Arcade Fire — The Woodlands National Anthem (from the Arcade Fire EP)
PS BTW to the Arcade Fire conversation — does anyone remember this song? Have you ever been to The Woodlands? The second largest masterplanned community in the U.S., located outside Houston? Where the Butlers grew up?
Obviously, these themes are something they’ve been processing for quite some time. I think before anyone writes anymore articles/reviews/etc about the “intent” or “deeper meaning” of The Suburbs, they should be forced to live in The Woodlands for a a few days. (Or Katy. Or Plano. Or Arlington. Or Converse/Universal City. Pick your poison!)
Or, at the very least, they should be forced to get lost there (as an adult!) and to try and find something open after 8pm while dodging the tetchy private rent-a-cops who are hopped up on Mountain Dew, Redbull, and boredom, itching with rage. That might make things more clear, I think.
I hate to play the “if you haven’t been there, you don’t know” card, but … this is not your average TV flimsy cliche suburb. This is like Ray Bradbury-short story weirdness, on a level that’s almost impossible to convey without veering into hyperbole.
I haven’t been getting deep into the conversations about the specifics of AF lyrics because I’m well aware that American suburbs in general might as well be on a different planet to anything I understand by the term.
But assuming what you say is true, isn’t it the case that Butler is being a little disingenuous taking his experiences and turning them into a big generalist Statement Record called not Woodlands or My Fucked Up Upbringing but THE SUBURBS? For example, I was a scholarship boy at a 700-year old English boarding school which is probably one of the most atypical educational experiences you can have* and were I to write a record describing the hyperbolic weirdness** of said institution I would not present it as a grand statement called HIGH SCHOOL.
*unless yr a member of the British governing class :(
**actually it would seem a lot LESS weird post the Harry Potter books!
Earlier on Nitsuh’s blog I suggested this might be 00s indie rock’s Be Here Now moment. Hearing that cover suggests I underestimated the gravity of the situation: it’s our Rattle And Hum.
You know, as a person from the American suburbs — a very different suburb — I think the general sentiment is fairly universal in the US, and the basis for LOTS AND LOTS of our pop music.