Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arcade Fire

What's been dominating my car stereo:

Arcade Fire, The Funeral

Supposedly, this is all Spike Jonze listened to when writing the screenplay for "Where The Wild Things Are." I bought the album unaware of any of its connections with the film until I heard "Wake Up" and recognized it as the song on the commercial trailer. I had heard other singles from the band, including Intervention and Keep the Car Running, and waited way too long to buy The Funeral.

I was surprised to find out there are like 12 band members in Arcade Fire playing guitars, whistling, banging pots and pans and what have you; yet, it is surprisingly well-orchestrated its complexity only adds to the sound.

Go get this album if you don't already own it.

Monday, October 19, 2009


One of my favorite rawk bands, Umphrey's McGee, has always been about improvisation. Their explorative jams are called "Jimmy Stewarts" and have given birth to many of what are now their most popular songs.

They were praised for their inventive marketing of their recent sutdio album, Mantis, which was released this year. Prior to its release date, fans could unlock Web-exclusive material by pre-ordering the album. In addition, the album itself acts as a key to unlock more Web-exclusive content still being released. It just makes being a fan fun.

Well, UM has taken it to another level again with its S2 series, or "Stew-art." S2s are like VIP pre-parties where a select group of fans get to meet the band and then literally partake in a sonic stew, whose recipe is decided by text messages that appear on a big screen like tweets that are visible to the band, who then alter the sound in reaction to the word or phrase presented.
For example, a fan texted "Under Attack," which appeared on the screen and yeilded an all-out metal assault; until another fan texted "cantina band," which lightened things up considerably, as you can imagine. The possiblities are endless ...
To have a chance to participate in an S2, it sounds like you have to play it by ear and grab a ticket quickly. I hope I have the opportunity -- at Northern Lights on Nov. 19th would be smashing.

Check out the video of the inaugural S2 on their blog, The Floor.