Arcade Fire

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Arcade Fire (formed 1995)
Arcade Fire is a Canadian alternative rock band. They have released two full-length studio albums; Funeral and Neon Bible.

The Early Years: Arcade Fire began whilst Win Butler studied at the Phillips Exeter Academy. The original line-up of the band consisted of Win Butler, Josh Deu and Tim Kyle (Kyle is now in the band Wild Light). The existing formation of the band began in 2003 in Montreal, Canada, with Butler's wife Régine Chassagne and Owen Pallett (also of Final Fantasy).

In late 2003, early 2004, the band recorded the tracks that would later make up their debut album, Funeral. Prior to its release, Arcade Fire released an EP, known as the 'Us Kids Know' EP. Originally, the disc was only sold informally at shows but when the band gained notoriety, the EP was remastered and given a wider release.

The band members play a wide range of musical instruments, including hurdy gurdy, harp, mandolin and French horn and the band members frequently swap instruments when they play live.

Line-up: As well as Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, the main members of the band are: William Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Jeremy Gara, Sarah Neufeld and Tim Kingsbury.

The touring band also includes Owen Pallett, Marika Anthony-Shaw, Kelly Pratt, Colin Stetson and Pietro Amato.

Howard Bilerman played drums on Funeral but no longer collaborates with the band.

Funeral and onwards: Arcade Fire's debut album Funeral was released in Canada first, in September 2004 and then in the UK in February 2005. Several of the band members' relatives had passed away during the recording of the album, hence the title.

The success of Funeral was unprecedented and Merge Records sold out of their original run of CDs, whilst the album became the label's first release to hit the US charts. David Bowie picked up on the recordings and created a great deal of attention for the band.

In 2005, Arcade Fire played a number of popular music festivals across the world, including Coachella, Reading and Leeds and Lollapalooza.

In September 2005, Arcade Fire performed with David Bowie at the Fashion Rocks event and the tracks were later made available on iTunes. That same month, they also played on Top of the Pops, playing 'Rebellion (Lies)'. The band also opened for U2 on their 'Vertigo' tour and joined U2 for a cover of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division. They also appeared on Later with Jools Holland in May 2005.

Before they began recording their second album Neon Bible, Arcade Fire bought a derelict church in Farnham, Quebec and turned it into a recording studio.

The debut track to be released from Neon Bible was 'Intervention'. Despite having been leaked on the internet, the album became available in March 2007. The album went to number one in the Canadian album charts as well as the Irish album chart. The first physical release from the album was 'Black Mirror', which was compared by many critics to Echo and the Bunnymen.

In October 2007, Win and Régine appeared onstage with Bruce Springsteen, playing 'Keep the Car Running' and 'State Trooper'. The band also played a number of free concerts in support of Barack Obama's US presidential campaign in 2008.

A DVD entitled Mirior Noir, featuring footage from the Neon Bible tour was released for pre-order in December 2008.

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Arcade Fire's 'Neon Bible' Recording Studio Set To Re-Open

Arcade Fire Beirut

Arcade Fire's 128-year-old renovated church recording studio is to be reopened next month after being bought by Emery Street Records. The old red brick church is located in Farnham in Canada, and also saw artists like Timber Timbre, Wolf Parade and Beirut record within its walls. Named Grand Lodge No. 24, the building is a part of music history and, following its recent purchase, could yet prove to part of music's future. 

Arcade Fire performing at British Summer Time Hyde Park
Arcarde Fire's fourth studio album, 'The Suburbs', debuted at the top of Billboard's 200 list

The studio, located 65 kilometres to the south of Montreal, was originally built to serve as a Presbyterian church. It served as a café and music venue throughout the 80s and 90s, before being bought by Arcade Fire in 2005 following the release of their tremendously popular debut studio album, 'Funeral', in September, 2004. The Canadian indie rock band used the church as the location for recording the majority of their second studio album, 'Neon Bible', throughout 2006. Before recording began, the church was refurbished into a full recording studio with a living space that included a kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Continue reading: Arcade Fire's 'Neon Bible' Recording Studio Set To Re-Open

Unlikely Pairings - When Comedians And Musicians Come Together

The Killers Jimmy Carr Kasabian Noel Fielding Arcade Fire Jonathan Ross Ed Sheeran Tim Minchin Dave Chappelle Kanye West

