comeback again
what i watched last week

random friday, 2004 edition: arcade fire, "rebellion (lies)"

I’m getting old, and the closer we get to the end of the year (and thus, the closer Random Friday gets to the present day), the more obvious my age becomes. The last three artists featured on Random Friday were aging icons who were about to die. And now here we are in 2004 … I was in my 50s by this point, and I’m pretty sure I’m running out of things to say about contemporary music.

Arcade Fire make an excellent example. They are everything I should love in a band, making expansive indie rock with hints of Springsteen. They make great records. I love them every time they pop up on the radio or in a video.

Yet I’m not really attached to them. I don’t have the energy any longer to put into total fandom … I remarked when Sleater-Kinney broke up that they were likely to be my last true music love, and so far that has held true.

“Rebellion (Lies")” is my favorite Arcade Fire song. I don’t know what it is “about,” which may be one reason I like it … rock and roll has a long history of classic songs where the lyrics fade between intelligible and unintelligible. I know the chorus … “Every time you close your eyes (LIES!LIES!).” I love the chorus. I love the power of the band’s performance. And I want to fall in love with the band, to need to go to all of their shows, to have a greedy desire to devour each album as it comes out.

But I don’t.

Here is the official video for the song:

You can find several great live performances of “Rebellion (Lies)” on YouTube. Here are a few … no need to listen to them all, if I had to pick one, maybe the Much Music Awards, but they are all wonderdul. First, from Letterman:

From Jools Holland:

The Much Music Awards: