Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire’s Win Butler Made Coffee: A Barista Weighs In

On Friday, February 13, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler helped lead his team to a 59-51 victory in the NBA All-Star celebrity game, scoring eight points and snagging 12 rebounds. The next day — Valentine’s Day — he popped into La Colombe Torrefaction‘s new Hudson Square location, brewed his own Haitian coffee in a Chemex, and served it to customers in small, demitasse-sized takeaway cups. As a professional barista, the juxtaposition was surreal to observe, though the results were mostly ordinary.  … Read More

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Grammys 2015: Who Should Win vs. Who Will Win

From Beyoncé singing Martin Luther King’s favorite gospel song to Kanye, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney teaming up for what is sure to be a performance dripping in denim, this Sunday’s Grammys offer a number of reasons to watch that have little to do with the awards themselves. But most importantly, between inter-generational collaborations that no one asked for, the Recording Academy will give out statues, many of them to the same group of superstars they recognize every year. He, we weigh artistic merit versus the past voting habits of Grammy voters to name who should win — and predict who actually… Read More

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The NFL is Crumbling: Links You Should See

So, a lot of terrible things are happening in the NFL right now. As this helpful piece from CNN breaks down, there are currently six players who have been punished for very recently doing awful things to their loved ones. … Read More

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The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ‘em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth. Here are the 25 best, from Lou Reed to Nas to The… Read More

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Spoon: The Most Consistent, Least Gimmicky Band in Indie Rock

Dressed like one of Gatsby’s socialites, an actress paid to flirt with me asked what I was cleansing this particular evening. “My soul” seemed an obvious answer. She looked surprised. I admit, it was a little ambitious for a Spoon… Read More

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What American Music Festivals Could Learn From Primavera Sound

Primavera Sound — held annually in Barcelona since 2001 — doesn’t have much use for filler. In this respect, it’s the opposite of your average American music festival. The abundance of mediocre acts to bulk out lineups has become a problem on the US festival circuit as the industry has ballooned and bookings have begun to shift in order to attract the widest possible group of popular music consumers. Once a destination-oriented industry, the American music festival has become a regional concern. In towns you’ve never heard of across America, there are festivals with a few years under their belts, proudly boasting artisanal food stands and The Killers headlining every… Read More

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Arcade Fire Have Nothing to Say About the Transgender Experience

The Arcade Fire, bless them, just released the video for their single “We Exist.” I’m writing about it because it will, no doubt, be Controversial: the video features Andrew Garfield as a character who’s meant to be either a trans woman or a man with a penchant for cross-dressing (it’s unclear exactly which — the video description on YouTube just speaks of “a young person’s struggle with gender identity”). Our protagonist dresses up in short shorts and a wig, ventures to a paint-by-numbers hick dive bar, gets harassed by the clientele, escapes into a sort of fantasy world where the menacing rednecks are transformed into latter-day versions of the Village People, and then ends up stepping into the light as a bona fide rock star. Um. … Read More

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