Saturday, September 04, 2004

Arcade Fire Get National Press Coverage; Buzz Audible From A Great Distance

Ever since I first laid eyes on the Arcade Fire, I knew that they were going to blow up (in the hip-hop slang sense, not in the explosive one). Their live shows are a frequent source of new converts to their brand of bombast-rock and they are consumate professionals. Still, I never imagined that they would move so far, so fast.

If media hype is an indicator of a bands commercial potential, then the AF (and their label Merge) will be laughing all the way to the bizank. Of course, Win et al. are not in this for the money. They want to save rock and roll by evacuating it from the muddy confines of garage rock and lifting it to a higher level of thinking. They are the anti-Hives, the White-Stripes-murderers. This is a good thing.

Exclaim is a nationally-published music magazine (from Canada, the only free country in North America besides Mexico!) and has a tradition of defining the "cool" up here. They review scores of indie releases from around the world and they have a powerful sway over the tastemakers of the Canuck music industry; the college radio DJ's, the local bar promoters, and other influential folks read Exclaim (along with countless thousands of music fans and rockers). As you can see, Exclaim is a whale to this minnow of a blog, a giant treading loudly beside the JB ant.

And they love the Arcade Fire. In the September issue of Exclaim, a high-res live shot of Win Butler crooning into a microphone appears on the cover. You can read the well-researched, intricately-conceived album review/interview here.

Not to sound glib or pretentious, but JB has earned its first actual press coverage. Exclaim quotes from the interview we conducted in February. Although I'm sure that Michael Barclay meant well, I believe that he should have at least given us a shout-out in his text, instead of writing:

In one fanzine article, he was asked to summarise his outlook on life in 11 words or less, to which he responded simply: “Death is real.”

[Ed. Note: FYI Michael, although I am a fan of the AF, this is definately not a fanzine. I abhor the idea completely. I prefer DIY blog/zine, or even just music blog, but fanzine? Come on! If this is just a fanzine, why bother to lift my quote and then not attribute it to me? That is just not very nice at all.]

Exclaim Cover

On a related note, a fellow blogger called *Sixeyes has posted a link to a live interview/performance by the Arcade Fire. It is located here so please point those mice and click away.

I've contacted Merge to request a promo LP of the AF album "Funeral" but I am still waiting for an answer; expect a follow-up in the coming days/week.

[Ed. Note: The Arcade Fire will be touring North America in the months ahead, including a couple of sets with the stupendous Hidden Cameras. Get your tickets while you still can!]

09/29 Kingston, ON, @ Clark Hall Pub
09/30 Guelph, ON, @ Trasheteria
10/02 Hamilton, ON, @ Underground
10/13 New York City, NY @ Mercury Lounge (Merge and CMJ Showcase)
11/11 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom w/ The Hidden Cameras
11/12 Boston, MA @ TT the Bear's w/ The Hidden Cameras
11/14 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
11/15 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks