Wednesday 16 February 2011

"Who are the Suburbs and why did they win a Grammy?"

[...] the suburbs went from being a high-tech consumerist dreamland to depressed sprawls on the edges of cities. The biggest threat in the Rush song is that you have to "be cool," or at worst, "conform or be cast out." The suburbs themselves are described as "in between the bright lights and the far, unlit unknown." Also, though the suburbs "have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth," at least they're wealthy: In the video, the kids all have cars, and the "outcast" main character goes into the city and plays video games.
By the time Arcade Fire is writing its songs about the suburban landscape, there's little sense of a "far, unlit unknown" left. There's just more and more suburban sprawl, and it's meaningless: "All of the suburbs they built in the 70s . . . meant nothing," the band sings. And unlike Rush, Arcade Fire describes a constant threat of violence [...]

No comments: