Indie heroes return: Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible"

Montreal octet, Arcade Fire are ready to prove they’ve got the musical, lyrical, and creative chops to be among rock’s marquee acts. For their second full-length record, Neon Bible, Arcade Fire prove themselves capable of crafting everything from lush and painstaking orchestral arrangements complete with mandolin, and pipe organ to rumbling dirty mistake laden punk. There are layers upon layers, noise on top of noise here, enveloping the audience so we feel as the track “Black Wave” says, that “the sound is not asleep/it’s moving under my feet.”

Lyrically, Neon Bible is as strong, if not stronger, than 2003’s Funeral. Each lyric will send the college set to their Moleskine journals and remind us all of what great poetry can sound like. Smart, clever, and subtle, lead singer Win Butler (still sounding warbly and Bowie-riffic) makes each song seem like a confession, an epiphany, or a moment of poignant significance with lines like “You say it's money that we need/As if we're the only mouths to feed/I know that no matter what you say/There are some debts we never pay.”

This album is notably darker in tone and subject than Funeral. There is a sense of paranoia, melancholy, and rage present here in tracks such "Windowsill" and "Black Mirror" not present in Funeral. This album is the noteworthy in that this group from the Great White North, is among the most creative, resourceful, and original groups in the past few years. Just as OK Computer saved guitar rock, the imagination, energy, and drama in Neon Bible may be the album that saves indie rock. - Highly Recommended

The Shins photo gallery

Here are some photos from The Shins concert held at The Pageant Theatre in Saint Louis, MO. Sorry about the quality (or lack thereof). The curse of the digital zoom.

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Saul Williams photo gallery

Here's a gallery from Saul Williams' performance @the Missouri History Museum.

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"This Man is Dope." - Saul Williams performs at MO History Museum

Last night (02.23.07), Poet/Activist/Actor/Musician Saul Stacey Williams performed at the Missouri History Museum on his "Love Jones" tour before a sold out house in the museum's Grand Hall as part of Webster University's event/speaker series supporting the "American Visions of Liberty & Freedom" exhibit.
Williams began his set after an hour long open mic showcase featuring local slam poets and local feature emcee MissInterpretation.

With an introduction simply saying, "This man is 'dope.'" Williams recited many of his better known works such as the ground breaking "Telegram to Hip Hop", biopoem "Black Stacey", and the award winning "I am that Nigga" as well as excerpts from his novel/poem Said the Shotgun, and several new pieces including an homage to his late father.

In addition to slamming, Williams also spoke about the nature and usage of words, the myth or race, the psyche of the modern "Emcee", and the relation of the feminine to the divine remarking, "Common sense says a Holy Trinity would be a father, a child, and a mother not a father, a male child, and a ghost. Oh, look, no lightning."

Electrifying the audience with a staccato internal rhyme scheme, dynamic and rhythmic crescendos, spiritual allegory and allusion, inventive incorporation metaphor and simile, and peerless narrative expression, Williams proves that he is among both poetry and hip hop's elite. As the night's emcee noted, Saul Williams is truly "poet laureate" of hip hop.

Saul Williams performs "Ohm" (excerpt)