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Music Monday – Arcade Fire

My favorite Arcade Fire album

Neon Bible by Arcade Fire

One of the trends that happens on Twitter weekly is #musicmonday, where people write a song lyric or song title and then tag it with #musicmonday. It’s a fun way of participating in the Twitter community while finding new songs and people who like the songs you love.

I’m going to borrow the Music Monday name and use it to write about music on Stu Station. It may not be every Monday, but it will be fun and informative.

Today, I’m going to talk about Arcade Fire. And, just to be clear, it is “Arcade Fire”, and not “The Arcade Fire”. I first began listening to Arcade Fire on Drive 105, the best alternative radio station the Twin Cities ever had, but is sadly now defunct, replaced by the polar opposite station Love 105. I enjoyed listening to their first single, “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”, but didn’t think they were good enough to purchase their album. Then U2 used their song “Wake Up” as the final PA song before taking the stage, which was just the perfect song at that time. Needless to say, I was hooked, and have bought each subsequent Arcade Fire album as it came out, loving them immensely.

However, I had never contemplated going to see Arcade Fire perform until this past fall. I was hesitant to see them, figuring that while I liked the music, I didn’t want to be in a room with a bunch of hipsters who couldn’t enjoy the music. I found out this past fall that they were playing Roy Wikins Auditorium in St. Paul, and the morning of the show I decided to buy myself a ticket and go see them.

And it was awesome. My only regret was that I had terrible shoes on and was in agony by the end of the show…legs stiff, feet hurting, being shuffled out with thousands of others following one of the best concert experiences of my life. In one night, Arcade Fire became one of my all time favorite bands. You wouldn’t think that 8 people on stage playing a variety of instruments could rock…but you’d be wrong. And while I’m still not entirely ok with Regine Chassagne, female lead vocalist and wife of lead vocalist Win Butler, mainly because I tend to react to anyone who is an adult who purposely acts in a child like manner (and she’s Gilda Radner’s ugly sister…I’m kidding), I’ve begun to appreciate her voice and ability to draw the crowd in to the song and the moment. She annoys me less and less, I guess, and I appreciate what she does. Must be love…

Lyrically I really dig the Arcade Fire. I know Win Butler grew up either Christian or Mormon, I’ve read both, but he definitely comes across as someone who grew up in the church, so many of his lyrics resound with me. “Intervention” was an anthem for me for a long time, and I enjoyed singing it lustfully with everyone else at Roy Wilkins.

Working for the church while your family dies
Little baby sister gonna lose her mind
Every spark of friendship and love will die without a hope

As someone who grew up in the church, and has run into the mentality that you should be working around the clock, 7 days a week, because you are “laying up treasure in heaven”, the idea of rest is highly appealing. I’ve seen families torn apart because of misplaced priorities, and heard such destructive rhethoric encouraging people to give more and more of themselves in “God’s service”. The organ in this song just gets inside of me, working out emotions I had bottled up for so long. Love this song.

While Arcade Fire knows how to write some powerful ballads full of inspired, Spirit-filled lyrics, they also know how to rock. “Rebellion (Lies)” is one of those songs built around powerful drum beats and chugging guitars, yet still touched by beautiful violins. Their first single was much the same way. And on their latest album, “Month of May” is an extremely simple rock song that just rocks. “Gonna write a record in the month of May, in the month of May, in the month of May…”

So how about some music then?

Here is “Intervention”

“Wake Up”, otherwise known as the song before U2’s “City of Blinding Lights”, a combination that can make me weep…

And finally, while it’s not the greatest of quality, here are two songs from my show in St. Paul (which, by the way, was the first show of the tour). The first is “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” from my show at Roy Wilkins. I was dead center in the middle of the floor, so maybe 20-25 feet southwest of the camera.

The second is “No Cars Go”, and the moment at 3:09 is when I realized I had fallen in love with seeing this band live. I don’t know if that’s a guitar that goes off, or what, but it felt like the heavens opened up briefly…

Well we KNOOooooOOOW!!!


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