“Hi, we’re Flavor Of The Month,” joked Arcade Fire’s Win Butler before the Montreal sextet launched into an electrifying set at Mercury Lounge last night. The CMJ kids pumped their fists in rapt admiration and ate up every second. They’re Canadian, they love moths, and this show proved the Merge showcase headliners deserve all the hype.

Helmets, silkscreened blazers, an accordian, blood (Win had a guitar mishap early in the set) … these guys know how to put on a show. As you can see by the pics, the Arcaders trade instruments throughout the set, which is always fun. Who knew songs about funerals could rock so much? Did I mention the helmets?





Thanks Jen for being a trooper by waiting with me through Rosebuds and Lou Barlow.

Here’s a shitty pic I took of Lou.

For a guy who had a hand in some of the lasting indie rock masterpieces of the ’90s (as part of Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and Folk Implosion), Lou was endearingly low-key. He carried his own equipment (two guitars and a loop pedal he was still learning to use) in and out of the club, and encouraged the audience to talk while he performed so he wouldn’t be nervous. The set was comprised largely of tunes from his forthcoming solo debut (out on Merge in January). Before playing a “political” song (calling for ladies to run the government), he sang the refrain from “Women Of The World.” Then I realized Sonic Youth were playing Irving Plaza at the same time, and yet again I missed an opportunity to see Jim O’Rourke live for the first time. One day.

Try to see Arcade Fire when they bring their wacky deathrock to your town. They play my alma mater 11/13, which is weird because no cool bands played during the four years I was there. Dates via arcadefire.com.

10/31 Halloween Show! Somewhere in Maine?
11/05 Halifax Pop Explosion Halifax, NS The Marquee
11/11 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
11/12 T.T. the Bears Boston, MA
11/13 Cornell University Noyes Community Center Ithaca, NY
11/14 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, PA
11/15 Garfield Artworks Pittsburgh, PA
11/16 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
11/18 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
11/19 Southgate House Cincinnati, OH
11/20 The Dame Lexington, KY
11/21 Cafe Paradiso Urbana, IL
11/25 Logan Square Auditorium Chicago, IL
11/26 Empty Bottle Chicago, IL
11/30 Mojo’s Columbia, MO

You can stream a few Arcade Fire songs here. If you like ’em, buy Funeral here.

Tonight’s CMJ picks:

Irving Plaza
ADEM 8:30 pm
JUANA MOLINA 9:20 pm
SONS AND DAUGHTERS 10:15 pm
CLINIC 11:20 pm

Bowery Ballroom
INOUK 7:00 pm
THE GOLDEN REPUBLIC 8:00 pm
SONDRE LERCHE 9:00 pm
VHS OR BETA 10:00 pm
THE CONCRETES 11:15 pm

Knitting Factory
THE LASHES 8:15 pm
THE REPUTATION 9:00 pm
COMMUNIQUE 10:00 pm
ENGINE DOWN 11:00 pm
TED LEO 12:00 am

Mercury Lounge
SHOUT OUT LOUDS 7:00 pm
MR. AIRPLANE MAN 8:00 pm
BLANCHE 9:00 pm
GREENHORNES 10:00 pm
SIGHTS 11:00 pm
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY 12:00 am
THE PAYBACKS 1:00 am

Northsix
IDA 8:00 pm
ZZZZ 8:45 pm
VOLCANO, IM STILL EXCITED 9:30 pm
DECIBULLY 10:15 pm
BISHOP ALLEN 11:00 pm
ALOHA 12:00 am
SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME 1:00 am

Sin-E
RAG CITY DOLLS 7:00 pm
GREY DOES MATTER (East Coast Peggy’s last show!) 8:00 pm
MAN MAN 8:45 pm
OFFICER MAY 9:30 pm
RUNNER & THE THERMODYNAMICS 10:15 pm
THE DEARS 11:00 pm
AQUI 11:45 pm
AN ALBATROSS 12:30 am

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Comments (26)
  1. tp  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2004 0

    Canadian boobie!

  2. Paul  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2004 0

    Sons & Daughters is the most attractive band in existence, in addition to making great music. Don’t know if you’d yet ruled out the Irving Plaza lineup…but, yeah.

  3. all these bands reaffirm why 2004 has been the worst year in music

  4. trouble  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2004 0

    wow. mercury lounge is where i’d plant myself. blanche, greenhornes, the sights & the paybacks… it’s like a great night in detroit.

    color me homesick.

  5. I’m definitely going to Irving. I went last night but only made it through 10 minutes of Gang Gang Dance. Anyone see Sonic Youth?

  6. I got no money, but Irving is lookin like the place to be.

    Being penniless and badgeless, I’m probably going to Northsix.

    and GODDAMN YOU ARCADE FIRE FOR PLAYING THE MERCURY LOUNGE WHAT THE FUCK.

    Think I’ll be at the November show?

  7. eatsdirt  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2004 0

    Re: Sonic Youth

    They played most of Sonic Nurse and the set list included the following(it’s not complete and not in this order):

    I Love You Golden Blue (they opened with this)
    Pattern Recognition
    Unmade Bed
    Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream
    White Kross
    Paper Cup Exit
    Drunken Butterfly (Kim spun around and did a little dance during this)

    Encore:
    Evol

    I left halfway through “Evol” and they said they were doing one more song so I left before it was over. Knowing my luck, they probably did three or four songs after “Evol.”

    SY were great. There was one point in which Thurston (who’s what, 8 feet tall?) climbed onto his amp and was rubbing his guitar against Lee’s. He also hopped into the crowd during one song.

    I did not like Gang Gang Dance at ALL.

  8. Hated gang gang dance but loved all the others. sonic youth was pretty great, but i have to admit i was there more for saul williams, rjd2, and mix master mike.

    too bad you didn’t make it through.

    show up at bowery tonight, scott. maybe i’ll stalk you and introduce myself :P

  9. Hey, did SY play “Rain On Tin” last night? That remains in my Top 10 Most Powerful Songs To See Live list. I was insanely jealous up here in Boston. Next year. Next year I’m going to CMJ.

    Also, good to know the Arcade Fire is still rocking the pants off the entire crowd. Saw ‘em in June, and am now gearing up for the November show in Boston. Arcade Fire, come back to meeeeee!

  10. I am going to try to hit Bowery Ballroom after the Domino Showcase @ Irving. If you see me say hi!

    Fluxblog has a writeup of the SY show:
    http://newflux.blogspot.com/2004/10/here-comes-love-forever-scritti.html

  11. Bands who switch off instruments bother me. Except when R.E.M. does it.

    I’ll check out the streamable Arcade Fire tracks despite this.

  12. Wayne  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2004 0

    3 shows in chicago? None in Mpls. I suck….

  13. Brit  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2004 0

    Sons and Daughters are indeed great. Hope you guys enjoyed the night. Am very jealous of you being on the other side of the atlantic :o(

  14. Periwinkle  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2004 0

    Clinic really sucked, nothing new going on here, and Sons and Daughters din’t grab me. The clinic encores were the only redeeming part of the show. I wish i had seen Velvet Teen at Acme Underground or The Firebird Band at Knitting Factory. These are two bands i figured to be broken up.

  15. dbati  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2004 0

    Must go see Aloha…Oh wait, I’m in Cleveland, their home town where they never play.

    Serious, go see Aloha.

  16. Wayne, The Arcade Fire are playing 2 shows on November 27th at the 7th Street Entry

  17. Scott, judging from the lou barlow pics we must have been close to each other. I posted up all the pics I tooks on flickr, check em out. I got hooked on your blog a few months ago while on sabbatical, and have to thank you for two things: the constant influx of good music into my itunes, and the stellar, STELLAR I SAY, coverage of the britney.

  18. Mulva  |   Posted on Oct 18th, 2004 0

    I LOVE LOU BARLOW! Too bad there’s no Austin lovage on there.

  19. Arcade Fire = this year’s Broken Social Scene

  20. They’ll never make it.

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