Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?

Oh yes, it's that time of the year again when I traditionally post this video. Happy Halloween y'all!

The song was released back in October 2005 to benefit UNICEF (and to poke fun at the patronizing attitude of "Do They Know It’s Christmas?"). The band called themselves North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative which consisted of an impressive list of artists:

Win Butler & Régine Chassagne (Arcade Fire)
Devendra Banhart
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
Roky Erickson
Syd Butler (Les Savy Fav)
David Cross
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Jenny Lewis & Blake Sennett (Rilo Kiley)
Dan Boeckner & Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade)
Steve Jocz of Sum 41
Nick Diamonds and J’aime Tambeur (Islands)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Juilliard-trained string players on LP3

Yeah, so says Richard Reed Parry in this interview with Eye Weekly about tonight's concert with Nico Muhly and the KWSO.

Juilliard-trained string players! ...still, my heart!

You Are The Experiment

Last night Warner Bros. launched the website You Are The Experiment where you can listen to score music by Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and Owen Pallett. Works really well I think. Here are some mp3s from those videos -

Bits & Bobs

Peter Gabriel to cover My Body Is A Cage

Peter Gabriel to release orchestral covers album

For his first LP in seven years, the former Genesis frontman will 'radically reinterpret' songs by Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Bon Iver

Sean Michaels, Wednesday 28 October 2009 11.59 GMT

Peter Gabriel is release an orchestral covers album, his first LP in seven years. Scratch My Back is a "song swap", according to one of Gabriel's collaborators, where the singer and a host of "extremely legendary artists" will cover each other's material.

Gabriel recorded the album at George Martin's Air Lyndhurst studios in London, working with Bob Ezrin, producer of Lou Reed's Berlin, Pink Floyd's The Wall and Gabriel's self-titled 1977 record. "The songs are not simply covers," composer John Metcalfe told BBC 6 Music. "They are major reinterpretations of some famous stuff. It's quite radical."

Metcalfe describes his role as "reinterpreting the music of the songs [Gabriel] has chosen to cover". "[It's] quite onerous, as some of the songs are among the best known in the last 40 years," he said. "The album will be acoustic, using only orchestral instruments (no guitars, drums or world instruments), and range in size from sparse chamber music to a much fuller orchestral sound."

Though Scratch My Back won't be released until spring 2010, fans had their first taste of the project at this summer's Womad festival, when Gabriel performed Paul Simon's The Boy in the Bubble with a string section. "There [is material from] some all-time great singer-songwriters and bands," Metcalfe said, "and then there are some bands that are very, very well known from the last 10 years, and one or two more recent bands and singers as well."

Scratch My Back has been described as a tit-for-tat affair, with Gabriel covering artists like Paul Simon and then, presumably, Paul Simon covering a Peter Gabriel song. But the logistics of this have not been confirmed, and it's not clear whether this means it will be a double album.

Fans on Peter Gabriel message-boards have pounced upon a Scratch My Back track-list posted by a Japanese distributor. While the page offers few details – and gives a bizarre release date of 18 November – it does list 13 track titles. Among these are songs by Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Lou Reed, Bon Iver, David Bowie, Neil Young and Elbow.

It seems a plausible track-list, at least for the project's first volley, but as to whether or not it's legitimate? John Metcalfe isn't saying. "I'm not allowed to say who [is included], just yet, but there are some very, very famous singers and bands involved," he said. "There should be something in there for everybody."

Alleged Scratch My Back track-list:

1. Heroes (David Bowie)

2. Street Spirit (Radiohead)

3. The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields)

4. Flume (Bon Iver)

5. My Body Is a Cage (Arcade Fire)

6. Listening Wind (Talking Heads)

7. I Think It's Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman)

8. Après Moi (Regina Spektor or Eartha Kitt)

9. Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)

10. The Boy in the Bubble (Paul Simon)

11. The Power of the Heart (Lou Reed)

12. Philadelphia (Neil Young)

13. Mirrorball (Elbow)

Could at the very least be interesting to see how the man interprets these songs. Will ofcourse get back on this when I know more.

Mondo Sonoro lists their favourite albums of the 2000s

...and at the very top of that list they've put Funeral by Arcade Fire. If you understand Spanish you can read the magazine here. For us others there's always this great magazine cover photo to look at.

Oh and Funeral was also voted the best album of the decade by the listeners of popular Dublin and Irish radio station Phantom 105.2, not surprising if you know just how popular Arcade Fire is over there.

CBC Radio 2 to the rescue

As previously reported here and here Nico Muhly and Richard Reed Parry together with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony are today (Oct 29th) performing in Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. For all us who can't be there CBC Radio 2 comes to the rescue. On November 25th The Signal will broadcast the concert. Fantastic news.

CBC News has put up a good article in which they talk to both Nico Muhly and Richard Reed Parry about how this concert came about.

Further more local people can go to the concert for free! Call 416.408.0208 and use promo code 72737 (max 2 tickets each).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Clip from The Box

Possibly some of Win, Régine and Owen Pallett's score music in that clip. I'm so torn about whether to go see this movie or not. Nothing really appeals to me about it except hearing the score in its right context.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Land Of Talk - It's Okay

Fabulous video accompanying one of my favourite songs off Land Of Talk's fantastic album Some Are Lakes from last year. An amazing band and Elizabeth Powell is an equally amazing lead singer. Highly recommend you check them out if you haven't already done so.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Arcade Fire, currently not in Montreal

Several sources claim Arcade Fire have for the last three weeks been in New York recording their new album. Just last night Matthew Morales tweeted this:
RT @mateomorales: Studio time.....Arcade Fire is in the building once again
After some detective work I think I can fairly safely say they're recording in The Magic Shop studio which is located in the Soho area of Manhattan.

Arcade Fire is so 2010

Not that we ever doubted 2010 would be the year when Arcade Fire would return to the spotlight but now it's confirmed by Billions, their booking agency. On their website they've updated Arcade Fire's availability status from "Unavailable" to "2010: TBA". Even these small pieces of news has me ridiculously excited!

Richard Kelly reveals The Box score will be released

Richard Kelly used his twitter to deny rumours the score by Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and Owen Pallett won't be released. This is what director of The Box tweeted.
I want to clarify a few things about THE BOX score by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne and @OwenPallett...
The band is hard at work recording the new Arcade Fire album.
They will release the score at some point, when it does not conflict with their album release schedule for their record label.
We all hope that their fans will discover the score the old-fashioned way: sitting in a dark movie theater on 11/6/09.
Until then, you can hear a sample of the score at - more information forthcoming:)
So even though I'm somewhat disappointed it won't be released in the coming weeks it's comforting to know it will at least be released sometime in the future.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Arcade Fire on Facebook

As of today you can become a fan of Arcade Fire on Facebook right here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Richard's Scrapbook 2009-10-18

For Heart, Breath and Orchestra

Thursday, October 29, at 8:00pm
Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto

For Heart, Breath and Orchestra is the third in a series of compositions which use automatic/involuntary muscles in the human body (specifically the lungs and the heart) as the performance parameters. All of the notes are read from a score, but the tempos at which they are played are governed by either the heart rate or breathing rate of the individual players, or the conductor. During the performance, many of the performers wear stethoscopes which enable them to play in synch with their own heartbeats.

But you guys who follow this blog already knew about this event since I made a post about it almost a month ago. I'd have loved to been able to go see this!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Owen Pallett can't contain himself! Nor can I.

RT @owenpallett: Can't contain it.  I just completed 10 days on the best album I've ever had the pleasure of working on.
10 days ago:
RT @owenpallett: Arcade Fire have some pretty gorgeous microphones right here. It'd be so easy to slip one into my bag.
Just saying. Aaaah! Tonight I will dream sweet sweet dreams about marvellous Arcade Fire sounds. Sounds so amazing I won't be able to hear my wake up call!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spike Jonze is a legend!

Spike Jonze wrote the whole Where The Wild Things Are script to Arcade Fire's album Funeral. No word of lie! Read the man's own words for yourselves in this interview by Mr. Beaks for Ain't It Cool News.
Beaks: Given your commercial-directing background, I'd like to think they would've craved your marketing input.

Jonze: And they really did. They really allowed us to be involved. They didn't have to, but they did. The initial trailer... that Arcade Fire song ["Wake Up"] was something I'd used along the way in cutting stuff. Before we shot the movie, I cut together this mood piece; I used footage from E.T., RATCATCHER and THE BLACK STALLION, and cut together this mood piece to the song. I showed it to the crew to give them a sense of the tone and the feeling of the film before we shot. It was a way to get everyone to the same place. I wrote the whole script to Arcade Fire's FUNERAL, and I listened to that song a lot. That record is thematically very connected to the film. So it seems so perfect that we got to put that in the trailer.
Astonishing! Like if you against all odds didn't plan on seeing Where The Wild Things Are before... I mean, now you have to. Not seeing it is not an option any more. I don't have to remind you guys of this trailer, right? I'm just gonna do it anyway.

Paolo Nutini covers Wake Up

Yeah, you read that right. He did a session for BBC Radio Scotland today where he for his last song of the session covered Arcade Fire's anthem "Wake Up". Sounded something like this.
[MP3] Paolo Nutini - Wake Up (live)
I've never wanted the Where The Wild Things Are version of Wake Up more than I do now...

Album of the Year: The Antlers - Hospice

I'd be very surprised if Hospice by The Antlers doesn't end up being my favourite album of 2009. It took me quite some time to 'get it' but once I did it was even more rewarding. At the moment "Wake" is my very favourite track on this fantastic record. Listen to it below.

Epic last couple of minutes! I can't really put my finger on what it is that makes the record so amazing, but everyone owe it to themselves to get their hands on it and be blown away. Maybe not instantly blown away, but with time it grows and grows... and grows!

Friday, October 09, 2009

First taste of The Box score!

Win Butler, Régine Cassagne and Owen Pallett have made the score for Richard Kelly's new movie The Box. Last night the official website was launched and playing in the background is a piece of music taken off that score. It sounds incredible! My mind is racing through all sorts haunting landscapes. So, head over to and listen to the music and check out the pretty cool website. Then when your mind has been blown you download the song here.
[MP3] Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and Owen Pallett - The Box (Website Theme)
UPDATE: As if needed, here's confirmation it's indeed their score music.
RT @owenpallett: Website for "The Box" is up here: and there's a Mellotron and an orchestra and Regine's angelic singing.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Arcade Fire turned down Twilight

Last week's issue of Rolling Stone magazine had a little blurb about the Twilight 2: New Moon soundtrack. The guy who booked all the bands for the soundtrack said that for the most part he was super happy about everyone who signed up to do songs for the album, and that only two bands declined their request to perform on the compilation. Those bands who refused were apparently Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire.

Phew. Thank something you hold very dearly for that!!

(Thanks Anna for spotting that blurb)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Where The Wild Gremlins Are

Hilarious! Who knew Gremlins 2, Arcade Fire's Wake Up with a touch of Where The Wild Things Are could be this amazing together. Top marks!

Where are your friends tonight?

If you ask me, one of the very very best songs of the 2000s! Mindblowingly awesome in every way.

LCD Soundsystem has a new album coming out sometime this coming spring. One of those 2010 albums I absolutely can't wait to hear. Already excited about what James Murphy can come up with this time around. Hope they'll tour with Arcade Fire again.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Paquin on the new Arcade Fire album

Marcus Paquin who remastered Arcade Fire's self-titled EP is now an engineer in the ongoing studio sessions for the forthcoming album. He very briefly gave his thoughts about LP3 to Montreal Gazette.
"It’s going to be wonderful," he said of the Arcade Fire disc. "It’s been an amazing experience."
Very reassuring to hear he's happy with how things are going. Read the entire article here about his band Silver Starling which, as I've said before, also is Marika's other project.