First, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that Funeral is the best rock album ever produced (wow, I didn't recall that Pitchfork gave the album a 9.7 - I was thinking they gave it a 9.2, and how wrong they were for underestimating it; it seems they're on the same track as me). There could be better I suppose - Radiohead's OK Computer, etc. - stuff I don't really know that well, or is much older, etc., but suffice to say, Arcade Fire, Funeral - tight, tight, tight, on-point, relentless commitment to supremely, fabulously, beautifully, outrageously good music. The label 'rock n roll' just doesn't cut it for this album. Doesn't even come close.
But if you needed yet another reason to dig 'em, check out the latest post on Win's blog (Win being the lead singer for most of the songs) (link here, but won't get you all the way to the post because it is done in Flash) (post edit by me -> beginning of post removed, hyperlinks added, reformatted, punctuation edited, etc.):
I am reading this book about Paul Farmer called "Mountains Beyond Mountains". He is a doctor who is a specialist in infectious diseases and he set up this clinic in the central plateau of Haiti it is pretty inspiring. The website for the charity is www.PIH.org.
When Haiti won its independce from France (the only nation founded on a successful slave revolt) France made Haiti pay reparations to pay for the land and the value of the slaves, which lasted until after world war 2...basically they had to buy their own bodies back from France...with interest it was about 42 billion dollars. The US wouldn't recognize Haiti as a country because they didn't want to encourage their own slaves to revolt. You can find some pretty shocking quotes from Thomas Jefferson about Haiti. And to this day the US keeps fucking with the democratic process in Haiti, helping to get rid of the first properly elected president in Haiti's history 2 years ago. The elections are in 2 days and we really hope the people there are allowed to make their own choices 42 billion dollars would sure help though.
Ran across a strongly-worded editorial in the Toronto Star.
UPDATE: The second song on the album is called "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" - an apparent reference to this Laika, who Wiki tells us,:
...was one of the Russian space dogs and the first living creature to enter orbit. She was launched into space on Sputnik 2, a Soviet spacecraft, on November 3, 1957. Like many other animals in space, she died during the mission, though earlier than intended.
Cute doggie. Sucks that they did that.