One of our boys introduced me to Arcade Fire when, on a visit here, he bought their first full-length album, ‘Funeral,’ not long after it was released, and played it at our home. (They named the album in recognition of the fact several band members had deaths in their families around the time it was being made.) I was hooked by their sound right away and have followed them since.
On first hearing their album, ‘The Suburbs’ I didn’t like it (as mentioned in my January 21, 2020 post about Annie Lennox’s ’Stay by Me’) until I listened to it a few times; then it really grew on me to the point that it sounds to me like a story that’s best heard all in one sitting. I ended up buying a couple of versions, including one that has art coded onto the MP3 in a way that appears like poster boards, when played on an iPod or other mobile device. Another son and I saw ‘The Suburbs’ tour concert, and he gave me a vinyl copy of ‘Neon Bible’ as a gift. Most recently, my sweety and I saw the ‘Reflektor’ tour concert.
I have to say I’ve retained the initial dislike of the band’s most recent album, ‘Everything Now,’ despite efforts at listening to it. I do, however, think its title track joins with the title track on ‘Reflektor’ as a couple of the band’s better songs… though they have a lot of great songs.
The official video for the song includes two tracks, the short (0:46) prelude, ‘Everything_Now (continued)’ and ‘Everything Now.’ The first track builds to a crescendo, the kind that gives a shiver up the spine or raises the hairs on your arms (if you’re like me, one of those folks affected physically by music that really moves us… see this article on the topic: https://www.iflscience.com/brain/if-listening-to-music-gives-you-chills-you-may-have-a-unique-brain/). The latter track includes one of those “Woo” exclamations (at 2:42 on the official video) that I always like to try to join in on (in my head) at just the right time. There’s a wood instrument that plays under much of the verses and chorus, and I seem to recall an article about a traditional African musician who played that; or else it’s a false memory — I couldn’t find it.
The video, like all of Arcade Fire’s recent productions, is more like a short film and is filled with many elements: a travelling salesman — “Daddy, how come you’re never around… I miss you” — which speaks to the way we often dive into careers and “busy lives” and miss valuable time with family and friends; billboard after billboard — a statement on our consumerist society — “Pledge allegiance to Everything Now…” (a fictitious corporation); technicians searching for space junk, garbage dumps, kids trying to throw rocks at an eagle’s nest — jointly seeming to symbolize the decline of society… but then there’s a scene of a couple of children dancing in the desert (among cactii suspended in the air?), only to be followed and the criss-crossing of jet trails and many rockets — as if to say the adults have given up and are leaving. Maybe it’s the kids who burn up all the Everything Now signs at the end?
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official video from Arcade Fire’s YouTube channel: