Skip to main content

10 favorite albums of 2010 - #1: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

Big surprise, right? Those of you who know me - you could have probably guessed I would pick Arcade Fire's spectacular album, The Suburbs.

Arcade Fire is the most moving, interesting, and important group making music today. There, I said it. That's a pretty big claim, but after experiencing their third solid gold album, I'm convinced. They can be so somber. Gut-wrenchingly gloomy. And then, so damned uplifting and hopeful. They make me want to take their music seriously. But then, if Arcade Fire wanted me to listen to the their music while giving myself a hot tar bath, I'd probably do it.

But seriously. From the opening track:

     So can you understand
     why I want a daughter while I'm still young?
     I wanna hold her hand
     and show her some beauty
     before this damage is done.

     But if it's too much to ask, if it's too much to ask,
     then send me a son.

Arcade Fire makes some grand statements in this album. Listen to it. And listen to the words. Let the music settle into your pores. Let its spirit infest you for a while.

     We watched the end of the century
     compressed on a tiny screen.
     A dead star collapsing, and we could see
     something was ending.
     Are you through pretending? 
     We saw the signs in the suburbs.

You will see what I mean.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Clink (New Friends)

Each other is all we have. It's no surprise, then, that when we think about the chapters of our lives, those chapters usually begin and end with the beginning and ending of relationships. My current chapter began in July 2016, when I made the move from Philadelphia to Denver. In many ways, it was the fulfillment of a promise made between Peace Corps friends; Carly, Evan, and I spoke often of our desire to live in the same place some day, and after two wonderful years spent with Kyla, it was time for me to join them.

The great advantage to this arrangement is that Evan and Carly had been cultivating friends in my absence, so upon my arrival last summer, I was met with a wonderful group of people who had been carefully conditioned by Evan and Carly to like me.

Readers of this blog will remember Evan and Carly from my Peace Corps days. They were the closest I had to family for two years, and by the end of our service, we were inseparable.


Pappy. Pop-pop. Dilly-dally. Evan is know…

Reaction to Dante's Hell as Portrayed in Dante's Inferno

Since its Patristic roots, the Church has struggled with two seemingly contradictory aspects of God's nature. One one hand, God is said to be loving and caring towards his creation. At the same time, however, God is seen as a judge, dealing out justice to all according to their actions. Some Christians have argued that God, due to his overabundance of love, can never punish or cause harm. Other Christians have no qualms in maintaining that a loving God sends people to Hell, even against their own will. Most fall in between these two extremes. I would maintain that Dante's view of punishment in Hell errs on the side of the latter extreme, given the assumption of a loving God as described in Christian literature. The God portrayed in Dante's Inferno punishes based on gross oversimplifications. His God ignores the larger picture of human psychology and sociological influences in addition to the rehabilitative capacities of wrongdoers.

Good parents do not punish their children …

Love in the Peace Corps

I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to connect with the rest of the world, to see life from the perspective of the oppressed, to spread joy and wonder and curiosity to new places. I did not join, in other words, to find a girlfriend.
Why was it then, that as soon as I walked into my hotel in Philadelphia, I felt like a college freshman? I couldn't get through my first elevator ride without my heart-rate increasing and my breath shortening.
The feeling returned during our introductory meetings: the nervousness, the flurry of disordered thinking that accompanied moments of eye contact.
Damn you, body. Why must you sabotage everything good in this world?
I talked this over with my friend Ted on day one in Morocco. I was prepared for the bugs and dirt and cultural difficulties that come with Peace Corps, but nothing could prepare me for the onslaught of charming, independent-minded, attractive girls that I would be meeting throughout those first weeks. He agreed. It was eerie how ma…