Post by Horned Gramma on Oct 12, 2010 12:24:04 GMT -5
Arcade Fire is lowest common denominator shit. They're the Steven Spielberg of "indie rock": they manipulate people's emotions through a sense of nostalgia, but it is completely hollow. It frustrates me that something so desperately milquetoast is, like, the biggest thing in the world right now, although I'd wager every cent I have on them going the U2 route as opposed to the Radiohead route: forever sanding the edges down further, broadening the nature of their appeal until they break the perimeter and become another Top 40 Adult Contemporary behemoth. 'Scrubs' montage. Super Bowl Halftime. Poignant scene at end of new Ron Howard film. Mark my words.
Interesting footnote, however: one of my girlfriends once fucked Henry Rollins. THANKS FOR BRINGING IT UP.
they manipulate people's emotions through a sense of nostalgia, but it is completely hollow.
Although I respect the opinion, it's very difficult for me to agree with this comment - not that Arcade Fire themselves are being disingenuous, but moreso that invoking nostalgia in music is somehow a negative thing, and that it's use compensates for a lack of quality.
Nostalgia obviously plays a large role in what we many of us perceive as enjoyable music, because so often it's become popular music (i.e. Arcade Fire). And yes, it's been done time and time again. But have I been manipulated into liking Tom Petty because 'Free Fallin' and 'american girl' are nostalgic? Should I avoid Paul Simon because 'Train in the Distance' so obviously tears at my longing for yesteryears? And more importantly - are they poorer quality songs, and should I really care?
Or, are you saying that Nostalgia has far too often been overused, and current artists should be finding other methods to latch onto fans?
LIsten, if you are saying that arcade fire lacks originalty or even quality in their recent music - I can see where you are coming from. I can;t say I have been particularly moved by anything since Funeral. But to say nostalgia + music = hollow, I have to disagree with. Or that I should be ashamed at my taste of music because I would prefer to listen to Damien Rice over, say, Woody Guthrie.
Post by know ID yuh on Oct 13, 2010 0:46:13 GMT -5
We might have to rename this thread shortly, but for the sake of understanding... Music being "emotionally manipulative" is new to me, you might have to explain this. I also have a few questions, gramma.
1. Do you like any mainstream music, or is being mainstream the nail in the coffin?
2. Have you ever hated a band without listening to them, then liked them after?
3. Have you ever hated a band the first time you heard them, then had them grow on you?
4. How much time have you spent listening to Arcade Fire?
With your twenty years of refinement, I know you have several examples of each of the first three questions, so I'm not trying to prove a point here (fbelt sander me). However, it does seem as though your recent attempts at mustering up the strength to listen to certain bands include, "What can I find to hate about this band." There's nothing wrong with that, you hate Arcade Fire, I like them, we've already established that doesn't matter.
However, I'm still picturing your Arcade Fire listening experience going something like this...
[hornedgramma settling in for an evening of music listening]
"Why is EVERYONE SO FUCKING OBSESSED WITH THIS BAND?" I suppose I should listen to this crap to gather enough information to argue why people on the internets are idiots."
Post by Horned Gramma on Oct 13, 2010 10:15:53 GMT -5
Ok, I have time to do this.
First of all, Brad: I am a nostalgia junkie. There is nothing wrong with musicians invoking nostalgia, but you have to do it respectfully. It's the difference between The Venture Brothers and Robot Chicken. There are a bunch of sly cultural references in The Venture Brothers and it remains fantastic, but Robot Chicken is only one thing: Remember THIS old cartoon? Remember THIS one? Now its... THIS one!
...it has all the subtlety of an animated GIF of a Kermit the Frog doll humping a Rainbow Brite doll. That is the difference between invoking nostalgia and abusing it, being manipulative with it. Arcade Fire's whole aesthetic revolves around writing from the perspective of a nine-year-old whipping around neighborhood streets on a BMX. It made them superstars on 'Funeral', but then when nobody cared about 'Neon Bible' they dusted it off and put lipstick on it for 'The Suburbs'. We all saw that music video, right? The one that required me to install a new browser and then showed me pictures of my old house? THAT'S MANIPULATIVE GUYS! That is emotionally manipulative. They're playing not only on your personal memories of your life, but they're trying to make you nostalgic for their first album!
Going to make coffee. Back in a minute for round two.
Post by Horned Gramma on Oct 13, 2010 11:12:11 GMT -5
1.) I like plenty of 'mainstream' music, although if we're designating Arcade Fire as 'mainstream' then I don't know what that question is really asking. I have a hard time with bands that I really loved before they achieved mainstream success - particularly The Decemberists, of Montreal, Modest Mouse and a few others - because the progression of their style has been in the wrong direction, according to my taste. Sanding down the corners etc. But I LOVE Radiohead. I love Animal Collective, if that counts. And I am a child of mid- to late-90's radio. I'd never dismiss a band because everybody else likes them.
2.) I've never hated a band without listening to them. Without listening to them SEVERAL times. That seems counter-intuitive. My natural inclination is to like everything. Everything is fantastic until proven shitty in my book. Edward Sharpe just happened to take very little time to be proven shitty. I can see how that might have seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, but I already know what dog shit smells like.
3.) I used to HATE Animal Collective. Hate, hate. I thought it was lazy hippie bullshit. 'Sung Tongs', I'm talking about, up to that point nothing else had come out (edit: I know there are several AC albums before Sung Tongs, and I think they're great, but noise is easy for me to like so I'm not referring to those). And I'd come back to it, over and over, because 'Leaf House' was really exciting to me but everything else just sounded like a bunch of dirty teenagers banging sticks together in the woods. When that album clicked for me, though - yes, acid was involved - it was like I had never heard it before. My mind broke wide open on that day. I spent a summer studying every minute of it. I am a person who really REALLY loves Animal Collective now. I detested the Silver Jews for years, but then I found myself playing a song off 'Bright Flight' immediately after saying my wedding vows. Hm.
4.) A lot. I've spent a LOT of time listening to Arcade Fire! My older brother, he's got great taste in music and he practically gets emotional about 'Funeral' whenever he tells me to give it another shot. My friend Steve, too. ALL of my friends. EVERYONE! I think, EVERYONE likes (LOVES!) Arcade Fire! I just have to be missing something, right? I come back to 'Funeral' once every two months at least, I'll sit and listen to it all the way through. When I'm on the bus, when I'm playing video games, when I've been drinking, when I'm stoned. Looking for the moment when it will strike me from the right angle. The Shins' first record required that kind of effort from me, for similar reasons, and I love 'Oh Inverted World!'. I'm sorry, 'Funeral' bores me to tears. I CANNOT STAND the affected Conor Oberst-y yelp. I can't stand the Wall-of-Sound instrumentation. The whimpering verses and the hugely inflated choruses are reaching for real dynamic but it sounds so flat to my ears. Even still I'm withholding judgment until I see them live, because in this case I can see how that could change my opinion. I gave Pavement that same benefit of the doubt, though - never cared about Pavement, although I bought all their albums and really tried, looking for something appealing that I never found. They're so loved and respected, though, I wasn't convinced it wasn't there. I still thought seeing them live would change my mind. Ha. HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
I'm listening to 'Funeral' right now. It has moments. I have 'Neon Bible' and 'The Suburbs'; I even kind of like some of 'Suburbs', although I can't recall a single note of it when it's not actually playing. I could reduce it to a math equation, though: I've spent approximately $45 on Arcade Fire CDs, and to show for it I have scattered moments that add up to about seven minutes of music that at best I can say that I don't mind.
"We don't know why we find it so hard to like other bands We don't know why we find it so hard not to roll our eyes and criticize them I often change my mind if I take the time to read about who made them It doesn't matter the type, if I hear it enough times I'll like it more..." -The Philistines Jr.