I was looking for a fifth new release to round out this unofficial theme week, and had to chuckle when I saw that Canadian indie band Arcade Fire had a new album out.
Back in 2013, I made the controversial decision to feature all 16 tracks of Arcade Fire’s celebrated album The Suburbs, much to the consternation of my most loyal readers.
I found that release, a Grammy winner for Album of the Year and a sprawling concept album about suburban malaise, a fascinating and resonant piece of art. The commenters felt differently, to say the least.
I didn’t have much to say about today’s random selection, the final track from Arcade Fire’s 2013 album Reflektor. But then I realized it was originally written for the Spike Jonze movie Her and shows up during that film’s end credits, so that gave me a bit of a hook.
Her is one of a handful of films from the last decade that I wish I had revisited before compiling my ‘Best Movies of the 2010s’ list. It’s not that I think it would have a fighting chance of making the list, but it’s a movie I feel I owe a reconsideration.
The last — and only — time I featured a song from Arcade Fire’s 2007 album Neon Bible was on April Fool’s Day in 2013.
I had just spent three weeks writing a song-by-song dissection of the band’s celebrated 2010 album The Suburbs (a surprise Album of the Year winner at the Grammys) and my regular readers were not happy. So I mischievously suggested I was about to launch into another couple of weeks analyzing Neon Bible. Good one, me!
If you’re eager to see Spider-Man in drag, Arcade Fire has the video for you!
For their song ‘We Exist,’ about gay youth, the band filmed Andrew Garfield as he shaves his head, dons a wig, skirt and blouse and heads to a biker bar. Things don’t go well there, and he winds up fantasizing a dance sequence and eventually appearing onstage with Arcade Fire at Coachella.
Fans at that concert probably didn’t know they were watching Garfield when a disoriented woman wandered onstage mid-song.
Here is one of the sillier songs from Arcade Fire’s 2013 album, Reflektor, which as a whole is a pretty silly record.
This song is pretty basic (there are only about 25 words in the whole thing) and it contains the same theme as much of the band’s recent work — the dehumanization of technology. When we all live on and in front of screens, what does that say about humanity?