Following surprising reports that Las Vegas rockers The Killers invited British comedian Jimmy Carr to join them onstage at V Festival, Contact Music looks at five of the most unlikely pairings from the worlds of comedy and music:

Jimmy CarrBritish comedian Jimmy Carr joined The Killers onstage at this year's V Festival

1) The Killers and Jimmy Carr

Continue reading: Unlikely Pairings - When Comedians And Musicians Come Together

Arcade Fire - You Already Know

Following the release of their fourth studio, Reflektor, album last year, the hit single You Already Know has now received an accompanying music video. It shows talking paintings helping to sing the songs lyrics.

Continue: Arcade Fire - You Already Know

Everything You Need To Know About Drake's 'Views From The 6'

Drake Chris Brown Rihanna Arcade Fire

The world’s favorite Canadian rapper has announced another album. “Views From The 6”, Drake’s fourth offering so far, will be released under the emerging OVO Sound, Drake’s own label. Although he’s announced the album, according to Rolling Stone recording won’t begin until after his tour with Lil Wayne concludes on September 27th, 2014, and the album itself likely won’t drop until spring of next year. Drake is currently set to perform his sold-out OVO Fest in Toronto, Canada alongside Outkast and mystery guests, beginning August 3rd, after which he’ll move on to his international tour and then the studio.

Drake at the Juno AwardsDrake, pictured here at the JUNO Awards, is up for another award - The Polaris

Though theories abound about the vague title, one popular speculation as told by claims it as a reference to his hometown of Toronto, where the primary area codes are 416 and 647. Friend and fellow OVO Sound musician Jimmy Prime reportedly gave Toronto the nickname of “The 6” due to the codes’ common digit. Coupled with his video for “Started From The Bottom” which depicted him working in Canadian chain Shoppers Drug Mart and rapping in the snow, “Views From The 6” lies naturally within the same vein as his frequent Toronto shoutouts.

Continue reading: Everything You Need To Know About Drake's 'Views From The 6'

Picture - Arcade Fire - Barclaycard Presents... London United Kingdom, Thursday 3rd July 2014

Arcade Fire - Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park - Performances - Arcade Fire live on stage - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 3rd July 2014

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The 14 Best Beards at the Glastonbury Festival [Pictures]

Glastonbury Festival Kaiser Chiefs Arcade Fire Lily Allen

Thousands of Glastonbury Festival revellers turned out to watch the Kaiser Chiefs launch the first full day of music at the event, on the Other Stage early on Friday morning. "Glastonbury sing along if you know the words," yelled frontman Ricky Wilson before launching into 'Every Day I Love You Less and Less'.

Glastonbury FestivalLarge beard, larger hat [Photo: Getty Images, credit: Matt Cardy]

With rain persistent all morning, the fans have already begun navigating the muddy fields and paths but appeared in high spirits for the Kaiser Chiefs.

Continue reading: The 14 Best Beards at the Glastonbury Festival [Pictures]

Glastonbury Festival Goers Told To "Prepare For Rape" By BBC

Glastonbury Festival Arcade Fire Metallica Kasabian

Glastonbury Festival goers were warned to "prepare for rape" by a subtitle blunder during the weather report on BBC News at Ten. The weatherman told the audience to "prepare for rain" but the caption instead read, "prepare for rape". 

Glastonbury Festival 2014Festivalgoers at Glastonbury 2014 [Photo: Getty Images, credit: Ian Gavan]

A BBC spokeswoman was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "We try to ensure our subtitling is as accurate as possible but there are occasions when mistakes inevitably occur.

Continue reading: Glastonbury Festival Goers Told To "Prepare For Rape" By BBC

Glastonbury Weather 2014: It's Going to Rain. Loads.

Glastonbury Festival Arcade Fire Kasabian Metallica

Glastonbury festivalgoers are famously robust whatever the weather, packing willies, umbrellas and waterproof ponchos to ensure their heads don’t drop should the heaven decide to open. 

Glastonbury FestivalIt Could Be A Muddy Glastonbury Festival. Photo: Getty images, Credit: Matt Cardy

And it looks like this year might be a wet one. Forecasters are predicting sunshine up until the gates open, then a deluge of rainfall is set to cascade over Worthy Farm as Arcade Fire, Kasabian and Metallica headline the Pyramid Stage. The Met Office are predicting heavy rain showers between 10am and 9pm on Friday - the first full day of music at the festival. 

