Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => BAND => Topic started by: scarred on 14 Feb 2011, 10:55

Title: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 14 Feb 2011, 10:55
Who is Arcade Fire? (http://whoisarcadefire.tumblr.com/)

Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 14 Feb 2011, 11:00
I need to confess something...
I've never EVER heard an Arcade Fire song (that i know of anyway). Am I a bad person now? Who are these guys anyway?

...Wait, are people going to say that they sold out because they finally received some recognition like with every other band in the genre? Fuck that shit.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 14 Feb 2011, 11:03
Wait a minute, that site is awesome!


(http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lglrf1H7Wp1qh8gp5o1_500.png)
(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lglrpdU91u1qh8gp5o1_500.png)

Is it even real?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: amok on 14 Feb 2011, 11:07
(http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/4761/af3d.png)

laffo
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 14 Feb 2011, 11:18
Is it even real?

yeah it's all real tweets and fbook shit.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: squawk on 14 Feb 2011, 11:21
Arcade Fire surprises me like every two weeks with how much I truly love them. Watching Win smile when they ran back onstage to play Ready to Start was just the best. Especially since I don't think they were supposed to do that.

I don't know, I just have a really deep emotional bond and affinity with this band because they were basically my first indie rock band back in 2004 when I was twelve and uh, I've never looked back, really. And seeing them live twice was just... aaaaaaaaaaaa.

Anyway, I love that tumblr. It's interesting that for how """""mainstream"""" AF is now, they're still just some band that nobody's heard of
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: calenlass on 14 Feb 2011, 11:26
Man, last year during the NFL Super Bowl there was an advert for the NFL that had "Wake Up" as the track. It was so weird. No one plays the Arcade Fire here, it's never on the radio, no one in the US knows who they are. I am glad they finally won a thing, though, I guess.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JD on 14 Feb 2011, 11:38
They didn't really have much opposition.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Tom on 14 Feb 2011, 12:26
Arcade Fire; the most mainstream band you've never heard of.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: valley_parade on 14 Feb 2011, 12:28
I didn't know who they were before it was cool to not know who they were.

Actually...well I did know who they were...they just don't do anything for me. Mehhh.

BUT. The dude has a MusicMan amp! And I use one of those (sometimes). That's kinda cool.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 14 Feb 2011, 12:36
(http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lgmjhaCehD1qh8gp5o1_500.png)

Do does an ignorance of the existence of Arcade Fire  and a love for Justin Bieber go hand-in-hand with not being able to construct a sentence that makes grammatical sense?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 14 Feb 2011, 13:11
Arcade Fire; the most mainstream band you've never heard of.

I still feel like everything great they did was part of Funeral (a track here and there has been good, but I feel like Funeral was something of an opus), but it's good they got some recognition and a good tumblr out of it (which I will now follow).
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Katherine on 14 Feb 2011, 13:24
Quote
Alicia Someone: Who they he'll are this people singing right now ahhhhhhhhhhhhh they are scary !!!!!!!
17 hours ago via iPhone LikeUnlike View Feedback (7)Hide Feedback (7)
          o
            John Someone: Run Forrest Run...
          o
            John Someone: Alicia...your scary group just won!
          o
            Alicia Someone: I know who the hell are these people?????
          o
            John Someone: Millionaires now! LOL
          o
            Katherine Me:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_fire
          o
            Alicia Someone: Thanks Catherine I had not a clue who the he'll they were lol and I don't really listen to much of any music so I really was clueless with them :) lol
          o
            Barbara Someone I said the same thing to myself.....OUCH!

This kinda pissed me off last night.  "Scary people"?  Really? "Millionaires now haw haw haw" Ugh.  And I love how she spelled my name wrong in replying to me...
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 14 Feb 2011, 13:27
Quote
           Alicia Someone: Thanks Catherine I had not a clue who the he'll they were lol and I don't really listen to much of any music so I really was clueless with them :) lol
          
I think that sums up everyone's problem with this award.  I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, but people who "don't listen to much music" shouldn't be surprised when they don't know more-than-just marginally culturally significant musicians.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Tom on 14 Feb 2011, 13:33
If we wanted to go into a silly discussion of originality => greatness, then Arcade Fire is way ahead of this tiny curve. Bieber (Lief Garrett and other boy-teen idols) and Gaga (Madonna 2.0) aren't really attempting to do anything groundbreaking or new. Thus, Arcade Fire probably deserves this inconsequential more than either of those acts.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: est on 14 Feb 2011, 14:16
All of their albums have been on "best of (year)" lists for Rolling Stone, MTV, Spin, Time, etc.  These are pretty big things in the US music industry, right?  It's not just Pitchfork talking about them.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 14 Feb 2011, 14:23
no i'm pretty sure they're pretty huge

i think this is one of those silent majority things where the smaller group starts yelling and the larger group of people just sit there patiently waiting for their turn to speak, only it never comes


then again, i've never actually listened to arcade fire so maybe not! maybe they really aren't as big as we thought they were.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 14 Feb 2011, 14:27
when I saw this magazine cover (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518tPeCUygL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) I figured that meant they were pretty much the biggest band in the world, but I guess maybe I was wrong?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: CoyoteKnight on 14 Feb 2011, 14:35
Well good for Arcade Fire. It's about time something new and unique that isn't just shock value won.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 14 Feb 2011, 15:33
That tumblr is possibly the greatest one I have ever seen. Then again I haven't seen very many.

The funniest thing to me is how half of the people confuse the album with the artist.

EDIT: Case in point:
(http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lglpjySKBO1qh8gp5o1_500.png)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Inlander on 14 Feb 2011, 15:52
Man, last year during the NFL Super Bowl there was an advert for the NFL that had "Wake Up" as the track. It was so weird. No one plays the Arcade Fire here, it's never on the radio, no one in the US knows who they are. I am glad they finally won a thing, though, I guess.

I've noticed over the last year or so that "Indie" music is starting to make inroads into the mainstream in some pretty surprising places. Last Saturday there was a game of Rugby League here in Australia and in the build-up the TV channel broadcasting it, Channel 9 (which is probably the most mainstream TV channel imaginable in Australia) used a song off High Violet by the National as background music! (I think it was "Terrible Love".)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: valley_parade on 14 Feb 2011, 15:55
The strangest thing I've ever seen in that regard was the time Fox played Vaux's "Are You With Me? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d6YVgEnMKE)" during some NFL highlights.

Like seriously. Who the hell listened to Vaux? Judging by that one time at Warped Tour, I'm the only one.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: De_El on 14 Feb 2011, 16:04
At this point I kind of assumed that everyone knew Arcade Fire BUT! one of the things about people who don't listen to music is they're never inspired to talk to anyone about music and thus it is easier to forget they exist.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 14 Feb 2011, 16:34
Yeah, it's kind of weird to remember "Oh, yeah! There ARE people that just listen to whatever comes on the radio!" From a music nerd's standpoint, it's like trying to communicate with cavemen.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Melodic on 14 Feb 2011, 20:47
arcade fire are cool
this haiku is about how
i like their music
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: kwami42 on 14 Feb 2011, 20:49
haikus are not six
seven five but five seven
five you silly man
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 14 Feb 2011, 21:31
Haikus can assume
whatever structure you wish.
Provided it's short.

It's not like English
is ideal for poetry
anyway, bitches.

Also, "fire" is debatably monosyllabic.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 14 Feb 2011, 22:08
i mean it's not mentioned in this thread that i could see in a brief skim but i think it's really important to note that the arcade fire are like merge records vanguards at this point, like they've released three records to ever-increasing sales on one of america's few remaining Big Indies, and now a seriously big chunk of america know who they are. that's like the hugest thing to carry out of this, i think  merge are like a Really Good Label and this is a huge thing no matter what the state of the industry is.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 14 Feb 2011, 22:13
(http://forums.questionablecontent.net/Themes/qc/images/english/merge.gif)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JD on 14 Feb 2011, 22:42
i mean it's not mentioned in this thread that i could see in a brief skim but i think it's really important to note that the arcade fire are like merge records vanguards at this point, like they've released three records to ever-increasing sales on one of america's few remaining Big Indies, and now a seriously big chunk of america know who they are. that's like the hugest thing to carry out of this, i think merge are like a Really Good Label and this is a huge thing no matter what the state of the industry is.
I still refuse to take the Grammys seriously. Mostly because The Black Eyed Peas have won multiple awards and partially because Janelle Monae totally got cheated.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Melodic on 14 Feb 2011, 23:58
haikus are not six
seven five but five seven
five you silly man

1    2    3    4    5
ar-cade fire are cool
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 15 Feb 2011, 00:10
I thought the whole point of liking pop music was that you listened to the radio and chart shows and kind of kept up with it, like the news? Arcade Fire have had a bunch of #1 albums from what I can see on Wikipedia.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Akima on 15 Feb 2011, 02:08
In Japanese tongue,
Nouns don't have a plural form.
Haikus' S is wrong.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 02:37
I thought the whole point of liking pop music was that you listened to the radio and chart shows and kind of kept up with it, like the news? Arcade Fire have had a bunch of #1 albums from what I can see on Wikipedia.

It's especially surreal in the UK, where they've been on a major label for half a decade and are like, the biggest band ever.

I'm really stoked for Merge though, they have been able to put that money to seriously good effect.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lummer on 15 Feb 2011, 04:01
That tumblr just pisses me off. Some people should have no right to say anything about music.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: McTaggart on 15 Feb 2011, 04:05
In Japanese tongue,
Nouns don't have a plural form.
Haikus' S is wrong.

In Japanese tongue,
Nouns don't have a plural form.

In Japanese

I am like inches away from ranting about quinoa.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 15 Feb 2011, 05:55
I've noticed over the last year or so that "Indie" music is starting to make inroads into the mainstream in some pretty surprising places. Last Saturday there was a game of Rugby League here in Australia and in the build-up the TV channel broadcasting it, Channel 9 (which is probably the most mainstream TV channel imaginable in Australia) used a song off High Violet by the National as background music! (I think it was "Terrible Love".)

I heard You!Me!Dancing! on a Miller Lite commercial, like, two months ago... I was like, "dude! that song is 6 years old," how do people get jobs picking background music cause I would be a million times better, apparently...

That tumblr just pisses me off. Some people should have no right to say anything about music.
I also felt inexplicably angry at a couple of things I saw written.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: TheFuriousWombat on 15 Feb 2011, 06:57
haikus are not six
seven five but five seven
five you silly man

1    2    3    4    5
ar-cade fire are cool

d'aw, it's ok buddy it's trying that matters most!

It's great that Arcade Fire won the grammy considering their intensely mediocre album was easily the best of those nominated. More importantly for me, it's confirmed in my mind how far mainstream pop music has sunk and how tragic the whole industry really is. I mean, I knew that already but seeing the backlash against AF's win really highlights how conditioned most people have become into only liking what some monolithic taste making machine churns out ready made for their ignorant, slavish devotion.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 08:08
i mean you can view this as "the industry sunk to meet us" the way chris weingarten cynically did OR you can view this as a band that basically made their way in north america the hard way (i.e. touring a fuckload and working with labels that, maybe with the exception of mercury who was their UK distributor on their last record, treat them largely as human beings) earning the same level of visibility within mainstream culture that someone like lady gaga, katy perry, or justin bieber has, without receiving virtually any airplay on pop radio. they did it by touring and by selling the absolute hell out of their records. so the actual "album of the year" part, not so relevant in terms of whether or not that album was actually the best of the year, but as a watermark of collective consciousness, a pretty staunchly independent band winning it is pretty fucking significant, dudes.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 08:32
a pretty staunchly independent band winning it is pretty fucking significant, dudes.

I don't want to cross-post this debate from Electrical but here in the UK we have a different view of them because they've been a major label band for many years now. They've had that sickly major label marketing since they left Rough Trade and thus, it doesn't feel like as much of a surprise.

On the one hand, I'm super stoked how much money this is earning for Merge Records, who are indisputably great and put out records by superb bands. On the other, I'm kind of bummed by the way people are appropriating this as a victory for independent music when it's a band who kinda sorta actually did get into bed with a major label quite a long time ago. This isn't going to happen with the new Destroyer record and it didn't with the Superchunk album from last year either. That's because neither of those bands signed to a major label in any capacity and thus, aren't receiving the boon of widespread mainstream coverage, radio and MTV payola and blanket advertising that you get from doing so.

It's a victory for independent music because they made a bunch of money for Merge records but ultimately the band in question aren't "staunchly independent" either. That's alright by me, I don't mind bands signing to major labels if they want to do that. I'm stoked that they're successful, I am just vaguely bugged by the hyperbole being tossed around about their status as a supposed "indie" band.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: kwami42 on 15 Feb 2011, 08:44
Fire is definitely two syllables, y'all crazy
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 08:48
Also, I forgot to mention that winning a Grammy isn't actually very significant because it's a Grammy.

I feel like making a big deal of that like this suddenly makes the Grammys relevant to independent music in any way is sort of silly.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Feb 2011, 09:27
In Japanese tongue,
Nouns don't have a plural form.
Haikus' S is wrong.

In Japanese tongue,
Nouns don't have a plural form.

In Japanese

Yeah pretty much the entire point of my post is that poetic forms of foreign languages never ever translate ideally into English and are often better ignored for masterful approximations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_a_Station_of_the_Metro) so, whatever, or something.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 09:39
Everybody chill out and eat some paninis.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 10:16
Well, they're on Merge in the US so it's true that in that country they're technically an independent band. However, I don't think it's coincidental that they are signed to major labels elsewhere. When a band which isn't on a major label in any capacity wins some kind of superfluous award in the US, I'll probably admit that it's extraordinary (though it still won't mean shit ultimately because it's still just a Grammy).

It bugs me because there's a fundamental flaw in this logic. Destroyer won't win a Grammy this year because they're a genuinely independent band who are solely on Merge. The difference between the two groups is basically that Arcade Fire signed to a major label abroad and Destroyer haven't. Thus, we're back to the old notion of these charming little indie rock bands being able to "make it" if they'd just sign to a major label (though admittedly not in the US). Also because I'm still sick of the appropriation of supposed independence being used as a marketing tool. Just call it pop music, there's nothing wrong with that. There's no earnest reason to misrepresent music like this.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: TheFuriousWombat on 15 Feb 2011, 10:26
The difference is, Arcade Fire is only "on" a major label outside the US in the sense that a major label distributes their music. The band, however, completely owns their music and thus has total creative control and total say-so over how and when their music is recorded, produced, licensed, packaged and so on. To me, that makes them independent by definition no matter where you're buying their music.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 10:43
People keep saying that it's only a distribution deal but it's not actually the case. They are absolutely signed to Mercury (http://www.mercuryrecords.co.uk/) (Universal Music Group) in the UK. Previously they were on Rough Trade. Mercury pays for all the European advertising plus distribution and manufacturing, same as say - U2 or Metallica. Here in the UK they had a colossal, absolutely fucking gigantic marketing campaign for their last two records. Merge or The Arcade Fire didn't pay for all of that, it was Mercury - a major label.

That's cool too, it seems to have worked out for literally everybody - including for Merge, Rough Trade and for once, the band themselves. No problem at all with any of that.

However, they still had to sign to a major label to get to that point and we're being deceived to think otherwise.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KvP on 15 Feb 2011, 10:52
i mean you can view this as "the industry sunk to meet us" the way chris weingarten cynically did OR you can view this as a band that basically made their way in north america the hard way (i.e. touring a fuckload and working with labels that, maybe with the exception of mercury who was their UK distributor on their last record, treat them largely as human beings) earning the same level of visibility within mainstream culture that someone like lady gaga, katy perry, or justin bieber has, without receiving virtually any airplay on pop radio. they did it by touring and by selling the absolute hell out of their records. so the actual "album of the year" part, not so relevant in terms of whether or not that album was actually the best of the year, but as a watermark of collective consciousness, a pretty staunchly independent band winning it is pretty fucking significant, dudes.
This thing (band tours lots, becomes famous without pop radio play) is a thing that has never happened before? Can you say with a straight face that if Billboard #1s were selling millions instead of low hundred thousands Arcade Fire would have made it anywhere near this award?

Also I think the main culprit here is the band's prostration before the altar of Springsteen. That's a hood pass through Baby Boomer town if there ever was one.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 11:34
I think ultimately the thing that gets me is that it's basically universally agreed by everybody that good music is good music and bad music is bad music regardless of how it reaches your ears. Thus, if a record is on a major or an independent label, it doesn't actually make any difference to the quality of the music. There are good bands on major labels and horrible bands on independent labels.

Since that's patently the case, it's annoying when people make a point of a band being "Indie" to provide some kind of exotic allure. I object to things being labelled as something they're not for the purpose of commerce, especially when there's no need to do it.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Tom on 15 Feb 2011, 11:36
In Australia they're distributed/advertised by one of our largest indie labels, Spunk. Only a handful of uni students and adults know who they are.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 11:40
In the UK, my mother and older brother have bought every album since Neon Bible because Mercury redecorated the entire country Arcade Fire colour for their last couple of albums.

I can't emphasise how huge you are to have sold albums to three members of my family. We're talking U2 huge (which I guess is appropriate since they're on the same label).
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: TheFuriousWombat on 15 Feb 2011, 12:27
So does their distribution in one country disqualify them universally from being considered independent? Here in the US they're NEVER on the radio apart from college stations and their music is very rarely heard in commercials, movie trailers, tv shows, and the like. You say "every album" like they're some hugely prolific band. Every album since Neon Bible is one other album. I dunno, they may be pretty popular but comparing Arcade Fire to U2 is totally absurd and not even remotely close to reality. I'm not defending them per se, I think they've released one great album and the rest have been fairly mediocre but their independent status is obvious to me which makes their Grammy win pretty significant. I don't know for sure but I would guess this is the first time a band not on a major label in America won this American award and considering the established Names they beat it's a pretty big shock to the system
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 13:08
So does their distribution in one country disqualify them universally from being considered independent?

