The Late Movies: 10 Arcade Fire Videos


Arcade Fire may be the official favorite band of mental_floss bloggers, with Ransom and I continuing to blab about this one time we saw them in the desert, and how awesome it was. Tonight I collect some official music videos and notable live performances for your enjoyment. If you have the chance to see them live, do it.

"The Suburbs"

This video, directed by Spike Jonze, has strong visual and thematic parallels with the film Gummo. In the video, suburban kids ride bikes through their neighborhood, which is apparently a police state. Grim and powerful. From the album of the same name.

"Intervention" (Live)

In this now-famous Saturday Night Live performance from February 24, 2007, Win Butler breaks a string and then smashes his guitar at the end of the song. If you don't know what the words on Butler's guitar mean, read Ransom's explanation from April 2007, written two days after we saw the band tear it up at Coachella. This song is from the album Neon Bible.

Note that the uploader has flipped the video horizontally to prevent NBC from taking it down. This likely won't last long!

"Black Mirror"

From Neon Bible.

"Keep the Car Running"

Live on MTV World Stage; from Neon Bible.

"Neighorhood #1 (Tunnels)"

Paper cut-out animation mixed with performance footage. This is my favorite song from from the album Funeral.

"Neighborhood #2 (Laika)"

"If you want something, don't ask for nothing! If you want nothing, don't ask for something!" Paper-cut animation with Soviet imagery. From Funeral.

"Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)"

More animation (this time 3D) from Funeral.

"Rebellion (Lies)"

Ghostly live-action video from Funeral.

"Wake Up"

The anthem from Funeral, performed live. Seeing this happen live, with tens of thousands of other people all screaming along with you, is quite an experience.

"Neon Bible"

The title track from Neon Bible. An interactive version is available here. For what it's worth, Arcade Fire's Neon Bible is supposedly not a reference to the novel by John Kennedy Toole, but to the "image" of a neon bible. Read more about The Neon Bible, the novel, here.

We Used to Wait

This is an interactive music video, using Google Maps data to integrate your childhood home into the video. (Note: for best effect, you have to have grown up in a place that Google Maps has Street View photos of....) Go check it out.

Lots, Lots More

Check out the official Arcade Fire YouTube channel. It's mostly live performances and interviews -- LOTS of them.

See also: The Late Movies: The Suburbs.