Entries tagged with: Win Butler

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photo: Patti Smith @ Electric Lady Studios 8/26/2015 (photo via @electricladystudios)
Patti Smith Performed Horses at Electric Lady Studios

Wednesday, August 27 marked, to the day, the 45 anniversary of NYC's famed Electric Lady Studios which was originally built by Jimi Hendrix. To celebrate, Patti Smith, who was there the day it opened and recorded her classic Horses in the facility's Studio A, gave a private performance of Horses in its entirety to an celeb/industry crowd that included Michael Stipe, Alexander Skarsgard, Liv Tyler, Win Butler, Darren Aronofsky, Alison Mosshart, Dakota Johnson and more.

If you were like us and not there, Patti Smith's Horses performance last night will be released on vinyl and will be the first LP to come out via Electric Lady Records. Release date TBA. (She'll also be performing Horses at Beacon Theatre in November which is sold out.) In the meantime, check out some wire images of the cool folks who were in attendance at Electric Lady Studios last night, below.

Continue reading "Patti Smith performed 'Horses' in full to a celeb-filled audience at Electric Lady Studios (which celebrated its 45th anniversary)"

by Andrew Sacher

Dawn Richard

Earlier this year, Dawn Richard released the genre-defying album, Blackheart, which was part art pop and part R&B, without ever strictly adhering to either. Since then, she changed her moniker to D∆WN and dropped the one-off single "Running From Sane" for Adult Swim which is even weirder than anything on the album (listen below). Going by that song, it seems like her work is only going to get more interesting, and this new interview with FADER suggests the same thing. She talks about working with Fade To Mind producer Kingdom, who has previously collaborated with the similarly forward-thinking R&B singer Kelela:

I was talking with Jacky, who works with Opening Ceremony, and I was like, "you gotta figure out how to get me in with Fade To Mind, because I think they're fucking amazing." A year later, I randomly see Ezra [Kingdom] and I'm like "Yo, we should do something, let me get in a studio with y'all!" The first day [in a studio], we did five songs. The rest is history. We did the PAMM Institute thing together, and we're going to do MoMA together as well. That's been the relationship ever since, we make sense. I think the way Fade To Mind works is brilliant. It's organic, they only do it if it feels good, they don't push it. And in the last few years, I've really been in that place where if it's organic then I'll do it, if it doesn't feel good I won't do it. I think that's why we work so well.
Dawn says the Kingdom collaborations should hopefully appear on her next album, RedHeart (the conclusion to her trilogy which also includes 2013's GoldenHeart). She also talks about some dream collaborations:
I'm really, really in love with artists like Girlpool. With Arca. With SOHN. I wouldn't even want to do anything other than just sit in the studio and smoke and listen to shit. I just think they're innovative. Girlpool reminds me of the old girl bands who had the two part harmonies, and they were--not angry, but their voices just have so much in them they barely need anything else. Because everything is so processed these days, with vocals, it feels good to hear something so raw.
Both Dawn and Kingdom are on this weekend's installment of Warm Up at MoMA PS1 (8/29). It also features Matias Aguayo, DJ Windows 98 (aka Arcade Fire's Win Butler), Murlo and False Witness. Tickets are still available. It's the second to last Warm Up of 2015, but the lineup for the final one (9/5) is still TBA.

Listen to "Running From Sane" below...

Continue reading "D∆WN (Dawn Richard) & Kingdom planning collaboration, playing Warm Up together (w/ DJ Windows 98 & more)"

photo: DJ Windows 98 at SXSW 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
DJ Windows 98

DJ Windows 98, the DJ moniker of Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, plans to grace NYC with another of his sets on August 27 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets go on sale Friday (6/19) at 10 AM. Last month his Montreal DJ set included new Kanye West music, so who knows what could happen at this one?

Earlier this month, Win joined his buds Future Islands on stage in Vermont for "Seasons (Waiting On You)" (something he's done before). You can check out a video of that below.

In related news, Arcade Fire member Tim Kingsbury will be embarking on a solo career, like bandmates Will Butler and Richard Reed Parry have also done. He'll be playing under the name Sam Patch, and his first performance is at Montreal's Passovah Summer Fest on August 27 (coincidentally the same day as that DJ Windows 98 NYC show). Backing Tim will be the impressive lineup of Basia Bulat and Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara.

Win Butler/Future Islands video below...

Continue reading "DJ Windows 98 (Win Butler) playing NYC; Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury & Jeremy Gara start new project w/ Basia Bulat"

Last August, the Arcade Fire frontman was enjoying food and drinks with the band at Toronto's Rhum Corner. Butler decided to ask restaurant co-owner Roland Jean if he could play some rara, a type of Haitian Creole festival music. Jean loved it - right until the speakers gave out.

Almost immediately, Butler's wife and bandmate Régine Chassagne and some Arcade Fire percussionists made up for lost music, keeping the rhythm with glasses and other objects on the tables.

"It was magic," says Jen Agg, Jean's spouse and matriarch of a mini-empire of Toronto restaurants that includes Rhum Corner, the Black Hoof and Cocktail Bar.

Bonding quickly that night, the two couples eventually shared their respective dreams of creating a Haitian-influenced space in Montreal. [Globe and Mail]

Agrikol is set to open in Montreal this summer.

The above photo of Win Butler serving Haitian coffee was taken earlier this year at a coffee shop in NYC (photos by P Squared Photography).

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Spoon / DJ Windows 98 @ SXSW FloodFest, 3/18/2015
Spoon
DJ Windows 98

As the static from the modem faded, Butler played about five seconds of Shania Twain's 1999 hit "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" before launching into Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation," during which time he he fussed despondently with his levels and repeatedly yelled to the stage managers, "Cut the lights. Cut the lights PLEASE." The house finally obliged, drenching the stage and audience in darkroom red. Then it was time to worry about sound. "Turn up the monitors," Butler intoned, calmly at first, then loudly, "TURN UP THE MONITORS, I BELIEVE IN YOU."

To be fair to Butler, the FLOOD fest stage was kind of a shitshow. The sound was mostly unintelligible, and the entire evening was about an hour behind schedule. But the sense that on some level this performance was a joke to Butler didn't help the vibe, especially during the first half of the set, during which I could see several girls up in the VIP section side-eyeing the stage. - [The Verge]

Win Butler's DJ Windows 98 persona has gone from being something he did while on tour with Arcade Fire to becoming a well paid attraction in his own right. He's in Austin for SXSW and played right before headliners Spoon at Wednesday night's FLoodFest, the takeover of Cedar St Courtyard by Flood (the magazine from the people who brought us Filter [who had SXSW parties in the same spot for years]). On Thursday (3/19), Butler and his brother Will as well as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman at a panel titled "Celebrity Economy in Music." Stereogum was there:
Although current topics like the unique opportunities provided by the the internet, the rise of streaming, and the utility of data were all addressed, much of the discussion returned to some very familiar themes -- concerns and debates about "selling out" are hardly new. When Simonian spoke about corporate sponsorship as a crucial source of revenue for emerging bands, arguing that it shouldn't necessarily be viewed as "selling out," Win was quick to set her straight: "It is selling out, though, just for the record." Although the importance of brands over labels may be on the rise, he wryly stated that "artists have been getting screwed over at pretty much the same rate, but now slightly different people are screwing us over."
Spoon, meanwhile, played a big SXSW show last night at Auditorium Shores which was broadcast live via SXSW's 24-hour streaming service. More pics of Spoon and DJ Windows 98 at FloodFest below...

Continue reading "Spoon played SXSW with DJ Windows 98 aka Win Butler (pics) who talked "Celebrity Economy in Music" on a panel "

Roots

The annual Roots Picnic will return to Philly's Festival Pier on May 30 and this year's lineup was announced today, via Billboard. In addition to The Roots' own set, they'll back Erykah Badu for her set, and it also includes The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Phantogram, Rae Sremmurd, Afrika Bambaataa, Hudson Mohawke, DJ Windows 98 (aka Arcade Fire's Win Butler), Bishop Nehru, Raury, DJ Mustard and more.

Tickets fo on sale Friday (3/13) at noon. Full lineup below...

Continue reading "Roots Picnic 2015 lineup (Erykah Badu, The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Phantogram, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Windows 98, more)"

photo: Spoon taping for ACL TV in 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Spoon

Spoon are the focus of La Blogothéque's latest Take Away Show, with Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel performing beautiful acoustic renditions of "I Just Don't Understand" and "Inside Out" from last year's full-length They Want My Soul. The session was shot last October while the artists were visiting Queens' Knockdown Center during the setup for "Debut", which Blogothéque director Derrick Belcham co-designed.

The band have a tour announced for this summer (including Brooklyn's renovated King's Theatre in June), but first they'll be heading back to their spiritual home of Austin for a slew of performances during SXSW. Their first performance is actually going down before the festival's music portion even starts, playing the SXSWi Umbelmania party this Friday, March 13 at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. The party also features DJ Chicken George and luchadors, so it'll surely be an interesting time. The party is free with RSVP, admission is first come, first serve.

Britt and company will also be headlining another SXSWi party -- the free Tumblr and Entourage presented Fuck Yeah show at The Mohawk on Monday (3/16). The party hosts a wide variety of support in RAC, Yung Lean & Sad Boys, ASTR, Badbadnotgood, Kali Uchis, Holy Child, Tei Shi and Twin Peaks. No RSVP needed.

Conflict of Interest

Spoon will also be making an appearance at this year's edition of the Hype Machine Hype Hotel as headliners for the Syndicate curated 'Conflict of Interest' show on Tuesday (3/17). The party also features Parlour Tricks, Amason, San Fermin, Milo Greene and Odesza. Check out the rest of the week's massive Hype Hotel presented by Feed the Beat lineup here and RSVP to get into the week's worth of parties.

If you won't get into town until the music festival officially starts, you can catch Spoon at FLOODfest's Wednesday (3/18) night showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard with support from DJ Windows 98 (aka Arcade Fire's Win Butler), Speedy Ortiz, Basecamp, Dotan and Taymir. FLOODfest's night shows are official showcases, so you'll need a badge or wristband to get in.

The band headlines the official SXSW showcase at Auditorium Shores on Thursday night (3/19) with support from Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Superchunk's Mac McCaughan and My Jerusalem. The show is free and open to the public provided you secure a Guest Pass, and they're taking badges/wristbands as well.

There's also a listing for an official showcase featuring Spoon on Saturday (3/21) but the venue and other acts aren't yet announced.

All upcoming Spoon dates (SXSW and otherwise) are listed, along with  the Take Away performance of "I Just Don't Understand" and "Inside Out" as well as the Fuck Yeah schedule and flyers for FLOODfest, below...

Continue reading "Spoon share acoustic "Take Away Show" video, playing lots of SXSW shows & other tour dates"

La Colombe photos by P Squared Photography

barista Win Butler serving up his new Haitian coffee blend
Win Butler

Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler had a busy weekend in NYC. His eventful three days began on Friday when he played the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at MSG. His team, The West, beat The East (which Common and others were on) 59-51. Win had eight points and 12 boards. You can watch a video of him doing a layup, below.

He was wearing his Kanye West-designed Nike Red Octobers (not to be confused with Kanye's new Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost shoe that he debuted last week). Win's brother/bandmate Will tweeted "Kanye, you have to fix this #MVP thing. They have to respect the artistry" after Kevin Hart (who returns to MSG in July) got MVP.


Win Butler of Arcade Fire DJing as DJ Windows 98

A photo posted by Scott Taylor (@wonderboymusic) on


After the game, Win headed to Bowery Ballroom where he was one of several DJs at the Rock On Foundation benefit, as DJ Windows 98. The Hold Steady headlined. Other DJs included members of Vampire Weekend, Das Racist and Caveman. That's him at Bowery pictured above.

Then Saturday afternoon Win headed to La Colombe cafe in Hudson Square where he acted as a barista, serving his new blend of RaRa Haitian Coffee that he created in partnership with La Colombe. The blend was partially to benefit Haiti, with proceeds going to Partners In Health and Haiti Coffee Academy. We stopped by the cafe to see barista Win in action, and while we were there he jumped on a table to give a speech about how the coffee is for a good cause. He then gave out sample cups to the crowd, took pictures with fans, and signed stuff. Some pictures of that are in this post.

That night, he was back under his DJ Windows 98 guise to get a late-night party at Baby's All Right going. Anyone catch that? UPDATE: Win now uploaded a mashup of Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" and Beck's "Loser" which (according to a commenter below) he played back to back at Baby's. Listen below.

Finally, on Sunday Win headed to SNL's 40th anniversary to introduce Miley Cyrus. Some people were not happy about this decision. Here are some tweets:

More pictures of Win's weekend, including shots of him as a barista, a basketball player and a DJ, below...

Continue reading "Win Butler came to NYC to play the NBA celebrity game, DJ twice, serve coffee, introduce Miley on 'SNL 40' (pics, video)"

It's a Win Wynn situation...

Win

Arcade Fire singer Win Butler is having a pretty busy weekend in New York, doing non-Arcade Fire things. Tonight (2/13), he's playing the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at MSG with Common and others, and also DJing The Hold Steady's show at Bowery Ballroom (sold out) as DJ Windows 98. He DJs once again under that moniker late-night on Saturday (2/14) at Baby's (also sold out).

Earlier in the day on Saturday, he'll take a break from music and basketball to pursue yet another hobby... being a barista. He'll be serving at NYC's La Colombe in Hudson Square (75 Vandam St) to celebrate his new blend of RaRa Haitian Coffee that he created in partnership with La Colombe. The time he'll be serving will be announced Saturday morning, according to the coffee company. Here's what he says:

Being in the mountains of Haiti, it is hard not to think about coffee. The elevation, the sunshine, the soil, and incredible people, who have been growing the plant on tiny family plots for centuries. Haiti is buzzing with potential and possibility, and coffee can be an important part of its rebirth!

I'd heard about what La Colombe was doing with their coffee academy so I approached them to see if they'd make this coffee for me, because coffee is so important to Haiti, and Haiti is so important to me and everyone in the band.

Really happy to share this with you, especially with all the funds going to Partners in Health, The Coffee Academy and Haiti.

Enjoy,

Win Butler.

You can also order the blend online. Proceeds will support Partners In Health and Haiti Coffee Academy.

The Hudson Square location is one of five La Colombe cafes in NYC, and they also have locations in Philly, Chicago, and DC. Though it will only be served at the Hudson Square cafe, it will be available to purchase at any location for the next 10 days/2 weeks.

Wynn Walent album cover

Speaking of "wins" helping Haiti, singer/songwriter Wynn Walent continues to do so as well, and has a recorded a new album to benefit Haiti. You can stream or download it for free at his website, but donations are encouraged. He wrote on Huffington Post:

Most of the album was recorded in Brooklyn at Lindbergh Palace Studios, and it features recordings from the chapel in Haiti as well. Half of the songs are English interpretations of the Haitian spirituals I love so deeply, and the other half I wrote. The songs are faithful, (think Tom Joad, not Pat Robertson) and speak to the need for hope and community in the way our own Americana tradition does. The songs in the chapel are sung each day by a group of people who are fully engaged in their communities and fully committed to finding faith, hope and love under every rock.

The 5th anniversary of the earthquake is approaching. That tragic day brought me to Haiti; it wasn't in my plans before then. I intended to stay for two months, and five years later here I am. The Haiti that I fell in love with is in these songs, songs that grow out of many acts of defiance.

A trailer video with some of the music can be watched below.

Continue reading "Win Butler will be a barista in NYC serving new Haitian coffee blend; Wynn Walent also raising money for Haiti with new LP"

photo: Win at Pop Montreal's 2012 Pop Vs. Jock game (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Win for the win

Win Butler is returning to Madison Square Garden next week (2/13) -- not with Arcade Fire, but to play basketball on the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. He'll join Common, Kevin Hart, Nick Cannon, Michael Rapaport, Anthony Anderson and other stars of stage and screen. Win is becoming almost as known for his court skills as his musicianship. Almost. The two All-Star Celebrity teams will be coached by Spike Lee & New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, and ESPN Radio's Mike Golic & Mike Greenberg. It's sold out but you can watch it live on ESPN on Friday, February 13 at 7 PM.

That is part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend that includes the All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays on February 14 and the actual NBA All-Star Game on February 15.

Sprite, one of the All-Star sponsors, is also throwing a private Drake and Nas concert on February 13 at Irving Plaza, as Gawker detailed a few days ago. Sprite's Slam Dunk Contest, part of the Barclays 2/14 event, happens right after the Taco Bell Skills Test and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, if you were wondering.

That same weekend, Win DJs NYC twice as DJ Windows 98. His first gig is The Hold Steady's Bowery Ballroom show on February 13 (which seems impossible since the game is that night, unless he DJs really late), and then he does it again at Baby's All Right on Valentine's Day.

Win's brother, Will, will be in NYC next month, touring for his solo debut.

photo: Arcade Fire at Barclays Center in 2014 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Win

DJ Windows 98, who you may recall is the DJ moniker of Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, is returning to NYC for two appearances in February. First, he DJs the sold-out Hold Steady show at Bowery Ballroom on February 13 (update: back on sale). Here's more details:

This year's Alt Star Party will be taking place on Friday, February 13 at the renowned Bowery Ballroom. The Hold Steady, one of America's most acclaimed rock bands, will be headlining the event. Brooklyn rockers STRNGRS will be providing opening support. Additional surprises and guest DJ sets from Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend), Dapwell (formerly of Das Racist), and Stefan Marolachakis (Caveman) will keep the party going throughout the night.
Then the next night, he has his own midnight show on Valentine's Day at Baby's All Right. Doors are at 11:45 PM. Tickets go on sale at noon on Friday (1/23). That happens after the Beacon show at the same venue earlier that night with Lord Raja and Tallesen (tickets).

Three weeks later, his brother Will Butler kicks off a tour that hits NYC twice.

Benjamin Booker

Will Butler isn't the only Butler brother in Arcade Fire experimenting with solo work. Will's older brother Win, who also happens to be Arcade Fire's frontman, performed a DJ set at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans at the beginning of November. He billed himself as "DJ Windows 98" and shared the bill with Thundercat and Peanut Butter Wolf at the Pitchfork-sponsored event.

In the audience that night was rising New Orleans singer-songwriter Benjamin Booker who posted the above picture of he and Win to his Facebook. Days later Booker headed up to NYC to perform sold out shows at Mercury Lounge and Baby's All Right. He also appeared on WNYC's Soundcheck while he was here. You can listen to that appearance below.

Today, Benjamin announced a tour that has him returning to an even bigger venue in NYC, Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 3 (presented by WFUV). Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (11/14) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (11/12) at noon.

All dates are listed, with the Soundcheck stream, below...

Continue reading "Benjamin Booker announces tour, played NYC shows, went to see Win Butler aka DJ Windows 98"

Pop All Star Band @ Pop Montreal 2014 (via jackpineco)
All Star Pop Group

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Doe Paoro opens for My Brightest Diamond at Bowery Ballroom tonight (9/25). Tickets for that show are still available.

Doe Paoro is now on the road with My Brightest Diamond, but recently finished a string of dates with Bon Iver's friends Sylvan Esso which started right after Doe opened for Bon Iver drummer S. Carey (and Califone) at Le Poisson Rouge. Doe released an EP called Ink on the Walls in April. It was produced at Bon Iver's studio by S. Carey and BJ Burton (who also produced Bon Iver's group Volcano Choir and Bon Iver/Gayngs related project Poliça). Note: Bon Iver, S. Carey, Gayngs, Polica, Sylvan Esso, Volcano Choir and Doe all share a management team (and a love for autotune). Doe is also playing CMJ.

S. Carey returns to NYC to open for American Football and Owen in October.

Volcano Choir have a new video for "Tiderays". Watch below.

Meanwhile, Bon Iver-esque NY, electro-singer-songwriter Elliot Moss (who also shares a manager with Bon Iver) just opened for Nada Surf at Rough Trade and has three more NYC shows scheduled in October: School Night at Brooklyn Bowl, CMJ at Rough Trade w/ Cold War Kids, and MHOW on 10/25 opening for Digitalism. One of his songs is embedded below.

Field Report, the project of Justin Vernon's old DeYarmond Edison bandmate Chris Porterfield, just shared the title track from his new album "Marigolden". Listen (via AV Club), below. Catch Field Report live on tour throughout the fall, starting at Bowery Electric in NYC on 9/30 (tickets). All dates are also listed again below.

Finally, we told you about the all star basketball game that was going down at Pop Montreal last week.That also resulted in a halftime show by the 'Pop All Star Band' - a "supergroup featuring Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and The Strokes' Nikolai Fraiture" (and A-Trak). They covered Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" and The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." Watch the videos with all the other stuff below...

Continue reading "new Field Report, Doe Paoro tonight, Elliot Moss, Volcano Choir & other Bon Iver related news"

Win Butler & Future Islands -- 9/2 in Montreal (photo by Mikey B Rishwain)
Win Butler and Future Islands

Future Islands' tour with Operators brought them to Metropolis in Arcade Fire's home city of Montreal tonight (9/2). Arcade Fire played their fair share of covers, sometimes with special guests, on their own recent tour. Keeping that spirit alive, AF frontman Win Butler himself surprised the Future Islands audience when he nonchalantly walked on stage to start singing FI hit "Seasons (Waiting on You)" with the band. Watch a clip below...

Continue reading "Win Butler sang Seasons w/ Future Islands in Montreal (video)"

Pop vs Jock 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Pop vs Jock

Arcade Fire singer Win Butler's annual charity basketball game, Pop vs Jock, will go down in conjunction with Pop Montreal once again this year. The game takes place on September 20 at the McGill University Sports Centre, and includes Win along with fellow Pop vs Jock alumni Will Butler (his brother, also of Arcade Fire), Nikolai Fraiture (The Strokes), and newcomer Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Former NBA player Brent Barry and current player Matt Bonner round out the lineup as well. Tickets are on sale now, and proceeds will go to DJ Sports Club, a charity offering sports and education programs to Montreal youth.

Arcade Fire were just in NYC for a three night run at Barclays Center.

Arcade Fire @ Fuji Rocks (more by Erina Uemura)
Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire are on a tour that recently hit Japan, and which will visit Brooklyn soon for three shows at Barclays Center (all with Dan Deacon and Unicorns, and one with Television!). On Wednesday (7/30) they played Mountain View, California, and it was at that show that a fan proposed to his future wife in the front row during "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," much to Win's delight. Watch it all go down in the video below...

Continue reading "VIDEO: Fan proposes marriage at Arcade Fire show, she says yes (watch)"

Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire have had no lack of a marketing plan for their new album, Reflektor (due out 10/29 via Merge), which has included SNL, an NBC special, mysterious murals, cryptic videos, and some random shows, including two in NYC during CMJ at 299 Meserole in Bushwick on Friday (10/18) and Saturday (10/19). Not the first time Arcade Fire was the talk of CMJ.

Formal attire or costumes were mandatory for the show, and as you may have heard, the first night began with a little "trick" from the band. Stereogum puts it like this:

[Fans] were let inside shortly after 8 PM and crowded around the small stage set up with some gear, setlists, and a Reflektors logo behind it. Ninety minutes later, "Reflektor" producer James Murphy took the stage with some bad news: "There's been a little snafu. We can only get three members right now. But it's going to be OK. I'd like to introduce the Reflektors!"

Three people in those familiar papier-mâché masks came onstage to jam awkwardly on bad reggae for a bit. Then, on the opposite side of the room, a curtain dropped to reveal the real, larger stage, where the real, larger Arcade Fire launched into "Reflektor." A chaotic stampede of kids in fancy suits and dresses ensued. Some were not amused.

Later, Win Butler apologized saying, "Sorry we played a trick on you, we just thought it was funny." He then continued saying it wouldn't be the last time they did something to be funny that no one else thought was funny, and some crowd members may have felt that way, when after their 75-minute set, Win returned to the stage to explain their lack of an encore. Via SPIN:
"We're not playing any more songs," he said. "But we're going to play a bunch of dance music. We're going to come out and dance with you. If you guys want to hang out and dance, that's totally cool. But if everyone just stares at the stage, nothing's happening. So it's super awkward."

The audience booed.

"I just wanted to explain it to you so you know that it's happening," he continued over the kvetching. "If that's super a bummer that we're totally going to dance with you and party all night, then I apologize. But otherwise, I'll see you on the dance floor."

"Tricks" aside, what Arcade Fire did do is debut more previously unheard tracks from their album, including "Flashbulb Eyes," "Joan of Arc," "Supersymmetry," and "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)," in addition to playing the other Reflektor tracks that have found their way online in one way or another. Only two older songs -- "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" -- were played though. Regarding those new tracks, Pitchfork writes:
[The songs] are darker, more self-aware, dancier, and--yes--trickier than anything Arcade Fire have done before. "We've all got something to hide," yelped Butler on an arena-ready version of "Reflektor", his foot on the monitor and his arm arched up over his head, Bono-style. And then, on the very next song, "Flashbulb Eyes", he sang, "You know I've got nothing to hide." It was a slippery, knowing contradiction from a band more known for stone-faced frankness. There are precedents for this kind of playful rock'n'roll about-face, of course--Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, U2's Achtung Baby, and R.E.M.'s Monster instantly spring to mind--but it's still a viable way forward for bands that have reached the top of rock's heap but aren't ready to call it a day or bask in past greatness just yet.

The goal is to thread the needle between fresh and familiar in order to keep everyone--band and fans alike--interested, and based on the new tracks shown off at the gig, Arcade Fire have done just that. Along with touching on 80s pop and new wave, their new sound also harkens back to the dance-rock revival of the mid-00s--understandable given Murphy's involvement--bringing to mind names like the Rapture, the Faint, and even Bright Eyes' 2005 foray into electronics, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.

Videos of those four previously unheard songs, the show's setlist, and more pictures from Friday night, below.

UPDATE: Zane Lowe also just premiered the new Arcade Fire single, "Afterlife," which you can also hear below.

Continue reading "Arcade Fire played "tricks" and new songs at two intimate NYC shows during CMJ (pics, videos, setlist)"

Spike Jonze Her

In addition to Arcade Fire's own new forthcoming LP, out October 29, the band has created music for the upcoming Spike Jonze film Her, as the Playlist (via Arcade Fire Tube) notes. Check out the trailer below, which cites "Music by Arcade Fire" in the credits. Jonze previously directed the band's short film "Scenes from The Suburbs" in 2011. [Pitchfork]
"Her" will get "its World Premiere as the Closing Night Gala Presentation of the upcoming New York Film Festival. The romantic sci-fi satrring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Scarlett Johansson will close the 51st edition of the event, which runs from September 27 - October 13."

The release date of the album, which includes production by James Murphy, was announced back in July along with the picture you can see below. The "Her" trailer and more down there too...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire scoring Spike Jonze Film, releasing new album in October & stuff"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Win Butler schooling on the bball court
Pop Vs. Jock
Pop Vs. Jock

POP Montreal continued on Saturday (9/22) and BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo was on the scene and got shots of The Sadies, "Shut Up and Eat Your Ballads" (Leif Vollebek and friends Michael Feuerstack, Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream, and Brad Barr covering Tom Waits), and Rags to Radio. He also stopped by the Pop vs. Jock basketball game which saw members of Arcade Fire and The Strokes playing basketball with other celebrities like actor Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), pro basketball player Luke Bonner, and more.

David Byrne, who played a POP Montreal show with St. Vincent a day earlier (9/21) (they start their NYC-run of three shows tonight), performed at the game's halftime show. During his set, he was joined by Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler and The Strokes' Nikolai Fraiture to perform covers of ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" and KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)." You can watch a video of the latter below.

More pictures from Friday (9/21) are HERE. Pics from Sunday (9/23) are coming soon and more from Saturday are below.

Continue reading "POP Montreal Saturday pics -- The Sadies, Pop vs Jock (where Arcade Fire & Strokes members & David Byrne played) & more"

Mick Jagger and Arcade Fire

Mick Jagger hosts and performs on Saturday Night Live this weekend. The above screen shot is from one of the two promo videos you can watch below...

Continue reading "watch Mick Jagger promo this week's SNL with Arcade Fire & Foo Fighters (that Jeff Beck is also playing)"

by Bill Pearis

Mick Jagger

The 37th season of Saturday Night Live comes to a close next weekend (May 19) where Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger will pull double duty as both host and musical guest. Before you plan your bathroom breaks you might be interested to learn that Mick's backing band will include both Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire. Though we're still eight days from the live telecast, Jann Wenner has already give the SNL season finale five stars.

Meanwhile, this week's SNL has Will Ferrell and Usher.

What songs Mick will do is anyone's guess, but Will (brother of Win) Butler and other members of the Arcade Fire (as Phi Slamma Jamma) may have been getting some practice with a cover of the Stones' "The Last Time" at last weekend's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival.

Last year, Mick released the debut album by his new group SuperHeavy that also includes Joss Stone, Damian Marley and the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. The video for SuperHeavy's single "Miracle Worker" is below.

Continue reading "Mick Jagger hosting and performing on SNL season finale with Foo Fighters & Arcade Fire"

photos by Tim Griffin

Arcade Fire

Win and Will Butler are currently visiting their birth state for a few shows. Last night (5/3), Arcade Fire and Texas band Explosions In The Sky played to a roughly-5000 capacity crowd at The Backyard at Bee Cave in Austin. Arcade Fire, who co-headlined Coachella just a few weeks ago, also played the other night with Okkervil River in Dallas, and they do it again with EITS in The Woodlands tonight, near Houston where Win grew up, a fact that has not gotten past the locals....

"Yes, we're all excited that Arcade Fire is playing the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Wednesday night. And, yes, it's exciting that lead singer Win Butler spent his "formative years" growing up in that community which makes this -- to borrow a title from a beloved U2 anthem -- A Sort of Homecoming.

But it's time all of the greater Houston area suck on the bitter pill of reality for a moment and come to grips with a very real truth: Arcade Fire is not a band from The Woodlands.

It is not even a Texas band. It is not even an American band and anyone saying anything to the contrary must also accept the equally preposterous notion that country icon Willie Nelson hails from Vancouver, Wash., or that Madonna is British."
[says CultureMap Houston]

All upcoming tour dates (Bonnaroo included), along with pictures and the setlist from the Austin show are in this post, and they continue, along with a video of Will Butler & Marika recently singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at Chicago's Wrigley field, below...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire & Explosions in the Sky played 'The Backyard' in Austin, Texas (Win's home state, sort of) -- pics & setlist"

Win and Regine

Morgan Frew really wants this painting to get in the hands of the Arcade Fire...

Please help us get this painting to Win and Régine!

This is a painting of Win and Régine from the band Arcade Fire. We want to give it to them on their tour next week. Now we have just 3 days to get in touch. Please help by spreading the word!

Who: Morgan Frew, a painter who studied at Pratt Institute and teaches at Drury University & Missouri State University.

What: "Win and Régine," 40" x 32", oil on linen, 2009.

When: April 20th or April 21st.

Where: Kansas City, MO or St. Louis, MO.

Why: Just to say thanks.

There's even a website: aPaintingForWinandRegine.com,
and a Twitter, and a Facebook (via).

