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Monday, March 5th, 2007

Black Mirror

With the release of Neon Bible tomorrow, it’s Arcade Fire week whether you like it or not. In an ideal world I’d be able to offer up my thoughts on it but since I haven’t heard it – my preorder is supposed to arrive by tomorrow but I’m not hopeful – they’ll have to wait. But if you’re curious what the general critical consensus is, well that’s why we have Metacritic. Predictably, the overall vibe seems to be “it’s good, but it’s no Funeral“. Also predictably, most critics seem to be using this record as an excuse to write essay-length pieces as it’s the very definition of an “important record” and thereby deserving of many big words. And for those of you in Pitchfork pools (what’s wrong with you people?), they’ve given it an 8.4 (relative to Funeral‘s 9.7) but also thrown in a “Best New Music”, just to mess up your spread.

And it’s not just reviews – I can’t imagine how much time the band has spent doing interviews in the past few weeks, but there’s sure to be a torrent of features released in the next few weeks though I doubt any will be as expansive or high profile as this New York Times Magazine feature from this weekend. PopMatters leads off the week with an interview with the band and Merge hocho Mac McCaughan and there’s also pieces at JAM! about the making of the record and The Toronto Sun about gearing up to play live again. The Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette also talk to the band about Neon Bible.

The band kick off their month-long European tour tonight in Dublin and do North America starting in late April, including two sold-out shows at Massey Hall in Toronto on May 15 and 16. You can download the first single from the album below and hear another streaming on their MySpace.

MP3: Arcade Fire – “Black Mirror”
MySpace: Arcade Fire

I swung by Soundscapes yesterday evening for El Perro Del Mar’s in-store, a brief 5-song set that served to remind how affecting her doo-wop-group-in-mourning sound could be. She’s playing the the Mod Club tonight with The Submarines. And thanks to a commenter who pointed me to Sarah Assbring’s old dreampop band Aquadays – if you can get past the awful quality .RA files (the streams don’t work but the downloads do), it’s an interesting listen when you think about what she’s doing now.

Photos: El Perro Del Mar @ Soundscapes – March 4, 2007
MP3: El Perro Del Mar – “God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)”
Video: El Perro Del Mar – “God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)” (YouTube)
MySpace: El Perro Del Mar

MP3Hugger tracks the whereabouts of all former members of Slowdive with audio evidence of their activities. Nicely done.

The Scotsman profiles Scotsmen (and woman) My Latest Novel, in town for three shows this week – Friday night at the Drake Underground, Saturday night at the El Mocambo and then Monday night at the Horseshoe. The last of these is a free show.

Yo La Tengo tells The Age, “we are not a relaxed band”.

The Houston Chronicle talks to The Shins’ James Mercer.

The Broken West tell The Boston Globe that they’re not power pop but they’re not NOT power pop and The Maneater that they’re not a California band but they’re not NOT a California band. The walking contradiction and their west coast power pop will open up The Hot Freaks at SxSW next Saturday at 11AM at The Mohawk and are in Toronto on March 27 with The Long Winters at the El Mocambo.

Check out this edition of Spinner 3×3 assembled from some of the video that’ll be part of Neil Young’s Live At Massey Hall, out next Tuesday. It looks and sounds great and I won’t point out that they’ve left the “Why” off the second song title… oh, I just did.

By : Frank Yang at 8:17 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. kelly says:

    fixed! thanks for the catch, Frank!

  2. thomaus says:

    I pre-ordered Neon Bible, too. I was worried that it would arrive on time. Let’s see, it started life in the Eastern Townships outside of Montreal, side-journeyed to New York and Budapest. Then down to Merge in Chapel Hill. Most likely printed and manufactured somewhere in Canada, boxed up and sent back to Chapel Hill. Then this happened: "International orders can take up to 8 weeks for delivery." Eek! I don’t think I read that before I ordered five weeks ago.

    If it doesn’t show tomorrow, I’m going to listen to a downloaded copy and fondly gaze upon this jpeg: http://www.mergerecords.com
    Not quite what I had in mind.