Stephen Malkmus & Opinions on Arcade Fire

Go ahead, call 'em ironic, call 'em slackers...just be sure to tune in to hear Pavement's Stephen Malkmus talk about the band's history, influence and recent reunion. Jim and Greg also review the new release by Arcade Fire.

Stephen Malkmus
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Jim and Greg have been reporting on the tragic events of last week's Love Parade in Duisburg, Germany. At the time of this recording, 20 deaths and over 500 injuries were reported. This was likely due to mass overcrowding at the electronic music festival which began in 1989. While a criminal investigation is still ongoing, festival organizers have announced that this was the last Love Parade. Jim and Greg count this as one of the biggest tragedies in concert history, up there with Pearl Jam's 2000 Roskilde show, the 2003 E2 stampede, the 2003 Station fire, and The Who's 1979 concert at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum. They hope promoters will do better to learn from the past.

You know the record industry is in crisis when they turn to the church for help -- literally. Universal Music's Decca Records searched high and low for the next big pop phenom and came up with a group of cloistered French nuns. The nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation beat out over 70 convents from around the world for a record deal. Their new album will be coming out this fall. Who knows, they might release the next "Gregorian Chant" or "Dominique".

Stephen Malkmus

A decade after breaking up, Stephen Malkmus and Pavement are back on the road. The indie rock king and his band recently took court in front of an adoring audience at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival, Pavement's 1992 debut Slanted and Enchanted established their lo-fi, "ironic" sound, and they went on to release four more independent albums. While "Cut Your Hair" was the group's only brush with the mainstream, their influence on underground rock can't be underestimated. Stephen talks to Jim and Greg about the band's decision to reunite and their own influences, and he explains what's the deal with those handcuffs.

The Suburbs Arcade Fire

The Suburbs

In other major indie rock news, Arcade Fire has a new album out called The Suburbs. As Jim and Greg explain, this is a concept record inspired by frontman Win Butler's suburban upbringing. It's ambitious to say the least, but more spacious and atmospheric than the previous two albums according to Greg. If there's one fault, it's that things get a little long-winded toward the end, but Greg gives The Suburbs a Buy It rating. Jim agrees and is happy that Arcade Fire ratcheted down the "Springsteen-ness." He hears the songs as a hippy's response to urban sprawl taking over the wilderness, but you should form your own interpretation and Buy It.


It's Greg's turn to drop a quarter into the Desert Island Jukebox this week. He has been loving "Rill Rill" by Sleigh Bells recently, and wanted to go back to the source. That song samples "Can You Get to That" by Funkadelic. Their 1971 album Maggot Brain is a classic, combining folk, rock and funk. The song's vocalist Gary "Diaperman" Shider died a few weeks ago at age 56.

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