"If you'd told us in 2002 that we'd be headlining Coachella w/ Animal Collective playing before us I would have told you, you were full of shit" - Win Butler

Arcade fire
Arcade fire

Arcade Fire headlined the main Coachella Stage Saturday night (their third and biggest time playing the annual California fest), and as if their sound and crowd size and setlist wasn't impressive and massive enough, a surprise came during "Wake Up," their last pre-encore song. Courtesy of Creators Project, who promised something big via a press release earlier in the day, lots of white balloons descended upon the crowd. But they weren't just any balloons. Honestly I don't know how they worked, but they lit up and changed colors as you can see in the pictures above above and below. And they stayed lit up during the four-song encore that helped close out the second of three hot days of Coachella 2011.

More pictures from their set (more coming from David later too), and some videos and Arcade Fire's full setlist, below...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire headlined Coachella, it was awesome, there were light up balloons! (pics, video, setlist)"

most of the words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

LCD Soundsystem

They played for over 3.5 hours before the sun set on LCD Soundsystem in a cascade of white balloons dropping from the Madison Square Garden ceiling in NYC Saturday night. I wished they played even longer. Everyone I talked to agreed.

But James Murphy and co. gave everything at Madison Square Garden last night (4/2). And the sold-out arena crowd gave in return. For two months - through the initial on-line ticket debacle, the addition of four T5 shows to make up for it, constant hype, and lots of guessing at what guests might turn up (sadly there was no Daft Punk) - it all made this final act in the drama, The Long Goodbye, even more of an event.

People camped on line several hours early to get a coveted spot up front on the floor and most of the crowd adhered to the black and white dress code. Those who didn't stuck out.

From where I was in the middle of the front GA section nobody stopped dancing, or singing along or smiling the entire night. (Save for, like at all four Terminal 5 shows, the couple of awkward, yet brief and deserved intermissions.) Every turn to scan the Garden saw people full-on, in the groove dancing; not just some barely-registered shuffling back and forth. Honestly, everyone who was there should take a bow because they were fantastic. During the first break, video footage was shown of an interviewer talking to fans outside the venue, Aziz Ansari included.

LCD Soundsystem

And no, there was no Daft Punk, but there was Arcade Fire singing joyously along on "North American Scum" (the third set's highlight) and an appearance by Reggie Watts who also played with the band at three of the four Terminal 5 shows. The boys choir featuring members of Mr. Dream was there, as were the two female backup singers, and the horn section that included Kelly Pratt and Colin Stetson. Original LCD guitarist Phil Mossman was back and featured a few times in addition to LCD band members
Nancy Whang, Tyler Pope, Pat Mahoney, Matt Thornley, Gavin Russom, and David Scott Stone. Liquid Liquid opened the show like they did at the first two Terminal 5 shows. Shit Robot, who opened the second two T5 shows, again made an appearance during the show. Shit Robot and Juan Maclean, for one song, were alien vocalists in mysterious cardboard-looking spaceships that were set up in seats behind the stage (pictures and video below).

Pitchfork streamed the whole show for those who couldn't be there - you could see the cameras all over the place, including on the shoulders of cameramen walking through the GA crowd. Filmmaker Lance Bangs was seen dancing in the crowd and working backstage on the video of the show, and yes the clouds made it to the two screens that were hanging on the sides of the stage.

LCD started with "Dance Yrself Clean" and "Drunk Girls" followed. The first set was breathtaking and included "Daft Punk is Playing in My House." After an intermission, the band tackled most of 45:33. Watts came out for "Part 2" and Murphy spent most of the middle set off in the background letting the band tackle the instrumentals.

The first encore featured a cathartic and riveting "Someone Great" as well as "Losing My Edge" and "Home." For me that block was the highlight. During "Losing My Edge," the video screens featured images of some of the influential bands mentioned. When I looked up I saw The Sonics.

LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem

Their Harry Nilsson cover of "Jump Into The Fire" was part of the final 3-song encore. Murphy, his voice sounding a bit hoarse, paused between songs to thank everyone who came out and everyone who helped put the show together. "Three songs left," "two songs left," and then after saying "this is our last song", and a bit more banter including an admission to his family who was in the audience that he was wearing his dad's watch (as you can hear in the video below), he led the band into their final (ever) number, "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." It started slow with Murphy even laughing and pausing 'for dramatic effect' but by the end of the raucous outro the crowd was in a frenzy, only for the band to launch back in and cue the balloon drop. As the crowd was preoccupied with balloons of various size descending upon them, the entire band slipped off stage, almost completely unnoticed, and into history.

VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE SHOW (from the stream), and lots more pictures and the full setlist, below...

Continue reading "LCD Soundsystem played their final show @ MSG w/ Liquid Liquid (and Arcade Fire) -- pics, setlist, video of entire show"

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