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.
Arcade Fire's fifth studio album has lofty ambitions, somewhere along the way though it definitely hits a glass ceiling. It's a record that's purpose-built for the digital age starting and finishing in exactly the same place. 'Everything Now (Continued)' bookends proceedings with the album looping seamlessly as the song is bisected by the constraints of the physical album format, but is set free by the infinite looping available on digital devices. It's a project that is an audio representation of the mathematical lemniscate symbol for infinity: its start and finish hinge on the same song, the album loops and mirrors itself with two very distinct renditions of 'Infinite Content' marking the midway point of the record, and crucially even the album artwork is presented in two complimentary designs. You get the feeling that Arcade Fire's aiming for a grand statement, something with enough self-importance to perhaps establish itself as an Ok Computer for the 21st century. Ultimately Everything Now is fundamentally too clever for it's own good, there's too much emphasis on the concept at the expense of the songs themselves.
Perhaps the hurdle that Everything Now fails to overcome is the irony that lies at its core. There's a through-line of acid tongued social commentary aimed at the instant gratification of the digital age, but these songs are presented in a package that seemingly glorifies that modern predisposition. If this was an album filled with dark humour that would be an understandable choice, but it's all delivered in such a straight-faced fashion that it fails to be anywhere near as subversive as it wants to be. Arcade Fire had previously demonstrated a masterful grasp of these kinds of themes, especially with 2010's The Suburbs, here it's like the band is thematically treading water.
Admittedly Win Butler does cover a lot of ground during the 47-minute perpetual loop of Everything Now. There's financial meltdown with 'Everything Now (Continued)' when he tells us "I'm in the black again" and later in the record the mirror image "I'm in the red again", unsurprisingly the theme is also explored with 'Put Your Money On Me'. There's regular references to religion, it's signalled with the gospel choir found on the title track and re-enforced on 'Good God Damn' and 'We Don't Deserve Love' where Butler implores Mary to "roll away the stone". There's also drugs ('Chemistry') and suicide ('Creature Comfort'), in fact Butler seems to emphasise how serious he is throughout the record by relentlessly focussing on mortality and death as a metaphor when he's not deconstructing our obsession with materialistic ephemera. Butler is telling us to "stop pretending you've got everything now", but that message gets lost in the patchwork narrative he builds through the course of the record.
Continue reading: Arcade Fire - Everything Now Album Review
Nickelback are a ''guilty pleasure'' because they're not a ''cool indie'' band like Arcade Fire, according to frontman Chad Kroeger.
Nickelback see themselves as a ''guilty pleasure''.
He told Canada's CBC Radio: ''We're not a cool indie band, we're not Arcade Fire. They're critics' darlings. You're supposed to like those bands because they're hip, they're indie and cool. You're supposed to like them as a critic. I don't think you're supposed to like us.
Continue reading: Nickelback: We're A Guilty Pleasure
Primavera Sound Festival returns to engulf Barcelona's cultural landscape with music from around the world.
Now on its seventeenth edition, the festival has expanded to become one of the most celebrated and renowned festivals in the world, as well as becoming a hub for the industry to explore ideas and concepts regarding music on a global stage. Contactmusic are back at Primavera Sound for another edition and we can't wait to explore one of the world’s most diverse festivals once more. With an overwhelming array of acts and genres to explore here are ten of our most anticipated artists that we can't wait to see alongside the sunny shores of Barcelona.
In no particular order -
Continue reading: The Ten Most Anticipated Performances Of Primavera Sound Festival 2017
Arcade Fire were never going to make your standard fly-on-the-wall documentary. While they appear to have fun onstage, music-wise they do take themselves very seriously, and they have every right to do so. They could've been your standard, early-2000s indie band, but instead they have grown and evolved in ways that their contemporaries have failed to. Each of their albums stand alone; similar to, but never the same, as their predecessor. The band are intelligent and experimental, so it was natural that they would want to explore their music's routes in an interesting and thought-provoking manner. Unfortunately, the film does so in a way that puts an invisible barrier between the band and the audience.
Visually, the film is stunning. It's half music documentary, half art video. The transitions and colours are beautiful, and the clever editing to pick out one solo instrument or vocal in a track is unique and exciting. However, there are just so many colours, noises, and jump cuts to take in that it can get jarring. At a couple of points, a song will be just about to reach the chorus or an exciting part of a live performance, and it will suddenly cut away to a completely different piece of footage. The barrier goes up, and the fans are left wondering why they couldn't just watch the whole performance.
The only slight moments of intimacy are found with Régine Chassagne. With the 'Reflektor' album, she had a chance to truly embrace her Haitian heritage. Footage shows her with husband Win Butler experimenting with new sounds and rhythms which ended up forming the backbone of the album. You learn that she spent her younger life feeling invisible, something that she's now shunned with colourful, sparkling costumes onstage and a huge presence in their music. This is the album where she really came into her own and had the strongest influence in the band.
Continue reading: Arcade Fire: The Reflektor Tapes Review
'The Reflektor Tapes' has been directed by Kahlil Joseph.
Arcade Fire are set to hit the big screen for the first time this Autumn with their unique upcoming documentary entitled 'The Reflektor Tapes', which comes two years after the release of their worldwide acclaimed album 'Reflektor'.
Arcade Fire are coming with their debut documentary 'The Reflektor Tapes'
The movie explores what went into the making of the globally chart-topping record, which gripped listeners in 2013 with singles such as 'Afterlife', 'We Exist' and, of course, 'Reflektor'. The Grammy winning alt-rock collective, fronted by husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, recorded in Montreal alongside co-producers Markus Dravs and James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem) after a long trip to Jamaica and went on to sell out venues internationally with the subsequent Reflektor Tour.
In 2013, Grammy winning rock band Arcade Fire released their number one, critically lauded album 'Reflektor'; a double album co-produced by James Murphy and Markus Dravs. Now the band are letting us into their world to explore the intricate making of this rara influenced record, from their first inspirations in Jamaica, their first recording sessions in Montreal and their highly publicized show in Haiti. 'There were parts of the Reflektor tour where I think we, Arcade Fire, came the closest in our careers to putting on stage what we imagined in our heads', says the band. 'We were insanely lucky to have Kahlil Joseph documenting from the very beginning.'
Continue: Arcade Fire: The Reflektor Tapes Trailer
The recording studio used by Arcade Fire for their 2007 album, 'Neon Bible', is to be re-opened by a Montreal-based record company collective.
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.
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
Drake has announced his fourth album, "Views From The Six", though recording is yet to start.
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, 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 Billboard.com 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'
The strongest beards at this year's Glastonbury Festival.
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'.
Large 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]
Hi Seattle. Want tickets?
CREATURE COMFORT MAKE IT PAINLESS Tickets at: https://t.co/nTNbKEYIcE #InfiniteContentLive https://t.co/hBS1FDxt5l
Through the clouds https://t.co/CUwOiA6Fp2
RT @butlerwills: Edmonton
RT @butlerwills: Just trying to figure out what to pack for tour https://t.co/eWTkARAoHi
Live in Montreal https://t.co/BmOKTRbqpe
RT @DJWindows98: Fuck this hurricane season.
https://t.co/nHZcHtgbtI um, yes @pitchfork
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