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Posts Tagged ‘Arcade Fire’

BAMM.tv Best Of 2013 – Diana Gamboa

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Here’s another installment of our ‘Best Of 2013′ season, in which the various musical luminaries of the BAMM.tv team pick their highlights of the year gone by. Today we ask BAMM’s Diana Gamboa for her favorite Cinematography In Music Videos. Here’s five of the best …

1. Brennisteinn – Sigur Rós

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BAMM.tv Advent Calendar: Day Seven

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Once you strip away the apocalyptic paranoia and existential angst, it seems that the Arcade Fire are actually quite a fun group of guys. Don’t believe us? Check out this perfect example, which also happens to double-up as the special Xmas treat on Day Seven of our Advent Calendar Countdown. ‘A Very Arcade Xmas’ sees the band jamming away on a yuletide-themed improv session, and apparently having quite a blast in the process. Even if you’re not a big fan of the holiday season (what’s wrong with you?) the sheer goofiness of this shouldn’t fail to put a smile on your face.

BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Seven

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Once you strip away the apocalyptic paranoia and existential angst, it seems that the Arcade Fire are actually quite a fun group of guys. Don’t believe us? Check out this perfect example, which also happens to double-up as the special Xmas treat on Day Seven of our Advent Calendar Countdown. ‘A Very Arcade Xmas’ sees the band jamming away on a yuletide-themed improv session, and apparently having quite a blast in the process. Even if you’re not a big fan of the holiday season (what’s wrong with you?) the sheer goofiness of this shouldn’t fail to put a smile on your face.

BAMM Says: Its Only Rock And Roll?

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So, Arcade Fire are something of a successful little beat-combo – selling out stadiums, amassing a worldwide fanbase, straddling both critical acclaim and commercial revenue with a fervour that many other acts can only dream of. But Win Butler (lead singer) isn’t exactly pleased with the present state of rock music.

He feels that the whole genre is stagnant. Lacking in ambition. Meandering. Dull. And … well, let’s hear what he has to say for himself:

“A lot of people get really stuck in this idea that everything’s been done, and there’s nowhere left to go. Rock ‘n’ roll is almost the most conservative form of performance art: you play your guitar, these are the moves, this is what the songs are about, and this is the energy. I always felt like there’s so many sounds to make and things to talk about in songs. There’s more to life than ‘I love you baby, la, la, la’.”

It’s a statement with many curious undertones, and BAMM (despite being huge fans of Arcade Fire) are all too happy to argue some of the finer points.

Firstly, there’s the obvious implication: that there’s something wrong with creating simple, down-the-line rock songs. Fact: some of the greatest records ever made have been variations on ‘I love you baby, la la la’, and in many instances mean a lot more to people than so-called ‘intellectual’ alternatives. Ask the fans of AC/DC whether they want the group to start exploring new avenues and broadening their horizons – they’re likely to say hell, no, they just want to hear some killer guitar licks. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

There’s also the fact that – as good as they are – Arcade Fire aren’t exactly revolutionary. ‘The Surbubs’ is a great album, but it’s undeniably mired in recognisable pop heritage, and contains just as many catchy riffs and full-on choruses as a less ‘innovative’ band. Possibly the most distinctive moment on the album is ‘Sprawl II: Mountains Beyond Mountains'; a Kate-Bush-tinged electro-rock odyssey.

A great tune, yes. An awesome one. But, still – lots of old-fashioned, ‘straightforward’ musical reference points in there.

The thing is: there’s a big wide world out there (and with a sound so expansive and wide-eyed, someone like Win Butler should realise that). There’s enough room for every kind of genre, no matter how ‘trad’ or ‘simplistic’ – and such orange-apple comparisons (hey, guys, who’s best, Black Flag or Brian Eno?) are a little pointless at best.

Okay