I know this song is a little old, but a) that doesn’t matter and b) I haven’t seen this particular video. I saw another version. This video is more “bling-y” than the other trippy version, but I think the cliche is supposed to be ironic. “Pursuit of Happiness” is just a great song; an evolution of hip hop. The listing says “feat MGMT” because they did some production work, but so did Ratatat and it is their influence I hear the most, especially with the little electro guitar solo.
Arcade Fire’s newest album, The Suburbs, is a musical encapsulation of the experience growing up in the suburbs, USA (maybe Canada). One perspective is the oppression and banality of tract housing and strip malls that angst-y youth rail against. Another is that of the reminiscent adult waxing whimsical and romanticizing a misspent youth, the sneaking out of windows at night or taking a parent’s car to pick up a summer love – the powerful memories tied to youth that makes suburbia so magical and fun in retrospect.
The first half of the two-part composition, “Sprawl” and “Sprawl II” are at the album’s end, but speak directly to the dual view of a life in the burbs. Sparse and chilling, Win Butler opens by moaning, “I took a drive into the sprawl / To find the places we used to play” – the sentiment of a middle-aged man trying to find the lost memories of childhood.
“Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),” spunky and sassy like Blondie meets Siouxsie Sioux is sung by Win’s wife Regine Chassagne. This could be the best song on the album. It saunters and shambles with driving pop energy, but fits perfectly within the concept on The Suburbs. She sings, “Sometimes I wonder if the world’s so small / That we could never get away from the Sprawl / Livin’ in the sprawl / dead shopping malls / rise like mountains beyond mountains / with no end in sight “– the anecdote to Win’s introspective journey back to the place Regine seeks to defy.
The Suburbs pulls the best pieces of AF’s previous two albums together; the large sweeping orchestral and anthemic pop of the first album with the drive and rock edge introduced on Neon Bible. From the opening Wilco-ish track, “The Suburbs,” where they sing, “All of the houses they built in the 70’s finally fall” and “Ready to Start” which has a touch of 80’s Springsteen Americana, to the killer single, “Modern Man” with its “Jesse’s Girl” rhythm guitar, the songs relay the tribulations and triumphs of those who know suburbia. It’s like white people’s Straight Outta Compton. Arcade Fire makes a powerful album, successfully juggling all the feelings that go along with growing up there (here).
Written for REAX Online 8.21.2010
One of my favorite Buzzcocks’ songs isn’t really the hard-charging punk they’re known for. “Why Can’t I Touch It?” Is like The Ramones or The Clash gothed up by The Cure and funked out by a touch of the Chili Peppers. This song was a bonus on their third album, A Different Kind of Tension and although pop-y, it showcases strong songwriting and rhythm chops.
The music gods have blessed central Florida for the month of October as a slew of bands, old and new, are pushing through the area:
10.1 - Phantogram – BackBooth – Saratoga Springs indie duo with dark, catchy, atmospheric pop and cute sweaters. (Phantogram song was The Coolest Song Ever! … Right Now in June)
10.2 – Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer … sorry, SLAYER!!! – Hard Rock Live – Guaranteed face melter. Check out K&N exclusive concert video
10.6 – Owen Pallet and The National – House of Blues – Another awesome band touring on a critically acclaimed album
10.7 – Yeasayer – Firestone – Psychedelic 80′s pop and hipster delight
10.7 – Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s – Backbooth – Like a more subdued Edward Sharpe
10.8 – Blitzen Trapper – The Social – Country tinged northwestern rock, somewhere between Built to Spill and Fleet Foxes
10.9 – G.W.A.R – Firestone – Blood drenched awesomeness! (Concert video and review of GWAR)
10.10 – Born Ruffians – BackBooth – I like the song “Soul Brother”
10.10 – Bob Dylan, yes thee Bib Dizzle – UCF Arena
10.12 – Pharoahe Monche – The Social – Everybody say, “Hip!” “Hop!”
10.13 – Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Social
10.14 – Built to Spill – The Social – Band with near legendary indie cred at our storied club
10.14 – Flaming Lips - HOB – They will also be at the St. Augustine Amphitheater which would be amazing, especially if the weather is nice.
10.15 – School of Seven Bells, Active Child, Sleazy McQueen – The Social – check out the Active Child album review
10.16 – D.R.I – Firestone – Dirty Rotten Imbeciles – hardcore punkers turned thrash metalists back from a long hiatus and ready to smash
10.17 – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – The Social | 10.18 – The Ritz, Ybor – Cool video clip from “Home” – Looks like a great show!
10.17 – Daniel Tosh – Tampa – Along with Louis C.K, Daniel Tosh is the funniest person on TV right now.
10.18 - Caribou – BackBooth – A “do not miss” concert
10.21 – Xiu Xiu – BackBooth
10.24 – Frightened Rabbit – The Social
10.25 – MGMT - Hard Rock – Hip, fun, but might suck live.
10.26 – Phoenix – HOB – This is huge. French rockers, excuse me, Freedom rockers in Orlando!
10.27 – Thievery Corporation – Hard Rock – A killer live show and Massive Attack is there too! (Concert video from the HOB 2009, Review of the Houston HOB and VooDoo Fest shows, Concert video from VooDoo Fest 2008)
Thanks to Jess for the image!