(Regarding Pop MTL, Part VII)
On Day 5, Pop had me punch-drunk. Natalia, Neptune and I went over to “Kids Pop,” one of the non-rock show oriented affairs offered by the festival. Afterward, we were all hungry so I suggested a “rip’n’dip:” a bag of fresh bagels and some cream cheese. We sat on a St Viateur bench and literally ripped bagels, dipping them in the cream cheese and ate.
While stuffing my face, I decided: let’s go to the Suburbs. Or Arcade Fire’s “The Art of The Suburbs” exhibit. I wasn’t certain just how much longer it would remain open to the public and thought I’d better get some snaps of it.
Confession I: I’ve heard previous albums, but I’ve yet to actually listen to “The Suburbs” in its entirety. I know; I guess, by now, that’s like saying, “I’ve never seen E.T.” But I actually refuse to see E.T. For some context, I still haven’t heard the last Radiohead album either. I just don’t listen to a lot of music. When music plays in your head all day long, sometimes you just need a break. Mostly, I like the sound of quiet.
Confession II: Sometimes when the subject of AF comes up in conversation, in interviews, it feels like people are talking to me as if my dog just died. It must be because they’ve read reviews like this one or even this one from the Independent, with gold lines like:
There are moments on Degeneration Street that suggest Dears’ creative mainspring Murray Lightburn is hoping to effect an Arcade Fire-style vault from indie saltmines to popularity; but it’s all too little, and at five albums into their career, too late for that.
That would be the polar opposite of “sweet tokes.”
One time at friends’ house for dinner, I asked what the music was, playing on the hi-fi. The reply was, “Oh..it’s Arcade Fire…sorry. I know you hate them. I’ll change it.” True Story.
I do see some of those guys around town from time to time. They seem friendly enough to me. At the Pigeon Phat show, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and there was Win hiding out under a Pittsburgh Pirates hat, smiling at me. Some pleasant “how’s it goings” were exchanged. In the winter, once a week, I play badminton with a group of people that includes Tim “Lord” Kingsbury. This year, I can’t wait to take all my bitterness and hatred out on him on the court. “Brraps! Take that, ya Grammy-winnin’, platinum-rekkid-ass, rich bitch. Fuck yo couch. Arr! Arr! Arr!” And then maybe, we’ll get lunch after.
But I digress.
I went to the Suburbs. The girl who finally answered the door had this look on her face; like she’d not only seen a ghost but had been surrounded by ghosts; as if we had arrived at Jesus’ tomb, she just saw Him and we just missed Him. She was so reverent, I thought she was going to pass out. God bless her. She must be a massive fan. I asked if I could take some pictures. She kind of snapped out of it and with a big smile said, “Of course!”
So, carefully — reverently — I took several exposures on my freshly CLA-ed MX (I should have brought a shutter cable and tripod) as “Suburban War” played in the background. That 12 string guitar work is fucking masterful, man. It plays in my head as write this. Like “Cold Wind” or “Crown of Love” or “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations,” I reckon “The Suburbs” is probably just more masterful genius. Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere and it’s on my list. I will get to it, along with the many records to which I need to listen. And those books I need to read. And those movies I need to watch. Et cetera.
Above: Push-processed, high-contrast “The Suburbs.” Looking forward trying some prints of this.
Bonus snap: Neptune, “behind the wheel.
Pentax MX, SMC 40/2.8, HP5@1600, D76 1+1, 18 mins