Arcade Fire & Opinions on Battles
Arcade Fire is in the studio to perform live and talk about their rise from small indie band to chart-topping Grammy winners.Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode
Sad news this week: Carl Gardner, the heart and soul of The Coasters, died at age 83. The Coasters were one of the great R&B bands of the '50s and '60s with songs like "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown." Songwriters Lieber and Stoller counted them as their favorite collaborators. To honor Gardner, Jim and Greg play "Young Blood."
Arcade Fire has had quite a trajectory. First they were a group of anthemic art rockers from Montreal. Then they released Funeral, a successful first effort on Merge Records, followed by Neon Bible, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Chart. They were invited to open for U2 and their latest release The Suburbs won the top prize at last year's Grammy Awards. Jim and Greg spoke to Régine Chassagne and Will Butler a couple of years ago, and now we've managed to fit all seven musicians into our studio for a memorable live performance. They also talk to Will and bandmate Richard Parry about the“shock and awe”of winning a Grammy, performing during the Wrigley Field seventh inning stretch and why folks still wonder, "Who the F is Arcade Fire?"
Battles Gloss Drop
Battles really wowed indie rock audiences with their 2007 release Mirrored. Now the experimental rock group is back with Gloss Drop. They are down a lead singer, Tyondai Braxton, but up a few guest vocalists. Greg notes that a lot of the terms used to describe Battles don't do the band any justice. "Math Rock," "New Prog Rock," and others don't indicate the sense of joy and play infused in their sound. He thought that the loss of Braxton would be a heavy blow, but now they are using vocals as just another layer and texture and it really works. Greg says Buy It. Jim, however, does miss Braxton. Nothing on Gloss Drop is as good as "Atlas." The instrumental tracks are quite strong, but the songs featuring vocal cameos by the likes of Gary Numan don't work for Jim. He says Burn It.
- The Coasters, Down in Mexico, The Coasters, Atco, 1958
- The Coasters, Young Blood, The Coasters, Atco, 1958
- Arcade Fire, The Suburbs, The Suburbs, Merge, 2010
- Arcade Fire, Rebellion (Lies), Funeral, Merge, 2004
- Arcade Fire, Modern Man, The Suburbs, Merge, 2010
- Arcade Fire, Neon Bible, Neon Bible, Merge, 2007
- Arcade Fire, Sprawl II, The Suburbs, Merge, 2010 Live on Sound Opinions
- Arcade Fire, We Used to Wait, The Suburbs, Merge, 2010 Live on Sound Opinions
- Arcade Fire, Wake Up, Funeral, Merge, 2004
- Arcade Fire, Ready to Start, The Suburbs, Merge, 2010
- Battles, Africastle, Gloss Drop, Warp Records, 2011
- Battles, Ice Cream, Gloss Drop, Warp Records, 2011
- Battles, Atlas, Mirrored, Warp Records, 2007
- Zapp, Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing), Zapp II, Warner Brothers, 1982
- The Pretenders, The Phone Call, Pretenders, Sire, 1980
- Jenny and Johnny, Big Wave, I'm Having Fun Now, Warner Brothers, 2010
- Bob Dylan, Lone Pilgrim, World Gone Wrong, Columbia, 1993
- Mike + the Mechanics, The Living Years, The Living Years, Atlantic, 1988