The Arcade Fire, no introductions needed

The Arcade Fire. Whoa. Wow. Run for your rock. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a revolution in Canadian rock.  These dudes and dudettes have made it, and they’ve made it their own. Success across the board, internationally speaking.  The Arcade Fire make a kind of music impossible not to hear with your heart of hearts.

Hailing from the “it” city of Canada, Montreal, The Arcade Fire is Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld, and Jeremy Gara. Newly added are members Pietro Amato and Owen Pallett. Talk about an orchestra of rockfull proporations! Seriously, their tracks often include strings like violins and violas, xylophones, French Horn, accordian, and a harp… and obviously the mainstays guitar, bass, and drums. Diversity chimes together to create a monster sound.
The Arcade Fore formed around husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne in mid 2003, and their reputation grew quickly around them. I remember hearing them at small pub in Kingston at Queen’s University. They blew my mind; I think I reached enlightenment. Anyway, they were signed to the independent label Merge Records. In 2004 their first album, Funeral, was released. And then the rock started rolling for The Arcade Fire. Their indie success was obviously popular among the hipsters who are always ‘in the know’. Beyond the hipster and university crowds of Canada, a hum could be heard… and it was the tune of The Arcade Fire. Small club venues got increasingly bigger, and success was happening all around them throughout Canada, Europe, and the USA.  And the charts abound. Funeral won Album of the Year from MTV in 2005, as well as hitting the number 2 slot in NME’s list of best albums and tracks.

In 2005 The Arcade Fire graced the cover of Time Magazine as a band who “helped put Canadian music on the world map.” And the recognition, not only from Canadian hipsters, kept on coming. They put a track on the HBO series Six Feet Under soundtrack. They rocked out on Letterman. They opened for U2. And they’ve made a couple appearances on the BBC live show Jools Holland. The Arcade Fire is still on the go, rising up and rocking on. I don’t think they’ve reached their full potential yet, and still have a lot to teach us. Even their side projects are beautiful, like Bell Orchestre, an indie instrumental experience in rocking. Neo-neo-post-classical maybe? Genres elude me.
Talk about rock. The Arcade Fire is definitely the “it” band right now. If you don’t know them, you should. Their music has the ability to find solace in shared human experience, but not dwell in sorrow since the title of the album was inspired by death becoming prevalent in several of the band members’ lives. Tracks like ‘Une Annee Sans Lumiere’ (A Year Without Light) suggest this theme, but the melodic beauty transcends it. And titles like ‘Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)’ , ‘Neighborhood #2 (Laika)’, and ‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’ suggest the support system and familial communities we all need and share. That’s nice, isn’t it? Out Montreal they have emerged, like so many hot indie rockers right now. Don’t you worry, I’ll get to the rest of ‘em soon.

And that’s the Arcade Fire up till now. More updates to follow, if I can keep up with them! I like hipsters when they’re not too sad bastard, and then they believe that life is good… because it is. If you believe life is good, I suggest checking out The Arcade Fire. They are all things good.

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