Being signed to a major label in the UK makes them a major label band in the UK, which in my mind had an indisputable knock-on effect in the US. It's not a distribution deal, they are signed to Mercury absolutely. Mercury promotes, manufactures and distributes their records in Europe. They are signed to a major label here. They are a major label band. It says so on the Mercury website. It says so on their records here (it doesn't say Merge anywhere because they are signed to Mercury). That's fine by me, it doesn't change their music at all. So yes, in my mind being on a major label and having all that promotional power (which works on a global scale incidentally) of a major label pretty much discounts them from being considered an "indie" band despite the fact that they've managed to remain on Merge (a very great label) in the US and in some other countries.

They were doing fine in the UK on Rough Trade, sold a ridiculous number of records in fact, but then they signed to a major label for presumably all the reasons any other band does. Still, regardless of this fact they're touted as an "indie" band. It's not quite true though, which sort of bugs me for all the reasons I already mentioned at length in this thread.

I know this is pedantic but independent music isn't just about what label you're on, it's also about booking your own shows, not being associated with certain corporations and maintaining a certain level of good practices etc. Arcade Fire have two managers, several press agents, a major label record deal in the UK and all the marketing clout which comes with that (specifically the payola which gets you on radio and television - can't emphasise how crucial that is). I'm not criticising them for doing this but they've transcended the point where they can be put in the same category as genuine independent bands.

I'm making a point about how different it is because it's visibly different and it's bizarre how people continue to deny it. I know a lot of independent bands and record labels and they aren't run remotely like The Arcade Fire, who have all of the above by choice, not by chance. Ignoring the very obvious difference between this band and any other purely independent band basically nullifies the choices of the latter groups, which are often made because they actually understand and prefer the independent ethos in itself. These are the people who don't have managers or major label deals anywhere in the world. They book their own tours and work day jobs etc. I'm emphasising the difference repeatedly because it's very different.

You can claim that The Arcade Fire is the same as these groups if you like but it's very apparent that they're not any more.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 13:17
The thing about the independent ethos is it's supposed to encourage people that they don't need to conform to the mainstream in any way or use the traditional methods of becoming successful (which in itself is debatable). Thus, we can see how fundamentally different these two approaches are if you imagine me advising a new band to follow in the footsteps of The Arcade Fire -

1. Form a band, write some music, play some shows.
2. Record some music in the studio and release it on an independent label.
3. Get a manager, then get another one to book your shows too.
4. Sign to a major label, who will market you to commercial radio and music television as well as the mainstream media.
5. Win a Grammy! Wow, awesome!

Instead of -

1. Form a band, write some music, play some shows.
2. Record some music in the studio and release it on an independent label.

Both ways are fine by me. In this instance the first method worked super well for everybody concerned so it's all good. However, it's not quite true to say that methods one and two are the same because they're not. It doesn't make an iota of difference to how good your music is regardless of which direction you decide to take.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 14:43
This thing (band tours lots, becomes famous without pop radio play) is a thing that has never happened before? Can you say with a straight face that if Billboard #1s were selling millions instead of low hundred thousands Arcade Fire would have made it anywhere near this award?

1) no the thing that has happened before is happening again in the 21st century when ringtones are a legitimate honest-to-god sales and success metric, i'm not dim enough to suggest that a band who tours a lot and subsequently becomes famous has never happened before, give me some credit
2) who knows dude, this is the reality we're given & i am trying to speak mainly to it

---words below---

tommy, dude, i dislike the idea of bands having to have managers as much as anyone else but to say that doesn't make them independent is a crock of shit. i talk to independent bands through press people every other week  bands that also hire people to book shows for them. that doesn't mean they're not independent, and that doesn't mean they lack an independent ethos. it means they have other stuff to do with their lives than be on the phone. it's really tough to hold that against them.

it's maybe not stridently ian mackaye ideologue independence but booking a tour and doing press and all that stuff is seriously ass-busting work, especially in north america where you have a ton of bands and a ton of ground to cover, and i know cause i'm friends with nationally touring bands and i've tried to do press for myself and it's a giant clusterfuck nightmare. when you're on the road for several months out of the year to be on the phone and in email contact with people across the country all hours of the day as well it may be doable but like so is grinding your own flour and sun-drying your own tomatoes yet i'm not some kind of hybrid heston-contessa dude so i'm not going to suggest that anyone who doesn't do that isn't a good cook. they want to buy some at the farmer's market or italian grocery or whatever? cool. similarly, if a band works with a press person or a booking agent  that's fine. plenty of bands have done that. i'm not sure where that stops  should bands not design their own websites? should they design and print all their posters? should they screen all their own shirts? press & package their music (note: these estates do this)? what separates those from having a booking agent, especially in 2011 when a website can honest-to-god be as important if not more important than having someone manage press?

the stuff with mercury? that's one record so far, and the record prior to it has sold 400,000 copies to date, all on merge, and during that record's promotion they toured with U2 and bruce springsteen in arenas across north america. and people went to see them, too. funeral's sold over half a million copies and was nominated for a best alternative grammy, which was prior to touring with U2 and to signing with mercury. (those sales, by the way, don't count tour sales, which aren't calculated or tracked by billboard.) and their ads were all over magazines and shit in canada and the states, don't kid yourself  they weren't on pop radio but still. they sold out madison square garden two nights in a row.

unless you're going to posit some really bizarre trickle-across profit thing that reveals how money from record sales in canada, the u.s., and other countries across the globe slowly funnel from merge to mercury,* this strikes me if anything as a validation of what weingarten says  "here is a band that is going to move the fuck out of some units," mercury says. "and 'sinking down to their level' and signing them will actually provide us with some revenue." here in north america, where they've sold the majority of their records, they're making bank, they moved tons of units, and they're doing it through merge. my mom likes the arcade fire too, and you know who told her? canadian public broadcast radio, who've been playing their records since the first ep.

like step 4 and 5 are severely disingenuous. step 3, like i said, isn't wrong. they did step 2 twice, the second time facilitating it by having built a reputation as a sterling live act and having had a first record that they put all their guts into take off. don't front as if this was impossible to accomplish without mercury unless you can like provide some actual proof about it. far as i can see, mercury saw a hot rod peeling out down the street and decided to skitch on it at the last second. if that rules them out as a band that's worked independently, fine. i guess if you're willing to ignore like six years of history then there's no real arguing with you.

i'm sorry! i'm on like three hours of sleep, so i'm kind of edgy. but the last thing i want to tell my friends in rah rah, who've been packing into a van a couple of times a year for the last three years to haul ass back and forth across the country playing first to crowds of 20 people and then nowadays crowds of several hundred, all while doing so on their own dime and on a locally-run record label, that they've betrayed the independent ethos by hiring a booking agent to book tours while they're working jobs and getting degrees, or that once they sign to a uk label for distro that negates everything they've worked at independently of said label. that sets me right off. and now i've written a bunch of words defending the arcade fire. for your next trick, back me into defending the beatles, maybe? paul's lawyers?

*the sole argument for this that i can determine is that them being popular over here will make them popular in the uk but they sold a ton of records in the uk before signing to merge anyways so i think crediting this exclusively to mercury's advertising campaign or suggesting that mercury single-handedly turned them into a band that has topped critics' best-of lists and debuted on the billboard charts for half a decade without their help is like some serious history-distorting stuff
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 15:07
I'm struggling to disagree with any of the above because it kind of makes out that I'm positing a stance which I'm not - that The Arcade Fire are not good because they aren't really an independent band. This isn't true. I said before that it doesn't matter which label you're on, it doesn't make your music good or bad. Notice how I deliberately haven't said anything about whether or not I like them as a band because it's not really something I see as relevant. There are great bands on major labels, there are horrible bands on independent labels. However, I will confess that I don't consider this band to be an "indie band" anymore and I think I explained why to a reasonable standard.

Sorry if it makes me hard-liner but yeah, at the point whereby you have a manager or you're not booking your own shows or you've signed to a major label - you're not an independent band any more. You can still be the best band in the goddamn world. You can still be the nicest dudes there have ever been. You can still be Zeitgeist-shatteringly mind-blowingly incredible in every way but once you've crossed those lines, you're not really "indie" anymore. Anybody who makes a point suggesting that not being an "indie" band makes you bad in any way is a retard but then again, I doubt anyone in the world would make that argument.

You can sell a truly insane amount of records and maintain your independent status if you really want to - good examples being Fugazi and Shellac. That is fine! You can sell a truly insane amount of records and shed your independent status by placing the operations and running of your band in the hands of other people and sign to a major record label too - good examples being The Decemberists or The Arcade Fire. That is also fine! There's no moral judgement to be made here because your music will still be good or bad on its own merits. Both decisions probably have their own advantages and disadvantages. I have absolutely no issue with whatever anybody wants to do with their own music, they can do what they like.

However, regardless of what you say it's not the same thing.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 15 Feb 2011, 15:15
I don't want to cross-post this debate from Electrical but here in the UK we have a different view of them because they've been a major label band for many years now. They've had that sickly major label marketing since they left Rough Trade and thus, it doesn't feel like as much of a surprise.

Not everyone over there, apparently (http://whoisarcadefire.tumblr.com/post/3314811438)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 15:17
It's really as simple as saying at the point where you stop doing all the things that makes you an independent band, you cease to be an independent band.

I have no idea how this is controversial.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 15:31
tommy, i'm not saying that you said the band was bad  i deliberately didn't say that, in fact, because you're right and that doesn't have anything to do with it. but i disagree with you that having someone do press for you doesn't make you indie. that's not a hard line  it's an arbitrary one. when i spoke with oliver from a place to bury strangers two years ago to do an article on his band for my pissant college newspaper, i did it through a press guy. they were on killer pimp records at the time. that label barely has a website. meanwhile oliver's band was embarking on a huge tour across north america, he had to run death by audio back in new york, and he was still building boutique guitar pedals. that doesn't embody the independent ethos somehow? like i said above  where do we draw the line? is building your own website okay or not? do you have to run things out of a gmail account?

give me something here because i'm having a hard time figuring out why the only model for independence should be fugazi  who had, by the way, almost a decade's worth of positive press to their lead dude's former act  or black flag  whose revolving-door band members quite frequently hated actually being in that band  or shellac  whose frontman is like a world-renowned record producer who had a fairly acclaimed couple of bands prior to his current act, and who tour for vacation.

you want to argue the mercury records bit, that's totally fair, and you've got some valid points, though i'd argue that deliberately ignoring everything the arcade fire did as a band touring the entire world without a cent of major label money and selling a million fucking records in the process is somewhat intellectually dishonest. what i'm saying, i guess, is that the absolute hard line beyond signing to a major is wrong, and if you want to be giving a kid starting a band advice in list form like you did up there, it's a foul bit of rhetoric to append "by the way don't ever hire a booking agent or press guy." that kid went to go see the fucking weakerthans, who help run an anarchist printing press, and decided he wanted to pick up a guitar and start playing independent music. don't front on him just because you think the weakerthans aren't independent.

we can play this game all day, by the way; i'm pretty sure you know as many bands on mint and arts & crafts and what have you as i do. and those bands are as independent as any. i'm not interested in an ever-narrowing list of arbitrary criteria that make increasing demands of the few hours the members of those bands afforded in a day. i'm interested in if they have an ethos that says "i'll do things the way my art demands i do them."
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 15:56
like i said above  where do we draw the line?

That's exactly the point I guess - where we draw the line. Personally, I'm drawing it right here and The Arcade Fire are on the other side of it to say, Police Teeth or The Gary or These Estates or Half Mile Fox Fur. Those bands can still be indie, that is fine. Using the word for those bands makes absolute sense to me. If you like, and I say this with not even a hint of derision but just because it's a thinker, we'll get a new word and The Arcade Fire can have the word "indie" for themselves, forever. My only problem with that is eventually whatever word we use will eventually be claimed by other bands who have a conspicuously different modus operandi but are appropriating it for their own purposes. Then we'll get another word and the cycle can continue.

Let's say it's a system of strikes. You can let someone else make your website and make your lunch but at the point whereby you get a manager or sign to a major label (I am not making this up, all of their records are on Mercury in the UK. I went to a record store to check!) you're a different animal all together.

give me something here because i'm having a hard time figuring out why the only model for independence should be fugazi  who had, by the way, almost a decade's worth of positive press to their lead dude's former act  or black flag  whose revolving-door band members quite frequently hated actually being in that band  or shellac  whose frontman is like a world-renowned record producer who had a fairly acclaimed couple of bands prior to his current act, and who tour for vacation.

It's Fugazi and Shellac because they really have sold as many records as just about any mainstream rock band but retained absolute control of their music and the operation of their bands. There's a misconception that becoming so popular forces you into certain decisions but that's not really true. You can put the phone down every time a major label calls you. You can book your own shows. You can say no when somebody says they will manage your band. That is absolutely possible, denying that it is when many other bands have done it is absurd. Your ability to say "no" in any instance is not affected by how many records you have sold. It's always your choice, basically.

The Arcade Fire indisputably made the right decisions for their band. They just happened to be decisions which also crossed the line where they can be honestly described as independent in the sense of the word which I use to refer to Ian Mackaye and Steve Albini etc.

you want to argue the mercury records bit, that's totally fair, and you've got some valid points, though i'd argue that deliberately ignoring everything the arcade fire did as a band touring the entire world without a cent of major label money and selling a million fucking records in the process is somewhat intellectually dishonest.

They were an incredibly successful independent band and then they ceased to be one when they made decisions like signing to a major and getting a manager. Now they're an incredibly successful band in general. No slight on them at all, they are fighting the good fight on their own terms.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 16:07
i think there is something of a rhetorical slight against them, though! especially saying that having a manager isn't independent, which like i'm pretty sure i made a compelling case about above! you're making out people who actually work to help bands like this out to be like GWAR's sleazy p. martini or something. a lot of bands choose managers, i'd argue, to help them remain independent  so that they can work with someone and get things done on their own terms without it consuming every waking hour of the day.

there's a weird undercurrent to the argument against management and press and ancillary dudes that those are somehow people who are going to cover the way a band does business in like grime or something, like they're rendered unclean by association. i'm not really feeling that for the reasons i've described above. the strike thing is totally arbitrary, which like i've said is the whole problem with the argument. fugazi did it. fugazi had a lot of other factors at play. fugazi got lucky, in a lot of ways. i'm not denying that it's impossible, i'm denying that to say "canada's a big fucking country and touring it for two months and then touring it again in three months for another two month stretch is going to be extraordinarily difficult to coordinate, i could use some help," it doesn't make you less independent. it makes you an adult aware of how much work you can feasibly handle. it's that shit, mostly, not the mercury records argument, that has my back up.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 16:12
like, again  the weakerthans? g7 welcoming committee? anarchist press? julie doiron, jagjaguwar, sappyfest? when god told jonah "find me one person who hasn't committed a sin here and i won't blow up the town" he was being way too harsh, i think in the 21st century we can admit that.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 15 Feb 2011, 16:16
this is one of those rare occasions where i actually agree with johnny.


...but i'm pretty open-minded so if tommy makes a decently compelling argument, my mind could be changed.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 16:20
Quote from: Johnny C
it makes you an adult aware of how much work you can feasibly handle.

Ah, the benign implication being that absolute control is infantile. This point usually comes in the independent versus mainstream debate in one form or another so it doesn't phase me much. Usually it's implied in the sense that independent bands are small fry and need to get real etc. Okay.

Literally thousands of bands have successfully toured nationwide and globally, having entirely booked their own shows. With no manager. Some with no label, independent or otherwise. Some with no records to sell, having never been in a studio. You and I know this, we personally know people who do this all the time. It's definitely possible, though obviously it's also a shit ton of work. I think the people who do it on their own are different from the people who hire in other people to deal with other aspects of their bands' operation. Let's call the people who run the whole show themselves "indie" like we used to and call the people on major labels with managers etc something else.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 16:27
like, again  the weakerthans? g7 welcoming committee? anarchist press? julie doiron, jagjaguwar, sappyfest?

They can all stay too.

Unless your contention is that these bands and labels can seriously be called the same as The Arcade Fire I don't really see the comparison.

These entities are not the same as The Arcade Fire, there are many differences. Let's call the above "indie" and The Arcade Fire something else.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 16:44
those bands have fucking managers dude is my point though, like they do all that stuff and have someone with a calendar somewhere that says "john c the carillon 2:00 pm, sunday" and that calendar does not negate the awesome stuff they have done that is also totally antithetical to like corporatized ethos. unless you're going to argue that having a festival where shotgun jimmie is a headliner is corporatized.

Quote from: Johnny C
it makes you an adult aware of how much work you can feasibly handle.

Ah, the benign implication being that absolute control is infantile.

what are you talking about dude what are you talking about

look, i think i was like really clear i don't deny that other bands can do it. i'm categorically saying that is not the only way you can be "independent" and that it is completely arbitrary to draw any lines beyond "major label." and i'm saying that telling anyone out there looking to become a touring and recording artist that hiring a press guy officially makes you no longer independent is to basically do what a lot of other fairly insidious cultural forces in the 21st century are already conspiring to do which is to slowly and implicitly make the performance and recording of independent music that is viable in a long-term sense the province of the rich, a leisure-time thing for people who can afford to spend the time booking shows and stuff. you are constantly suggesting bands should have day jobs and do music as a hobby, dude and while it may be feasible to do that and still have like enough success as a band to stay afloat, i think it's an unreasonable thing to force on someone if they want to wear the "independent" mantle.

i'm saying that if you're looking for independent ethics it's way more unethical to tell a kid that he's sold out if he's at the point where he's able to afford a hand in booking a cross-country tour than it is to hire that guy to book. not everyone's some kind of creepy weird middleman out to grease his own palms. these people have jobs and they do them really well and they frequently assist bands who are going to likely avoid major labels for the duration of their career because there's a huge difference between a major and ken from killbeat. there's no one true path to being independent. that's a hard-line position that's unrealistic not because it's impossible but unrealistic because it is unyielding to the situations of various people.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 17:04
Quote from: JC
and while it may be feasible to do that and still have like enough success as a band to stay afloat, i think it's an unreasonable thing to force on someone if they want to wear the "independent" mantle.

Then don't wear it. It's completely optional. The fact that people desire to be considered an independent band but don't want to do the stuff which being an independent band entails is bizarre. So don't do it, find another way to do it. Don't torture yourself if it's impossible to you, just do what you like. My problem is all the bands who want the prestige and I honestly think the sales of being considered an independent band but don't actually want to do the actual work. At the point where control of your band is in the hands of other people in too many ways, I'm going to personally cease registering you as an indie band.

Oh no, these poor bands. How will they ever survive being relegated from thy hallowed indie rock of yore by powerful scribe Tommy Dski etc.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 17:08
As I said earlier though, I will concede that maybe having other people do certain jobs doesn't necessarily preclude you from being an independent band but once you hit a certain point, it's just not accurate to call a band indie because they no longer resemble the bands who are actually doing the absolute control thing.

The Arcade Fire reached that point a while ago. They are resolutely different from even other bands on Merge and it's because of the concessions they made to the existing mainstream music industry rather than artistic merit. How did that Superchunk record do by comparison? I wonder if the Destroyer record is in for a Grammy next time around?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 15 Feb 2011, 17:16
it's just not accurate to call a band indie because they no longer resemble the bands who are actually doing the absolute control thing.

I probably shouldn't jump into this discussion, but there's been such a deluge of people and critics calling shit "indie" or "indie rock" that it's gotten to the point that indie itself has become, in a lot of minds and representations of indie culture, a style of music rather than a way of conducting business.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 17:20
True but in this instance I believe journalists were referring to the fact that they're on Merge in the US, which is correct.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Feb 2011, 17:28
I am pretty sure independent is not a thing you either are or are not. Like with just about everything, there are different degrees and I think it is fair to say Arcade Fire are leaps and bounds more "indie" than anything else that has recently been in the American mainstream spotlight.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 17:32
Then don't wear it. It's completely optional. The fact that people desire to be considered an independent band but don't want to do the stuff which being an independent band entails is bizarre. So don't do it, find another way to do it. Don't torture yourself if it's impossible to you, just do what you like. My problem is all the bands who want the prestige and I honestly think the sales of being considered an independent band but don't actually want to do the actual work.

i dunno dude, that whole argument really strikes me as like a kind of macho "this is our way" sort of thing. i think it's infeasible for a lot of bands, bands who otherwise operate with fairly strict adherence to an ethos that says they're making stuff they like because they like it rather than because it's a thing that will Move Units. and like i think it's also again not even so much unfair as frankly wrong to suggest that all the bands i've listed who enlist someone to do press or booking or whatever want to be called indie but "don't want to do the work." maybe they do, and that work entails moving around the country and playing music and putting together records and rehearsing and working to be able to afford those tours, and working to run a record label, and working to run a venue, and etcetera, etcetera.

i mean these estates do stuff on the cheap and the quick & dirty and aim largely for DIY stuff but that's just because that's kind of the way we want to run things, not because it makes us more indie. and i don't look down on a band fortunate enough to be able to hire a booking agent or press guy so that they can spend hours in their day instead actually being able to make art. and i don't think that those bands are less independent than us. they're more stable, maybe. or they're more viable. or more successful. good for them. they're not less indie because of it. they've worked hard, and so have we. i'm morally very wary of negating that by saying "well you're no longer independent." what are they no longer independent from? their own time?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 17:39
I am pretty sure independent is not a thing you either are or are not.

This is the most common argument, can't believe it took us that long to get here. The arbitrary abstract distraction argument.

I mean, like, what really is music anyhow? Can anyone really own sound, maaan? Is The Arcade Fire that I hear the same band as the one you hear? I'll bet this is how dogs see.

No, the bands on independent labels are independent and the ones on major labels aren't.

Quote
I think it is fair to say Arcade Fire are leaps and bounds more "indie" than anything else that has recently been in the American mainstream spotlight.

Recently? Sure. I'd argue that the early days of Ruthless and Death Row Records were more significant though.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 17:42
i mean these estates do stuff on the cheap and the quick & dirty and aim largely for DIY stuff but that's just because that's kind of the way we want to run things

The Arcade Fire don't, at least not any more.

If one were to list all the many differences between these two bands, I'd argue that they were substantial enough to warrant different headings. How about we call These Estates "indie" and The Arcade Fire something else, to demonstrate these obvious distinctions?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 17:47
"successful"
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 17:51
Yeah, that's true Jens. Seems sort of silly but yeah, that was the general idea behind that joke. It's pertinent again I guess.

Also, I got all the way through this discussion without mentioning Vincent Moon.

Wait, shit.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Melodic on 15 Feb 2011, 18:06
the arcade fire
hehe
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Feb 2011, 18:33
I am pretty sure independent is not a thing you either are or are not.

This is the most common argument, can't believe it took us that long to get here. The arbitrary abstract distraction argument.

I mean, like, what really is music anyhow? Can anyone really own sound, maaan? Is The Arcade Fire that I hear the same band as the one you hear? I'll bet this is how dogs see.

No, the bands on independent labels are independent and the ones on major labels aren't.

I didn't say anything about relativistic perception. I'm talking about relativistic identity, which is pretty clearly a factor. I mean, how do you distinguish an independent label from a major one? Sure we know all the major players now, but some of these more successful independent labels are encroaching on "major" status and how can you possibly narrow that definition to a point where you say "this is the line"? Especially as the industry digitizes and being backed by a major label doesn't even necessarily grant you more overall exposure than an independent label that is damn good at working the Internet.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 18:51
I mean, how do you distinguish an independent label from a major one? Sure we know all the major players now, but some of these more successful independent labels are encroaching on "major" status and how can you possibly narrow that definition to a point where you say "this is the line"?

Not signed by or working with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group. That's the line, same as it ever was.

We can pretend otherwise I guess but at the point where you're having to shift the boundaries to include a band, we're really reaching.

Especially as the industry digitizes and being backed by a major label doesn't even necessarily grant you more overall exposure than an independent label that is damn good at working the Internet.

They sold a pantload before a major got involved but they were pushed to the summit using conventional mainstream media advertising etc. Internet dorks download, your mom does the actual buying records.

Funeral sales up to release of Neon Bible:
US (300M people) - 300K
UK (60M people) - 500K

Neon Bible week one sales:
US - 92K
UK - 72K

Suburbs week one sales:
US - 157K
UK - 62K

Again, let's put that up against Destroyer or Superchunk (also on Merge) and see how it goes. I wonder if the band who incidentally has a major label deal outside of the US is going to sell more records?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KvP on 15 Feb 2011, 19:12
i dunno dude, that whole argument really strikes me as like a kind of macho "this is our way" sort of thing.
Macho posturing? In my punk-derived music scene?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Feb 2011, 19:16
Wait, isn't that showing that they're selling progressively worse in the country where they actually are with a major label? That's an interesting phenomenon.

Also, I'm not saying Arcade Fire is the pinnacle of independent music, just that (as you conceded earlier) they do take a much more independent approach than their current competition. And there are "major" aspects to some bands that are far more independent than Arcade Fire. Like, I don't see anyone looking at the band and calling them label's boy sell-outs in the same way as Lady Gaga. Just being on a major label does not totally exclude people from having a (even slightly) less than mainstream approach to their own music.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KvP on 15 Feb 2011, 19:33
It shows that as a proportion of population, the Arcade Fire fanbase is much larger in the UK than the US, doubly so prior to Neon Bible.

Anyway, as Johnny/Tommy say I think we're operating under a fair bit of equivocation when we use the word "independent" like that.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 20:03
As a percentage, the UK sales are significantly better. Selling a combined total of 134,000 records in two opening weeks in a country where the population is about sixty million people is remarkable!

I remember I was working in London when the second record landed and every magazine cover, newspaper, advertising hoarding, TV show with a musical guest spot and radio station featured The Arcade Fire for seemingly months on end. The entire London Underground had an advert for Neon Bible on every single surface to the point where the trains looked like they were Arcade Fire trains and they had honest to God billboards everywhere around the country. These weren't cheap, they were funded by major label money. This probably had knock-on effect outside of Europe too. Around the same time, they suddenly featured in several different television campaigns in the UK (there was a point where 'Wake Up' was being used by the BBC and Sky for three distinct shows, I assume the band wasn't even consulted for stuff like this, it legitimately does just happen when you're on a major label). I remember seeing adverts for the album on those advertising hoardings they have around the pitch at football games!

Mercury orchestrated a huge advertising campaign and it paid off big time. Worked out great for Merge too, so that's great.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Feb 2011, 20:08
Re: Equivocation: Yeah, probably. I don't see the difference between major and indie stemming as much from a strict monetary definition as from a different approach to the product, i.e. producing something the way you feel it should be, public reception be damned vs. producing something to sell. While both of these variables go hand in hand (creating something that will sell inevitably means you'll have more money to work with) the latter is more the approach from which I entered the discussion. Despite being backed by a major label, I still feel like Arcade Fire are far more genuine with themselves, their music and their fans than just about anything else on a major label.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 15 Feb 2011, 20:23
calling them label's boy sell-outs in the same way as Lady Gaga.

Incidentally, Lady Gaga may make godawful music but what she participated in from a marketing perspective is astonishing and she indisputably worked her ass off in a different way.

With Katy Perry or whoever, there's always a lot of speculation as to whether it's just tits and ass which sells this kind of music but LG is a very unconventional woman in terms of her appearance, to put it diplomatically. Even with all the major label clout she has, it's pretty amazing that a fairly unremarkable looking young woman suddenly became the biggest pop star in the world through shrewd marketing and force of will. Also I'm not really sure how she could be a sell-out, I'll bet she set out to be a pop star. Seems honest enough to me.

I still feel like Arcade Fire are far more genuine with themselves, their music and their fans than just about anything else on a major label.

Disagree. I'm sure all bands on major labels are feeling it too. I very seldom think a major label band isn't absolutely convinced that what they're doing is awesome.

This whole perceived idea that "indie" bands are feeling it more is part of the reason major labels started using the word as a marketing tool. They appropriate the supposed authenticity of underground groups in an effort to imbue their acts with grit etc.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Feb 2011, 20:51
Lady Gaga may not have been the best example (in fact for the mainstream her songs actually tend to be unconventional, if horribly bland, boring and sometimes downright offensive for my tastes), but Katy Perry's name just didn't come to mind. I'm actually really bad at pop culture. Most of the people I know make fun of me for it. I should get different people.

Anyway, I don't think bands have to suffer crippling self-doubt and be totally conscious of everything they do that's top-notch to be genuine. What I mean is, I think they are doing what they're doing because they actually believe it's awesome, not just because money is awesome and this thing makes us money. I think they make a few concessions for the money, but they're not, say, Nickelback. Of course, that's pretty much impossible to definitively judge even if you are the band and not just some outside nobody like me.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 15 Feb 2011, 21:36
i just remembered another band that up until very recently did everything by themselves for the two years in which they were increasingly popular, and they did so without the interference or greased palms of a press guy or a manager while avoiding corporate interference! too bad they sold out over xmas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIr8-f2OWhs)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lummer on 16 Feb 2011, 00:19
Who won best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal anyways!?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 16 Feb 2011, 01:25
jethro tull
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lummer on 16 Feb 2011, 02:51
Deservedly so.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 16 Feb 2011, 03:00
Fuck yeah, Jethro Tull.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: cyro on 16 Feb 2011, 03:29
Dear Americans,
Arcade Fire are friggin' huge over here and are actually quite good.
Sincerely
The UK.

P.S. This thread is now about Jethro Tull. Fuck yeah.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: StaedlerMars on 16 Feb 2011, 03:40
I do not understand the tweets that are all like "how can a band I don't know win album of the year?"

I mean, I don't really like Arcade Fire that much (I've never given them a proper chance) but I know that loads of people really like them. I guess this may be a UK versus US thing?

</repeating what has already been said>
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 16 Feb 2011, 03:45
The Brit Awards weren't anything to shout about really. Arcade Fire did well but obviously are known better over here - I still can't quite believe Tinie Tempah got away with 2 awards...but then again the entire list is singularly unimpressive. Its best to just ignore awards ceremonies anyway.

Best British Male Solo Artist -    Plan B
Best British Female Solo Artist - Laura Marling
Best British Group - Take That
Best British Album -  Mumford and Sons - "Sigh No More"
Best British Single - Tinie Tempah - "Pass Out"
British Breakthrough Act - Tinie Tempah
Best International Male Solo Artist - Cee Lo Green
Best International Female Solo Artist - Rihanna
Best International Group - Arcade Fire
Best International Album - Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs"
International Breakthrough Act - Justin Bieber
Critic's Choice - Jessie J
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 16 Feb 2011, 04:15
I think it speaks about how over-saturated they have been in the media in the UK because so many people over here assume they are like the biggest band in the world. Turns out they haven't really sold many records by comparison in America, though they are obviously big in Canada too.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: look out! Ninjas! on 16 Feb 2011, 04:21
I was shown that Jessie J video and I made it about three seconds into the first verse and then I couldn't stand it so I shit it off. Seriously, it may be the worst song in the world.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 16 Feb 2011, 04:30
i just remembered another band that up until very recently did everything by themselves for the two years in which they were increasingly popular, and they did so without the interference or greased palms of a press guy or a manager while avoiding corporate interference! too bad they sold out over xmas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIr8-f2OWhs)

Their method of selling music online without any label wasn't actually nauseating until they started doing all those adverts even if their music was always overly-twee opportunist bullshit.

Plus they don't actually do the live shows or touring, which I think is fairly integral. Even electronic acts can represent their music in the live arena so these dudes could do it too, they just don't want to I guess. Like I said, it's a system of strikes and these dudes don't have a pin standing even without a major label deal. They work for Toyota and Hyundai, which is fine. It's not indie though.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Inlander on 16 Feb 2011, 05:00
Best British Female Solo Artist - Laura Marling

I'm not overly familiar with the British female solo artist scene so I'm not qualified to say whether she's the "best" or not but Laura Marling is legitimately really good and her most recent album was fantastic.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 16 Feb 2011, 06:01
So, what I'm being lead to understand here is that bands on major labels can be independent.

Really?

Is this really the point being argued here!?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 16 Feb 2011, 06:08
Not really, it's basically a discussion about where as individuals we draw the line at perceived independent status.

My argument is that being on a major in one country, specifically the UK, has a knock on effect in the US and elsewhere to the point where the descriptor "indie" ceases to have contextual relevancy.

JC's argument is that regardless, they are on an independent label in America and have retained sufficient control that it's still a fair word to use.

Both stances have a certain amount of merit.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lummer on 16 Feb 2011, 06:24
I guess this is what a D&D player would call "multiclassing".

Goddamnit Jens I love you.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 16 Feb 2011, 06:55
Scandinavian manhugs all around!
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 16 Feb 2011, 07:33
Scandinavian manhugs

Would see this band.

Would probably not rent this adult feature film.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 16 Feb 2011, 09:10
I guess this is what a D&D player would call "multiclassing".

(http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z92/bizznatch_lulz/ttt.jpg)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 16 Feb 2011, 13:18
Plus they don't actually do the live shows or touring, which I think is fairly integral.

Wait, what?

So only bands that play live are independent? Can you support/justify/explain this?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 16 Feb 2011, 13:31
yeah, some of the most independent bands i can think of don't play shows. that might even be part of what makes them so independent, but that's kind of a whole other thing that i'm not sure we need to talk about or not.

first thing that comes to mind is Jason The Swamp (and by extension, his record label Rack & Ruin, which is a great label, btw)because he's just some dude layering himself playing various instruments and singing over the top of each other, which doesn't always work in a live setting.
I don't know for a fact that he doesn't play shows, but I don't think he does.

and he's the indiest thing i listen to, not to mention one of the best


tommy, i think you are pretty smart (definitely smarter than me) but it really seems like you are living in the past here with some weirdly rigid ideas that are no longer really relevant 100% of the time. i definitely agree with alot of what you say, but i think you might just be flat-out wrong about the big picture here, despite many of your arguments being correct, or at least sensible.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 16 Feb 2011, 15:36
So only bands that play live are independent? Can you support/justify/explain this?

Nah, like I said it's a system of strikes and I think playing live is something basically everybody should do regardless. It's not a deal-breaker though.

Incidentally, who doesn't play live at all? I'm drawing a blank right now.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 16 Feb 2011, 15:50
I understand if a band does records, tours a bit then retires from touring...but to not tour at all seems weird. Thats what its about isn't it? From an artistic point of view you want to connect with those people who went out and purchased your album. There's only so many "thank you" blog posts you can do before fans won't care anymore. I find it hard to believe people don't think touring is an integral part of a band being...well, a band. Seeing some bands live are pretty intense experiences, so to even accept a dismantling of that connection with the music seems strange to me. Whether its the right thing for an indie band to do or not is pretty irrelevant. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but if I get into a new band and enjoy and album, the next thing I'm thinking is "shit this is good, when will I be able to see it live?".

Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 16 Feb 2011, 16:01
I don't think touring is essential to anything, except playing shows.

Like I said, Jason The Swamp is one of my favorite musical acts in existence right now (top 5 easy, maybe top 3) and I don't think he plays shows.

We're living in a modern/futuristic world here and playing a show is no longer 1/3 of the of ways to get heard. So it's not necessary for everyone. Especially if you don't care about money, like Rack & Ruin records.

The way I see it is you make music that you like, and that you hope other people will like, and you figure out how to get that music to them. Used to be you had to drive to their town to play, or get on the radio, or word of mouth. Now we have the internet.

I'm not saying this is a common or popular model or anything, but it's definitely a possible way of doing things.


and i mean we're all bringing our own biases into this anyway so maybe it's a pointless discussion. personally i don't really care about going to shows, so I'm more than satisfied just listening to music at my leisure. obviously this affects my position on it
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 16 Feb 2011, 16:51
Thats what its about isn't it?

It's about creating music. Everything else is ancillary. I hate to use the term 'rockist' but that's kinda the vibe I'm getting here. Like, music should be made heroically through manual effort and this effort should be proved on the stage. People just putting together tunes in their bedroom are somehow not real, they lack a certain essential quality. They should play live even if they have to recruit like five extra musicians, buy extra gear etc. or even if it's just someone sitting with a laptop pressing 'play'? Like, most of my music, there is no performative element at all, I never designed the stuff to be played live, so why would I do it?
 
As for bands and artists that don't play live, many black metal bands (including some pretty big ones ie Burzum, Xasthur), many electronic artists of various genres, lots of one-person projects in general. Some people start touring after years or only tour very sparsely. Jandek and Coil come to mind; both projects existed for decades before there were any live shows. Did those artists suddenly become more real because they played live? Conversely, people like Scott Walker, Kate Bush and Rudimentary Peni haven't played live for years. Are they now less real?

Like seriously there is no way live performance should be integral to being a band or a musician any more than being on a record label or releasing music as albums, ie not at all.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JD on 16 Feb 2011, 21:39
though they are obviously big in Canada too.
Well they did come form Montreal
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JD on 16 Feb 2011, 23:00
additionally have a song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X94GQZM4M48&feature=player_embedded)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 17 Feb 2011, 07:26
Thats what its about isn't it?

It's about creating music. Everything else is ancillary. I hate to use the term 'rockist' but that's kinda the vibe I'm getting here. Like, music should be made heroically through manual effort and this effort should be proved on the stage. People just putting together tunes in their bedroom are somehow not real, they lack a certain essential quality. They should play live even if they have to recruit like five extra musicians, buy extra gear etc. or even if it's just someone sitting with a laptop pressing 'play'? Like, most of my music, there is no performative element at all, I never designed the stuff to be played live, so why would I do it?
 
As for bands and artists that don't play live, many black metal bands (including some pretty big ones ie Burzum, Xasthur), many electronic artists of various genres, lots of one-person projects in general. Some people start touring after years or only tour very sparsely. Jandek and Coil come to mind; both projects existed for decades before there were any live shows. Did those artists suddenly become more real because they played live? Conversely, people like Scott Walker, Kate Bush and Rudimentary Peni haven't played live for years. Are they now less real?

Like seriously there is no way live performance should be integral to being a band or a musician any more than being on a record label or releasing music as albums, ie not at all.

Not at all, I wasn't trying to suggest that those who make music in their basement are somehow less valid as an artist. Like I said, for me the music totally speaks for itself - I don't really care how it comes to me, music is the enjoyable creative aspect of it all. I was simply stating that, as traditionalist as it may seem, touring is an important part of the music. Yes, you can reach thousands of people through LPs, but from a band point of view touring gives that ability of getting your fans together, people celebrating  your music in person, with a physical presence, so that they don't just become another number on a chart saying how many records you've sold.

I might be wrong, but isn't it said nowadays that touring brings in money for the artist while records just generate money for the record company?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying every band that has ever put out an album NEEDS to tour. If it is totally unnecessary for a band to do it then I wouldn't say "become bankrupt so that I can see you". But I guess I'm talking in more of an actual band format, where the songs that they write can be performed. For example, bands like Rush have a shit-load of sequencers and arrangements that they manage to pull off in a live show. Other bands make it so that the studio albums are polished while the live renditions carry a more raw and primitive quality.

One person projects is obviously a different category altogether, but I refuse to be labelled as some antecedent, ignorant person who quesitons the reality of a band based on their live performance. They are not "less real" if they don't tour, but for me, personally, it is something I would normally expect. We are in a totally different era now and yes, touring is not the only way to get noticed. But I think it is essential to get a proper band-fan connection established. Many people here would say that they were blown away, surprised, etc by bands that they've seen live, a totally unexpected 3 hours of their life that they don't forget in a hurry. An album only gives you so much of that experience. This experience is not really quantifiable and me trying to justify it seems pretty redundant but for me, in my opinion, touring is a vital part of a band's progression.

Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 17 Feb 2011, 09:46
Placeholder for future obligatory Rush joke
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 17 Feb 2011, 18:43
Placeholder for future obligatory Rush joke

Hey man, Geddy Lee is like, cool.

Okay he's not but Rush certainly proved all those wrong who considered Dungeons and Dragons, Mathematics, and Rock music to be unmixable.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 17 Feb 2011, 23:27
I'm pretty sure you just encapsulated the reasons Rush are the archetypal example of why prog is fucking terrible.

also Geddy Lee's vocals are some of the most painful sounds ever forced upon human ears
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Duck Tales on 18 Feb 2011, 05:47
In Australia they're distributed/advertised by one of our largest indie labels, Spunk. Only a handful of uni students and adults know who they are.
Sorry it's from a page ago but Spunk is in no way a largely distributed/advertised indie label. They're distributed/advertised through EMI.
Plenty of people know about them and the only reason they didn't chart higher was because EMI didn't produce enough copies in the first run so stores sold out and couldn't get it back in stock for a month. It's still hard to get stock because EMI can't get the right case and barcode stocked. It's all on EMI. They're big on pitchfork and UK magazines aimed at dads so they have a large chunk of the market covered.
It's stupid trying to compare indies in Australia because the labels have made deals with labels who made deals with labels . Correct me if i'm wrong but Domino is an indie in the UK? In Australia they're through Sony. The majors take more of the indies than you know. You're not that indie....sorry


Anyway..Rush..A bunch of dunces








Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 18 Feb 2011, 07:04
If you like people masturbating on stage, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDsvZGM1vD8) I guess so
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: David_Dovey on 18 Feb 2011, 14:04
Yeah it's not like every genre has shitty examples
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 18 Feb 2011, 16:21
Indie-kids shitting on prog?

Really?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 18 Feb 2011, 16:24
No, just Rush.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 18 Feb 2011, 17:32
Might as well throw it out there that I actually like Rush. But if am to adhere to the current trend of stating my opinions as facts, then I will say Rush are a good band, but Prog itself is, as a genre, testy (and therefore not for everyone).

Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 18 Feb 2011, 20:11
Hey I actually do like some prog! I just find a lot of it to be dreck and most of the prog aesthetic doesn't really align with how I feel about music. Rush in particular irk me a lot, but I don't actually hate them as people or prog fans in general. The bands and the fans clearly love the music and think about it critically, and the great thing about music is the enormous diversity of the art form and of people's opinions of it.

p.s. In the Court of the Crimson King is an awesome record
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 18 Feb 2011, 20:24
I guess I don't understand how 'honesty' and simplicity, being 'independent' or not has anything to do with the music that's actually being put out. Song-complexity, musical wanking and all that shit has nothing to do with why I like prog, or tech-death or anything else. Some (yes, some) Hipsters/indiekids seem to worry a lot about this shit, without actually caring that much about the actual musical output.

I just don't get how some people see prog as this collection of egocentric bastards, playing 'inaccessible' music. Do some people have some kind of distaste for 'weird' time signatures and non-pentatonic/minor scales?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 18 Feb 2011, 20:28
Of course not! Prog isn't the only genre to integrate "weird" time signatures and non-pentatonic/minor scales in its music, and it's not like I hate prog necessarily because of its complexities. I just personally find a lot of prog boring and  often quite humorous but I have no problem with other people liking it. It's just taste! If everyone liked the same thing, music would be dull and nothing would progress. I added that I liked that King Crimson album at the end of my last post to illustrate that I am familiar with the genre and enjoy some of it as well.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 18 Feb 2011, 20:44
Oh, I wasn't really implying that you were one of the people unnecessarily hating on the entire genre. Digging 'In the Court...' gives you massive cool points in my book.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 19 Feb 2011, 01:17
I guess I don't understand how 'honesty' and simplicity, being 'independent' or not has anything to do with the music that's actually being put out.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of music being put out, as has been stressed over and over in this thread.

Rush are indisputably super nice dudes. They also had their own label a long, long time before this kind of thing was common. In that sense they were trail-blazers of independent music and they inspired some good bands.

However, their music is terrible.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 19 Feb 2011, 02:49
Especially when you can make music that doesn't suck as well! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDy6qXIWC8)

Although the version of the track without Rick Wakeman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etEMzRob8Uw) is much better.

Is this now a prog thread? In keeping with the prog-rock/folk thing already established, I have been listening to this track compulsively over the last few weeks. Listen to it and if you think it is bad you have to shoot yourself, or at least admit that music isn't for you.

