God chillin' - Page 2

Sophomores, all: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Arcade Fire
|
()

Arcade Fire have crawled through a creaky, darkened looking glass and found a lost, perhaps losing world populated with forlorn soldiers, urban paranoiacs, rough water, guiding lights, lions and lambs, and idling vehicles.

Cloaked in increasingly trad folk and '80s pop-song structures, engineering by Markus Dravs (Björk) and Scott Colburn (Sun City Girls), and contributions by members of Calexico, Wolf Parade, and Final Fantasy, Arcade Fire thankfully put lyrical clichés to work during Neon Bible's clamorous service, to the end of genuine storytelling. They're preaching the gospel of transcendence through music and art — something that now seems unique to rock, in contrast to rap — questioning a holy war in "Intervention" ("Working for the church while my family died / Your little sister is going to lose her mind / Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home / Hear the soldier groan / He'll go it alone") and the god-fearing hysteria of "(Antichrist Television Blues)" ("Don't want to work in a building downtown / I don't know what I'm going to do / Because the planes keep crashing, two by two"). Arcade Fire are far from the first to fire artful shots in response to wartime, but Neon Bible — as bold and beautiful, as hysterical and hopeful, as corny and acute as a rockin' soap opera or Jesus Christ Superstar — feels like the best album of 2007 so far. *

ARCADE FIRE

June 1–2, 8 p.m., $31.50

Greek Theatre

UC Berkeley, Gayley Road, Berk.

www.ticketmaster.com

GET OUT

NICE BOYS

The Portland, Ore., upstarts with mighty fine shaggy rooster cuts step up with '70s-style glitter pop. With Time Flys and Apache. Wed/7, 9:30 p.m., $7. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. www.hemlocktavern.com

OLD TIME RELIJUN

K Records' wrecking crew just might find a deity at the bottom of a beer stein. With Tussle and the Weasel Walter Quartet. Wed/7, 10 p.m., $5. Knockout, 3223 Mission, SF. (415) 550-6994

BUNNY RABBIT

CocoRosie's girly rapper protégé freestyles with a thumb-sucking bounce. Is her Lovers and Crypts (Voodoo-Eros) for reals? With Tha Pumpsta and Bruno and the Dreamies. Thurs/8, 8 p.m., $6. 21 Grand, 416 25th St., Oakl. (510) 444-7263. Tues/13, 9:30 p.m., $7. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. www.hemlocktavern.com

EMPTY ROOMS

A new self-titled EP finds the Bay Area moodniks waxing gothily. With Worship of Silence and This Isn't It. Sun/11, 9 p.m., $6. Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St., SF. (415) 546-6300

Also from this author

  • Women with movie cameras

    Cheers to CAAMFest's crop of female Asian American film directors

  • Spiking the box office

    THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films

  • Not from around here

    French synth-pop giants Phoenix and Daft Punk tap into the alien within

  • Also in this section

  • Peace-out

    After seven rockin' years, Sonic Reducer bids adieu with a look back at some choice musical moments

  • Feel the 'Love

    Rosily buzzing U.K. outfit the Big Pink gets it, Carly Simon and all

  • Sly 'n' sincere

    Don't confuse this Brit with Britney. Plus: Midlake and Barn Owl and Daniel Higgs