got tapped. They are genuinely artsy people. Montreal is a fantastically artsy, hip city. I don't think what they do is an act, I think it's who they are and what they are into.

Your example of Wilco is another good one. I like some of their stuff, not crazy about some of the rest. I'm impressed, however, that Jeff is pretty much doing whatever he wants, trying out any left field idea that comes to mind, pilfering from some great sources, it's good music, and people are actually buying it.

I would have picked Jay Farrar 10 out of 10 times, if I had been wagering back in 1997, as the guy who would have gone furthest. I guess Uncle Tupelo broke up because maybe Jay thought that too - out loud. As Jay said "it was a divorce and Jeff got the kids." I guess the band stayed with Jeff because he was showing promising ideas.

Again, though, how did Wilco get tapped and become this huge thing? I tried to score a friend some tickets to an NY show, and couldn't pull any favors. The tickets are selling fro $200, scalped, on Ebay.
TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS to see Wilco!
Face is $32.
Sick, but not the band's fault. Again, I'm sure they are a little baffled too.

-A
dontfeartheringo wrote:If $100 is too much for you to spend on a microphone maybe you should find a new hobby. People like you seem to like Magic: The Gathering a lot.
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Postby slowriot on Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:21 am

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Postby mr.arrison on Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:59 am

i have since checked the AF out in greater depth.

i'm not so concerned about the indy cred or where they come from.

to me, it's simply the music, and I have found it to be extremely dull and boring. snoozarama +10.
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Postby cervixFORaHEart on Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:07 am

i enjoy several tracks from "funeral".

i downloaded "neon bible" and gave it three or four spins in the old cd player and nothing ever grabbed my attention.

that said, im always amused when bands like this draw such bile from the self-imposed "elite" of the music community.

no, theyre not great.

yes, they probably are worth less than what the weird kid that sits next to you in your soc theory class thinks they are.

no, they will never make another album as good as "funeral".

yes, lots of dumb people like them for all the wrong reasons.

they can be great live, though.

and you cant blame them for the fact that the majority of their fanbase are dull poo-poo heads.

theyre young kids from up north who have proven themselves to have the ability to write and record some obviously above average music from time to time.

i just cant help but feel that the arcade fire and similiar bands draw more heat than they deserve for reasons that are out of their control.


i am drunk, though....so i may be wrong.
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Postby dansoderburg on Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:17 am

cervixFORaHEart wrote:i just cant help but feel that the arcade fire and similiar bands draw more heat than they deserve for reasons that are out of their control.


i am drunk, though....so i may be wrong.



i agree. i've dated many reasonable women in the past few years who enjoy bands such as pinball flamers or whatever the furk they is called, and it's not like they're dumb people. they are intelligent on many other issues, they are just wrong on music.
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Postby primate fly heavyweight on Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:30 am

i have never heard this band.

i might never ever hear this band.

but i know one thing: 99% of everything sucks.

i'm sure this band is 1% good.

fuck you arcade fire, may i never hear your mediocrity.
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Postby slowriot on Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:50 pm

alex maiolo wrote:That's what I mean, Same. Dead on.

Earlier I mentioned a lottery. Dumb luck, just as you say.

Even with dumb luck theory, it's astounding.
I'm thinking all of that Gladwellian stuff about "viral" impact might be true here.
The right guy, in the right shoes, told the right woman, who knew Jack Klugman's nephew, who drives a Prius and works in Omaha...

Flash forward 2 years and Arcade Fire is playing Central Park with Bowie.

A thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters couldn't have marketed this better.

-A


...i know jack klugman's nephew! his name is brian! i've known him since the age of 8. he's one of my most favorite people on earth, and severely influenced my cultural outlook when i was growing up.

he's an actor/writer living in la. you should look him up on IMDB, as you've probably seen him before on tv/movies. he does a ton of commercials. he sold a script to mel gibson after the success of the passion of the christ. he and another guy i know are writing the updated version of tron!

sorry, your comment was too funny not to respond to.
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Postby alex maiolo on Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:10 pm

So this is exactly what I was talking about, in a way. Weird shit makes the world go 'round, and sometimes that weird shit is what ends up making a band a household name.

I picked Klugman because he has a funny name and was Qunicy. No other reason.

What are the odds that somebody here actually knew his nephew?

Well, get him your band's demo tape then. Go on.
The world needs the next Arcade Fire and Klugman's waiting to start the butterfly effect again.

-A
dontfeartheringo wrote:If $100 is too much for you to spend on a microphone maybe you should find a new hobby. People like you seem to like Magic: The Gathering a lot.
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Postby Benny on Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:12 pm

they are a perfectly good, respectable and real pop-rock band. it´s 200% better than any mainstream bullshit.

all this hating seems completely alien to me. maybe they are really hyped out in the USA and Canada, but here they are just another good band. better than franz ferdinand and the strokes. they arent sell outs. just people making music
'no cars go' from the last album is great, i`m a sucker for those epic song endings. and i like also how the track 'neon bible' never resolves and they just add the snare drum in the chorus.
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Postby Ernest on Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:32 pm

It's unfounded to hate them based on anything besides their music, or the way they come across. With that said, I don't like them much. I can listen if someone has them on, but I wouldn't play it myself. It's not my cup of tea.
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Postby Adam CR on Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:50 am

I like 'em.

I can understand how you 14-16 year-olds might be put off a band because they're popular or whatever, I was the same when I was your age.

NOT CRAP.
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