Continue reading: Glastonbury Weather 2014: It's Going to Rain. Loads.

Arcade Fire Cover The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen at Earl's Court Show

Arcade Fire The Smiths Echo And The Bunnymen Ian Mcculloch

Arcade Fire treated fans to a cover of London by The Smiths and Echo And The Bunnymen's classic track The Cutter during their second show at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre in London on Sunday (June 8, 2014). 

Arcade FireArcade Fire covered The Smiths at Earl's Court

London, the B-side to 1987's Shoplifters of the World Unite, featured Will Butler on vocals and was a solid, hard-driving rendition of the Smiths favourite. The Cutter was less of a cover, given the band were joined on-stage by Echo frontman Ian Mcculloch

Continue reading: Arcade Fire Cover The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen at Earl's Court Show

Picture - Arcade Fire - Arcade Fire... London United Kingdom, Sunday 8th June 2014

Arcade Fire - Arcade Fire performing live in concert at Earls Court - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th June 2014

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Picture - Arcade Fire - Rock in... Lisbon Portugal, Saturday 31st May 2014

Arcade Fire - Rock in Rio Lisboa held at Parque da Bela Vista - Day 4 - Performances - Lisbon, Portugal - Saturday 31st May 2014

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Win Butler Responds to 'We Exist' Video Criticisms - Should a "Trans" Actor Have Been Cast? [Poll]

Andrew Garfield Arcade Fire

The video for Arcade Fire’s gay rights song, ‘We Exist’ features one of the most talked about actors of the moment, Andrew Garfield. And while the band’s intentions were both clear and admirable, the casting of the Spider-Man actor called in to question the lack of transsexual actors in big roles.

Andrew Garfield and Emma StoneAndrew Garfield and Emma Stone pose at the Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala

Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Against Me! And a transgender women herself expounded the criticism on Twitter. “Dear @arcadefire, maybe when making a video for a song called "We Exist" you should get an actual "Trans" actor instead of Spider-Man?” she wrote on Twitter. 

Continue reading: Win Butler Responds to 'We Exist' Video Criticisms - Should a "Trans" Actor Have Been Cast? [Poll]

Head To Europe This Year For The Best Summer Festival Experiences!

Pukkelpop Festival Tomorrowland The Garden Festival Roskilde La Route Du Rock Rock Am Ring Melt! Festival Sziget Pinkpop Festival Open'er Festival Off Festival Exit Festival Primavera Sound Festival Benicassim Festival Sonar Festival Ibiza Rocks Rolling Stones Arcade Fire ASAP Rocky Arctic Monkeys Prodigy Lana Del Rey Black Sabbath Slayer Iron Maiden Nine Inch Nails East India Youth Metallica Flaming Lips Elbow The Pixies The Libertines Haim Alice Cooper

We've been seriously pushing US and UK music festivals this year but, it has to be said, there's nowhere quite like Europe.

The continent is home to some of the most unique music events in the world and, looking at what's on offer this year, it seems that the festival season is the best time to experience cultural diversity to the nth degree. Whether its sun or snow you're after, rock or dance music, indoor or outdoor, Europe has it all and with the summer quickly approaching, it's time to get on a plane and take the best vacation of your lives as we guide you to the most exciting countries you can hope to visit this year.

The best of BelgiumBelgium
- Pukkelpop (August 14th - 16th): This Belgian weekend remains seriously cool having first began in 1985 and always playing host to some of the world's best alternative music with early performers including Ramones, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Iggy Pop. Nearly 30 years on, Pukkelpop maintains its excellence with 2014 seeing the likes of Clean Bandit, Gogol Bordello and Die Antwoord on the bill.
- Tomorrowland (July 18th - 20th and July 25th - 27th): If you want to feel like you've entered a fantasy world for a weekend (or two), Tomorrowland is definitely for you. Taking place in the town of Boom, you'll be rocking out against a backdrop of incredible art installations of gargantuan proportions - it really isn't a sight to be missed.

Continue reading: Head To Europe This Year For The Best Summer Festival Experiences!