Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Arcade Fire point made by Marc

I am going to cut and paste the comment left by Marc so it can have its very own topic post. The Arcade Fire review is really the thing that drove the music industry to believe Pitchfork does make or break or record. For those who don't know the back story : Before or right around the time of the Arcade Fire's " Funeral" release Pitchfork gave it an ultra positive review , an almost perfect score of 9.7 . The legend has it that because of this one review A.F. suddenly became the number one seller at every music retailer. For any Merge record artist to sell over 100,000 records is remarkable and I am amazed to see it continues to sell over 5,000 a week. In the indie rock world that is number almost unheard of and to give everyone an example to compare it to : the last sonic youth cd sold just about half that number. Crazy right ? I would love to believe that the hype machine works in mysterious ways and that maybe for once people are buying the A.F. record because its great and not because they feel like they are supposed to or that some website brainwashed them into it. Is really one review capable of owning such power in the indie rock record buying community ? Did Pitchfork create a domino effect which caused a larger press frenzy which in turn helped to sell even more records ? It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

Marc said...
Perhaps the most embarrassing moment in Pitchfork history, from the Arcade Fire Q&A that came out a couple weeks ago. Setting a new standard for self-importance, and the interview was conducted by the guy who runs the site...Pitchfork: It's pretty weird that we keep getting tied together in the press. Like, a lot of the features I've read on the Arcade Fire mention Pitchfork and vice versa. Win: They could be asking you a lot of the same questions you could be asking me: How does it feel? How's the hype? Is it weird to be mentioned in the New York Times and the L.A. Times? I'm like, "No, how's that feel?" Pitchfork: It's really funny. It's like we can't exist independently in the press. I mean, are you as sick of that as we are? Win: I don't know. I think that people have a narrow view of things. You definitely get a lot of lazy, weak features. And I'm sure you guys probably experience that as well. Pitchfork: I suppose people need their angle. But I almost just feel bad for you guys. Like we tend to get really carried away when we love a record, and while that tends to help a lot of bands we think deserve attention, there can also be negative repercussions if we go too nuts. Win: It came across to me as if you liked the record, and if you really like something, you kind of expose people to things you think are good. That's what we're trying to do. Pitchfork: On some level, it does suck for us to love a record, praise it, and then have it be instantly perceived as overexposed by some people. But to me, it's an incredible record that would have been going places regardless of what we said or did. Win: There's a segment of people who are very sensitive to overexposure and really like the thrill of knowing things that other people don't know about. But we're not ramming it down people's throats. I mean, most people in Montréal haven't heard of our band. Régine has friends calling her like, "I didn't know you were in a band! That's great! I heard you on TBC!" The overwhelming majority of people have no idea who The Arcade Fire are or have heard of Pitchfork.