Comus - Drip Drip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJp0rr54OU0)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 20 Feb 2011, 01:07
if you think it is bad you have to shoot yourself

funny, this is usually my advice for fans of prog
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 20 Feb 2011, 06:34
Man normally we disagree, but yeah, totally.

If you think prog is bad, shoot yourself.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 20 Feb 2011, 06:34
But only with like a Nerf gun or something, you silly doofus!

 :-D

It's all fun and gaaaames.


EDIT: JC did you enjoy that Comus track? It ain't got any black dudes from the deep south so fucked up on cough syrup they can't speak straight or any Canadian art school graduates playing home-made guitars but I am trying my desperate best.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: David_Dovey on 20 Feb 2011, 08:32
if you think it is bad you have to shoot yourself

funny, this is usually my advice for fans of prog

Hahahahahah it's funny because you think people should die for listening to music hahahahahahaha
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 20 Feb 2011, 08:52
Well I mean some people should definitely be shot for listening to music. Just not so sweeping.

For example are you telling me the world wouldn't be a better place if we culled 12% of the fans of the Lithuanian hardcore band 33% kiaulių pakeliui į Vatikaną?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 20 Feb 2011, 09:00
if you think it is bad you have to shoot yourself

funny, this is usually my advice for fans of prog

Hahahahahah it's funny because you think people should die for listening to music hahahahahahaha

yes
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 20 Feb 2011, 09:00
thought that was obvious enough it didn't even need remarking
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: NotAFanOfFenders on 20 Feb 2011, 09:29
Wait, Some people* judge others based on the music they listen to? They* must not have many friends. I mean, music is a big part of my life, both writing and listening, but I don't really give shit about what others listen to. One reason why I don't give a shit about bitching about whatever tastes are (un)popular.

Seriously though, Khar. Stop bothering yourself with what other people (I assume) listen to.


*= :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 20 Feb 2011, 09:50
Seriously man, stop bothering yourself with what Khar says about what other people listen to.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 20 Feb 2011, 11:04
S
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 20 Feb 2011, 11:28
haha what

jens wins the board forever
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 20 Feb 2011, 12:22
Seriously though, Khar. Stop bothering yourself with what other people (I assume) listen to.

This is where I lose track of what the hell is going on here.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 24 Feb 2011, 10:50
lol
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 24 Feb 2011, 11:49
How suspicious that a rock band can pick up their instruments and just play a song! Conspiracy!
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 24 Feb 2011, 11:52
justin bieber, the true definition of "modern artist"
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 24 Feb 2011, 11:54
i mean i legitimately enjoy justin bieber's music but i'm also realistic about it, you know
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Tom on 24 Feb 2011, 12:28
Eminiem, the true Bob Dylan of our time.
(http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/bwahaha.jpg)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 24 Feb 2011, 13:15
That was also the thing about that article that stuck out to me the most.

So, this guy thinks the grammys should be a popularity contest?  I always thought the general consensus was that it was too much of one...

confusion.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 24 Feb 2011, 13:25
I'm not sure even he understands his own reasoning.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 24 Feb 2011, 14:31
A wild Manager appears! (http://www.avclub.com/articles/arcade-fire-manager-thinks-that-guy-whos-pissed-ab,52365/)

It's super effective!
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KvP on 24 Feb 2011, 14:50
Is that the manager who everybody seems to agree is a douchebag?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 24 Feb 2011, 16:01
Don't know what the general consensus is, but he doesn't seem like that much of a douche to me.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KvP on 24 Feb 2011, 16:03
There have been a few missives on how Arcade Fire are dicks (The Flaming Lips/Wayne Coyne's being the most famous) and in all cases it came down to the band being nice enough but their management being huge assholes.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 24 Feb 2011, 16:47
i mean i legitimately enjoy justin bieber's music

Fucking hell mate, is there no low you won't sink to?
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: scarred on 24 Feb 2011, 18:09
There have been a few missives on how Arcade Fire are dicks (The Flaming Lips/Wayne Coyne's being the most famous) and in all cases it came down to the band being nice enough but their management being huge assholes.

The Flaming Lips have great showmanship but their offstage antics are pretty trite. A 12-part youtube song to be played simultaneously on iPhones? Sure, it was a good news story, but if I had a dollar for every group of people that actually scrounged up 12 iPhones and listened to the thing, and then pared down to those who actually enjoyed it, I'd be in debt. At this point I'm pretty Coyne is being weird for the sake of weird (aka: headlines). To call a group of his peers out, unprovoked, and call them dicks? That's kind of a dick move.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 24 Feb 2011, 18:12
Fucking hell mate, is there no low you won't sink to?

the-dream wrote "baby" and luda does a guest rap on it man i don't know what else to tell you
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: JimmyJazz on 24 Feb 2011, 18:21
Ludacris: The Epitome of Hip-Hop

Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 25 Feb 2011, 01:16
As John said, there's been a bunch of stories about how the band's management is of the "old school" and essentially a bunch of absolute shitfucks.

Of course, this kind of things could be fairly easily side-stepped by say, not having a management team.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 25 Feb 2011, 03:55
This band with the arsehole management team is the band that half the forum was arguing was independent earlier right?

Just trying to keep on top of everyones ludicrous ideas.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 25 Feb 2011, 08:04
Because I'm guessing you don't agree with Johnny's Ludacris ideas!

!
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 01 Mar 2011, 05:21
 :x
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Ctharlhie94 on 01 Mar 2011, 11:10
Eminiem, the true Bob Dylan of our time.
(http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/bwahaha.jpg)

Surely Bob Dylan is the Bob Dylan of our time :P Him still being alive and all.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 01 Mar 2011, 11:25
Yeah but that lazy bugger hardly ever plays.

He's only managed about twenty three hundred shows over the last two decades.

Get in the fucking van, Zimmerman.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KharBevNor on 01 Mar 2011, 14:08
A bloke in a pub once was telling me about the time he met Bob Dylan. He was working at a venue where Bob Dylan was playing. Walked round the corner and there was Bob Dylan.

"Fuck, you're Bob Dylan!"
"I know man"

Dunno if it's true but it's a good story.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 01 Mar 2011, 15:18
Genuine "l.o.l."
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Lupercal on 02 Mar 2011, 08:26
Never a better time for "cool story bro".
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Rizzo on 05 Mar 2011, 02:43
My question isn't really who is The Arcade Fire so much as who cares about The Arcade Fire? Most of their albums have had 1-2 good tracks at best. They're about as relevant as Radiohead at this point.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ALoveSupreme on 05 Mar 2011, 05:27
I mentioned at the beginning of this thread that I think everything after Funeral has been pretty average at best, but I think it is good that they're an "indie" band (maybe not to an exact degree or whatever the argument was earlier) that is relatively unknown and they were able to capture some piece of tin that the music industry heralds as significant for whatever reason, and they beat out several very popular artists to do it.  At least, that's why I thought it was cool: yeah I don't really care a whole heap about Arcade Fire anymore, and I could really give a damn about the grammys, but it's nice for them and brings attention to a genre that is (apparently) somewhat unknown.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: nufan on 05 Mar 2011, 15:57
Good point: Arcade Fire will be one of those bands that, regardless of quality of output, are a "starting out" band for many people who are now reaching their teenage years. As in, many will become obsessed with Arcade Fire, read a bunch of interviews they did where they mention bands like Neutral Milk Hotel or Magnetic Fields or loads of the other acts signed to Merge and that will be the start of their musical growth. Perhaps a good deal of that is to do with Arcade Fire winning a Grammy.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Cernunnos on 05 Mar 2011, 16:30
My question isn't really who is The Arcade Fire so much as who cares about The Arcade Fire? Most of their albums have had 1-2 good tracks at best. They're about as relevant as Radiohead at this point.

Like it or not, Radiohead are relevant. If not for the quality of their output, then simply just because they are a household name. This is the one "arty" band that even college fratboys know about. Also Funeral had waay more than 1 or 2 good tracks. That being said I don't really care about their music at this point. I'm glad they're confusing people by winning a grammy though.
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 05 Mar 2011, 23:07
a "starting out" band

the term is "entry-level"
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: KvP on 05 Mar 2011, 23:07
"gateway"
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: tommydski on 06 Mar 2011, 04:52
"Training Wheels".
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: Johnny C on 06 Mar 2011, 08:25
"Training Wheels".

i can get behind this for sure
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: ThePianoMan on 06 Mar 2011, 11:41
Eminiem, the true Bob Dylan of our time.
(http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/bwahaha.jpg)
That nonsense aside, though, his examples are fairly spot-on. Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock are both very highly regarded, but those particular albums are relatively average. The Kanye West album, on the other hand, is one of his best. (I dunno about the Eminem stuff, mostly because I can't stand the sound of his voice.)
Title: Re: Arcade Fire Wins Grammy, prompting Americans to wonder who they are anyway
Post by: imagist42 on 06 Mar 2011, 12:12
guys I really like "gateway"