The outsized appeal of Arcade Fire

Sasha Frere-Jones in The New Yorker:

Int_arcadefire01_490There is little about the Montreal band Arcade Fire that is not big. The group has seven core members, including its founders, a married couple named Win Butler (who is six feet three) and Régine Chassagne. Onstage, Arcade Fire expands to nine musicians, or more. The band’s unusually polished début, “Funeral,” which was recorded for less than ten thousand dollars and released in 2004, has sold more than three hundred thousand copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is a robust number for an independent band, especially one whose fans append free MP3s of the songs to their gushing Web posts. (An entry on a blog called “Blinding Light of Reason” commands, “If you are a human being, you owe it to your eternal soul to love the Arcade Fire and see them play live.”) David Bowie has performed live with the band, and, on a recent tour, U2 chose “Wake Up,” Arcade Fire’s apocalyptic sing-along about lightning bolts, to play over the sound system before its performances. (“Wake Up” is also played during pre-game ceremonies at Rangers games at Madison Square Garden.)

More here.  [Thanks to Asad Raza.]