mountains beyond mountains

Last week the new Arcade Fire record The Suburbs leaked.

I’ve been steadily listening to it over the last 7 days, and have determined it is a definite multiple listen album. Upon first spin, I only throughly enjoyed about half of the 16 song tracklist; the last half of the record didn’t do much for me.

In part I think this has to do with Régine’s voice – the only song I truly love that she leads is Sprawl II. However, over multiple listens I have decided this record is best equipped for car rides, preferably away from urban centres, which is perfect for me when I drive away from the city and nestle back into my forest-life. Or long walks. This is not too surprising given the title, subject matter and even the artwork for the record.

As I was talking about a few weeks ago, this year really has me digesting music fully. Leaving records in my stereo for weeks, months, having the lyrics percolate and the melody ring in my head even when I’m not listening.

While I was out walking tonight, in between getting eaten by mosquitoes, I was listening to the record on my ipod. I almost wished I had the music on tape and was listening on my old walkman though. There was something about counting the clicks to fast-forward, or rewind that really made you feel like as though you were part of the music, or at least more connected to it. Does that make sense? Maybe it had to do with the waiting, everything wasn’t so immediate.

I really miss my record player too. I was contemplating having it shipped out, but it’s going to cost more than it would be to buy one second-hand. So that’s my new goal for the month; hunt for used record player. I have far too much vinyl collecting dust.

Device from your past that you miss?



Filed under gadgets, honeybees, new music

12 responses to “mountains beyond mountains

  1. f

    I am really disappointed in the new Arcade Fire album, only one truly brilliant track (Month of May) and a few good ones (Modern Man, Rococo, Deep Blue) but the rest is pish. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t have the energy of Neon Bible, maybe it’s because I never liked Funeral, whatever the reason it is my pick for biggest let down so far this year.

    Device from my past that I miss is also my Walkman, I recently found a tape of William S. Burroughs’ ramblings that I’m itching to hear again.

  2. I am firmly of the belief that since available music has become so ubiquitous and the technology used to play it back more accessible, the “specialness” of music has been diminished. I remember well waiting for that favourite song on the radio to play so I could record it on my cassette player. Or finding that amazing 45 at the local record store. I would play those songs endlessly and they would ingrain themselves on me. Now we download those very songs and a thousand others in mere seconds and add them to the collective library and the thrill is mostly lost.

    Like you though I have taken to walking or driving with my music and “digesting” it that way. It keeps music exciting for me because it allows focus. I think of my iPod as kind of a musical microwave. To heat something up in a pinch but its just not the same when you bake a cake in it y’know? (Hope that makes sense.)

    Very much looking forward to the official release date for the new Arcade Fire. I might just buy it on vinyl, pop the headphones on and sit in my favourite chair.

    Favourite gadget from the past? My transistor radio that used to play under my pillow when I was eight years old. I still crave those foreign sounds I would discover sometimes well into the night. It’s exactly why I love music today.

    Great post!

  3. Kelly: Always the first to go.

    Fearless: I can see you not taking to this album if you didn’t like Funeral. Definitely lacks the energy of their last, but it’s growing on me. Although I do only like about half the album; 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 15. And that’s after a week of steady listening. Here’s hoping their next will be a bit more upbeat.

    Nice find. Hopefully you can pull out your old Walkman and take a listen. I know mine is…somewhere.

    Sean: Couldn’t agree more. The immediacy of everything has taken a way a bit of the excitement. Although, I’m so used to getting new music so quickly, I find I go throw a bit of withdrawal if I haven’t heard something “new” every week. It’s been really hard to retrain myself to be patient (work in progress).

    I remember staying up late, next to the stereo for hours waiting for that song, and taping it off the radio. Further back I remember taping from records to tape with my Dad.

    I would suggest walking or going for a drive whilst listening to the new AF album.

    There’s something about nighttime listening, isn’t there?

  4. You will not get me to say eight track players, so don’t even try.

    I would, however, love to get my hands on a slide rule, just to see if I remember how to use one. There was quite an art to it. Also, they were great for hiding cheat sheets in.

  5. Ha ha!

    I remember my parents had one and I use to play with it when I was young, but I didn’t know how to use it properly. I can see how there is a bit of an art to it.

  6. kelly

    ha ha ha…..what a sly way of calling barb old

  7. haha I can’t even take offense, Kelly, because I am, in fact, ancient.

  8. kelly

    that is true

  9. kelly

    although I’m not fer behind

  10. iduality

    Yesterday at work while having a conversation about candy, one of my students said to me, “They had penny candies when you were young? Wow. How old are you?”

    Yes, and we had to walk to the corner store uphill, both ways, to get it. In the snow.

  11. liz

    i am not feeling the new one yet, loved funeral and neon bible in an instant, so this is new. it’s great to have some new music from them, regardless!

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