Today I have to tap my Gen-X memory vault and school the youth of today about their favorite anti-hero of the moment, Win Butler. Let me preface this by saying I like Arcade Fire. But as Pee Wee said to Dottie: "Look, Dottie, I like you. Like! I like you!" Let me also say: I don't enjoy the pain this knowledge will most assuredly inspire, but the truth will set you free:
Win Butler & the Arcade Fire are Eddie & the Cruisers, who will always be John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band. It's the cycle of life. Just listen and judge for yourself:
Keep the Car Running - Win Butler & the Arcade Fire
On the Dark Side - John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band
Check out this excellent YouTube clip for the fabulous (and fabulously cheesy) Eddie & the Cruisers lip-synch scene from the 1983 film of the same name (a movie that was supposed to almalgamate the Bob Dylan/Bruce Springsteen creation myth in a sweaty, leathery 1950s rock and roll fantasy). I think I watched this movie on HBO about 500 times in the mid-80s, so when I heard this Arcade Fire tune I immediately began singing on top of it (as you soon will): Ain't nothin' gonna save you from a love that's blind / When you slip to the dark side you cross that line...
For this whole B. Springsteen/D. Bowie/D. Byrne gestalt that Arcade Fire seem to be mining, I'm gravitating to another Canadian product, Frog Eyes, who do it in a more raw and weird and wirey way. I like Arcade Fire, I do. But this song is epic and wonderful.
Bushels - Frog Eyes