Monday, July 30, 2007

Arcade Fire + Neon Bible + The Woodlands + Church

Alright, I give up:

Can someone explain Arcade Fire's Neon Bible album to me? It's one of my favorite albums of the year, especially since a) I live in The Woodlands and b) I work at a church.

You see, the lead singer of Arcade Fire, Win Butler, grew up in The Woodlands (and went to high school at Phillip Exeter in NH, interestingly). I ran into Andy Osenga shortly after he bought the album, and he suggested to me that the whole Neon Bible album was probably about church in the Woodlands. "It makes sense," he noted. "I've never met anyone from the Woodlands who didn't work at a church."

Butler eventually packed up bags from The Woodlands, moved to Montreal and started Arcade Fire. On one of his first albums, he wrote a song called "The Woodlands National Anthem," which I don't pretend to understand but I've included lyrics for those curious.

But Neon Bible is several steps beyond just one cryptic song. Filled with accusatory tunes like "Neon Bible" and "Intervention," which includes the chorus "working for the church while your family dies," it's tough for someone in my position not to listen to the album with a careful ear. The band recorded the whole album in a church (how's that for symbolism?), and their tour is decked out with religious symbols - in neon, appropriately.

So, I've done the Google search in the title in several different variations without any real success, though I have uncovered a lot of people who feel the whole thing is a grand metaphor for Bush. Surprise.* And so this is my plea: could someone who comes across this post through web searches or linkings or what have you please explain to me what this whole album is about, and what The Woodlands has to do with any of it?



And now I play the waiting game.


*By the way, if this post is found by one of those grand-metaphor-for-Bush people, could you please not leave messages like "anyone who doesn't think this album is about Bush has his f---ing head in the sand," or "it's such a f---ing cop out to think that this album isn't about Bush," etc. You may in fact be right - I'm willing to listen to such theories - but I've just read enough abrasiveness for right now. Make your case in the Queen's English, please.

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2 Comments:

At July 31, 2007 3:40 AM, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Strikes me as a 60's wannabee raised in the church. The mixing of one's personal conflicts with the world's, nay the universe's, is very reminiscent of my highschool literary magazine. They would encourage that sort of thing at Phillips Exeter and Sarah Lawrence. Huh. Jonathan interviewed at the latter, and would have been there at the same time. Huh.

With Alvino Rey in his bloodlines, I would guess that he is both a good musician and a showman.

 
At July 31, 2007 9:14 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Aside from The Woodlands being in Texas and Bush being "from" Texas I'm not sure what the link would be. There are 267,277 sq.mi. here.
It's 530 miles... which is farther than Boston to Washington, D.C.

Though I will say Midland looks a lot more like The Woodlands than Odessa.

 

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