Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Cars Go

Song: No Cars Go
Artist: The Arcade Fire
Album: Neon Bible

So I don’t get it… I don’t know if this is a product of being in my 30’s, getting older, loosing my hipster cred, I don’t know… but I can’t seem to really get into these slew of super popular indie rock bands that have (in a minor way) rocked the music world with their albums. Recently, two of these bands, the Arcade Fire and The Shins have released their hotly anticipated sophomore albums to critical and commercial success. So why am I yawning?

I won’t bore you (or myself) with looking up their histories, where they’re from, etc… both bands had hot albums that clicked with “The O.C. set” and have enjoyed great runs on the strength of their albums playing the world and finding a lot of fans and no doubt MySpace friends. I missed out on both band’s breakthroughs. In the case of The Arcade Fire it was “Funeral” which I subsequently got and thought it was okay, if a bit boring. They have recently released “Neon Bible” which I also think it okay but again… I’m not blown away. In the case of The Shins, (again on The O.C. and the Garden State Soundtrack, which again people flipped for and I thought was so-so) their “Chutes too Narrow” garnered them a huge audience and the recently released “Wincing the Night Away” (love the title) just had a huge debut. Again I’ve listened and while I find none of it offensive, none of it grabs me. They sort of remind me of The Smiths sometimes, but unlike that band (which changed my life) I don’t feel anything form them either musically or lyrically.

I bring all this up because while I am often excited about new music and usually go along with the critics, here are two bands that the blog generation can not say enough about and I literally don’t get it. What is it about these two bands that has everyone so crazy? I like “Neon Bible” and the song “No Cars Go” has an epic-that-goes-nowhere vibe to it, but I like it just okay. Yet, despite hearing it several times now I can’t tell you what it’s about… not that I’ve sat down with the lyrics and read along but there is just no meat there. I can remember pouring over the cryptic musings of Morrissey and Michael Stipe… maybe it’s a college thing.

I recently went to see a show with my youngest cousins (whom I remember holding when they were babies) to see a band I didn’t know called Of Montreal. Again I felt a little detached, didn’t know the music and yet the crowd (consisting strictly of young white hipsters) went crazy and sang along to every song. Would they think the same if I went back in time and took them to a Belly show? I don’t know. The Arcade Fire came up and I asked my cousin if he liked the new record… he did, well also thought it was “okay” but said, “It’s too bad they came out with “Funeral” first, which is just like a modern classic.” Modern classic? “OK Computer” yes, “Automatic for the People” yes, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” I can go along with all of these but the Arcade Fire? Really? To me it’s like I took the exit to Snore City. Yawn.

Readers what am I missing here? Am I "losing my edge?"


Here they do the song live... man there is a ton of them!

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