Arcade Fire The Suburbs Video

Arcade Fire’s “We Used To Wait” video uses Google maps and satellite images to personalize the HTML5 video’s imagery, adding an extra tinge to the song’s bittersweet nostalgia. But there are plenty of other surprises (and other browser windows), that makes it less of a video and more of a interaction between you and your childhood.

Grab your old childhood address and visit http://www.thewildernessdowntown.net/ to play it (and play with it). Google Chrome works best. The video was directed by Chris Milk.

The Suburbs is out now via Merge.

Comments (30)
  1. Well that was cool. It felt like the video was personalized directly for me.

  2. Aw, “Your address doesn’t contain enough Street-View and/or Google Maps data to 100% enjoy this experience.” :(

  3. Did anyone send a “postcard” to his/her younger self?

    Mine said to buy stock in Google.

    • i did the same, but mine said “invest in little rubber bands that have funny shapes that kids can wear as bracelets.” it didnt work, im still broke.

  4. Thought this was pretty badass.

  5. Amazing! My address worked perfectly. Was kinda nostalgic/creepy/sad though. Thought about dead relatives :\

  6. I didn’t want to install Chrome, but I did. :(

  7. Is anyone else having trouble getting it to work?

    I enter an address and it loads, and after that five small windows open in a cascade in the top left corner of the screen with a small one on the bottom left that says “Pause” and “Mute.” Nothing happens if I wait. If I click on “Pause” the music starts playing, but nothing else changes in the windows.

  8. So amazing, gave me the chills, not even an Arcade Fire fan

  9. @That SpencerGuy and Justin Street – I had the same issue after I had to download Google Chrome to view it. I’m running Windows7 on a fast processor and a 6mbps connection. Guess I need a Mac…

  10. Update: I just watched it on another CPU. It was ok. Never got to my old house, just the end of the street. Pretty much a let down.

  11. I used this address..

    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20500

    And the running guy was pulled-over at gun-point by secret service dudes.

    :-o

  12. Awesome. Great as a music video, great from a technological standpoint

  13. My childhood address didn’t work. I guess Wauwatosa, WI isn’t a very cool place to grow up.

  14. this is so friggin cool.
    i used the address of an old arcade that burned down in my old town and it made the world start spinning in the opposite direction.

  15. That was awesome. Between this and that little record preview that they released online that you could spin around yourself they have had some of the coolest things to promote this album. From the artwork to everything else this whole record is pretty solid.

  16. I feel like the victim of a great ploy to discriminate those who grew up in places that don’t even have Google Maps Street View – it does have streets, so that’s better than two years ago.

    Now if you excuse me, I’m going to input my current address and steal someone else’s childhood.

  17. Nice blending of art and technology

  18. kind of disappointing when google maps your address incorrectly a few houses down

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