Sunday, May 13, 2007

Arcade Fire

This band just put out their second album, "Neon Bible". The hippest people mostly like their music, and they've been toting a cloud of Indy approval to show for it as though they were leading Indy rock to its promised land. Like the Jews, and like countless once hot Indy bands, I'm sure their distand fate will be disbandment and relative marginalization, but in the mean time, we can rock out to "Neon Bible".

Even if it fails to save us as convincingly as the hype might make someone expect, it will still give us more than one occasion to rock our heads back and forth. Or you can just sit and tap one foot if you're my grandmother.

Apparently, struggling or teeter totter Christians are the new cool artists. I haven't looked closely at the album's message, but I get the impression these guys are would class themselves as raised in the Church and now disillusioned by stale or judgemental dogma. I've a heard a couple bands play in this strain lately, Jenny Lewis with her Watson twins, in "Rabbit Fur Coat", is one who comes to mind, regretting some of the inconsistencies of her parents raising her in the Church and then getting a divorced and being so entangled with material possessions like rabbit fur coats, etc. I guess I'd prefer this crowd to be making our mainstream music as opposed to blatantly irreligious music.

I wish these kids making such interesting music could be... older and wiser... and not sing about fairly foundationless opinions that are really emotive responses to a protected American experience of life. For example, all these kids are anti-war. I have no problem with that, except there's never any substance to their objections, just the same old privileged perspective that we shouldn't have to ever be involved in something as messy as a war against a guerrilla insurgency where real live Americans have to die and where it's very difficult to discern the real issues and political motivations of all sides involved.

I get frustrated when the Arcade fire sings "does anyone still actual believe there is such a thing as choice, I don't." and then a moment later, "There's no way to know what anyone might do." This may be a small and mostly insignificant instance, but I think those two statements are contradictory. If that's any indication of the depth or discipline of thought that goes into their messages... well, it's just a sad state for music to be in when there's so much more potential.

Thank you Sufjan Stevens for showing us a sign.

Still, their music pulses and rocks. And when they don't preach, they sometimes use words in magical ways. They sing one song about keeping the car running, and actually, that's pretty much the whole chorus: keep the car running. You'd have to hear it to believe it. I'll never wait for someone in a running care the same again. I listen to that song and I think, yeah, keep the car running, because, maybe, we really do have a promised land to get to.


Blogger Justin said...

Hey - I've been enjoying the album too. I've been wondering if you've been writing, so its good to come back to this and see new posts.

11:15 AM  

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