Strip away the creeping pumpkinspicization of fall, and there’s something somber and inherently melancholy about this time of the year. It’s when the days get shorter, the leaves fall off the trees, the skies are gray, and the air is cold enough to demand scarves and hats. And it’s also the time to huddle up by the open fire, drink tea, and listen to sad music! With that in mind, here’s a playlist inspired by our recent list of heart-wrenching movies — an epic selection of songs guaranteed to make you cry, from the tear-jerkingly forlorn to the moving and… Read More
I feel a little sorry for Arcade Fire lately! Here they were, kings and queens of the world, but with this latest album the enchantment is apparently wearing off. People are writing mean things in national newspapers about their sex lives, and calling them “dorks.” … Read More
I haven’t listened to the new Arcade Fire album yet. I’ll get around to it eventually, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of showtunes, which is probably not as cool according to my indie-rock-loving straight friends, although, hey, I do love a Sondheim tune. Not that I should have to qualify that in any way, simply because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures — to jokingly suggest that you’re ashamed about something you like reminds me of the line Edith Wharton wrote in The House of Mirth: “Miss Bart was discerning enough to know that the inner vanity is generally in proportion to the outer self depreciation.” We typically use our personal tastes to define us — you can see this on any online dating site, where pop-culture titles determine personality — and that’s why the Internet, and Internet-based cultural criticism, facilitates reactions from readers who assume that a bad review of, say, the new Arcade Fire album is a bad review of them. … Read More
Pretty much every review of Arcade Fire’s new album Reflektor, positive or negative, has referred to it as “ambitious.” Rolling Stone‘s David Fricke gushes about the record’s “decisive, indulgent ambition”; Consequence of Sound calls Win Butler “rock ‘n’ roll’s Christopher Nolan, a hyper-literate artist who crafts reliable, intelligent, and challenging blockbuster events that sweep our minds away,” and even the normally sensible Lindsay Zoladz at Pitchfork manages to describe the song “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)” as “aim[ing] to be nothing less than all the Beatles songs at once (‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Revolution 9′ included)… it inevitably falls short, but it’s hard not to admire the effort.” … Read More
The long-awaited and highly publicized Arcade Fire album, Reflektor, is now streaming in full. But it’s not on Soundcloud or… Read More
In 2004, Arcade Fire were the new buzzband everyone wanted to see at CMJ Music Marathon. In 2013, Arcade Fire were the bunch of Grammy-winning millionaires who ruined it. That’s really saying something, too, because in reality, no one actually cares about CMJ. For most people, attending a CMJ show typically inspires the same enthusiasm as getting a dental cleaning. It’s an increasingly irrelevant music tradition that, much like a new sitcom about two buddies who live together in the big city, still seems to come around every October, whether people want it or not. … Read More
“It’s a rebuilding year,” host Tina Fey reminded audiences, before making a quip about her plastic surgeon. The 39th season of SNL is upon us, and it didn’t arrive without the slew of inevitable “Will the show survive this season?” think pieces that sprung up after the departure of Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, and (soon) Seth Meyers.
Fey helped usher in six new cast members last evening (Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O’Brien, Noël Wells, and Brooks Wheelan), and the series broke tradition by affording the newbies more face time than normal. O’Brien is the only recognizable member amongst the freshman class. He spent several years behind the scenes as a writer for SNL and hosts the video series 7 Minutes In Heaven. Something hopeful: SNL‘s unknown featured players have fared better than bigger names — like Robert Downey, Jr. who joined the series in 1985 after a breakout performance in the film Tuff Turf and quickly vanished. … Read More