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We Used To Wait

Posted: September 20, 2010 by raqstar5 in Arcade Fire, Lyrics, music video
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Chris Milk’s interactive video of Arcade Fire’s “We Used to Wait” is almost as brilliant as the song itself (I say almost because the song is quite simply stellar).  Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” dropped on August 3rd and the addict in me still cannot get away from it.  One day in the middle of a long work day, I stumbled upon the video, which exceeded my expectations.

There is something so deeply touching about the purely nostalgic lyrics and the instrumentals of the song.  The simple, repetitive piano key playing complements the complex emotion behind the simple, yet beautifully chosen words.

I used to write, I used to write letters, I used to sign my name…But by the time we met, by the time we met, the times had already changed. So I never wrote a letter, I never took my true heart, I never wrote it down…

Nostalgia is the queen of emotions: it necessarily implies the otherwise mutually exclusive emotions of happiness and sadness separated by time and interlaced with longing. How powerful and multi-layered can a single emotion be?  The interactive video manages to add a visual layer of nostalgia that perfectly complements the already striking sentiment of the piece, by taking each individual viewer back to a personal place and allowing each of them to think of themselves in that moment in time.  The times have certainly changed.

Note: The video is HTML interactive so you might want to download the latest version of Goggle Chrome to view at faster speeds but you can still view without it. To get an idea you can watch the YouTube video, but it doesn’t do it justice or personalize it to your own suburb, of course.

Discovery LP 2009

Discovery LP/courtesy Beggars Xl Recording

I recently reconnected with a friend with whom I have had only sporadic contact in the last 10 years.  In a recent music discussion he said: “Have you listened to Discovery? They’re one of my FAVS. In fact, Discovery needs to be on EVERYONE’s lips.” With such a review, the next step was obvious. I played their album entitled LP, which was released in July of last year.

LP is certainly not my absolute “FAVE” (mostly because this has been an outstanding year for indie music) but I really enjoy listening to most of the songs and can appreciate the album’s unique approach: strong and definitive indie undertone (using electronic music in lieu of the usual acoustic sounds), and “poppy” vibe with R&B influences. It reminds me of a strange blend of good Radiohead, mixed with some Flaming Lips (from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots) and some “traditional” indie music all blended into its own unique distorted sound, with tempo changes, and different genre flavors stimulating the aural palate. The instrumentals interestingly “stutter” and “hiccup” to complement the lyrical message.

You know when you have a massive chocolate craving and you finally get your hands on a piece of chocolate? The chocolate can either dissolve in your mouth satisfying all your senses and “hitting the spot” or it can be a waxy disappointment. Some of Discovery’s songs (Orange Shirt, por ejemplo) hit all the right spots.

Orange Shirt by DISCOVERY.

The band is comprised of Rostam Batmanglij the keyboardist from Vampire Weekend and Wes Miles the vocalist from Ra Ra Riot, with some guest performances by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and Dirty Projectors‘ Angel Deradoorian. The album includes a Jackson 5 cover (which is certainly not their best piece). However, in short, I must agree with my friend, (who did not let me down with this most recent suggestion) that Discovery needs to be on everyone’s lips!