In my head, I have this vision that all of my favorite bands get along perfectly and hang out all the time. Unfortunately, this time around, I think I'm gonna have to take sides. From Pitchfork, via Stereogum:
I'm a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness. We've played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. Whenever I've been around them, I've found that they not only treated their crew like shit, they treated the audience like shit. They treated everybody in their vicinity like shit. I thought, "Who do they think they are?" I don't know why people put up with it. I wouldn't put up with it. I don't care if it's Arcade Fire or Brian Eno. If either of them walked into a room and treated people like shit I'd be like, "Fuck you, get outta here."
The "I" in that paragraph is Wayne Coyne, frontman for the Flaming Lips.
Perfect. The "they," however, is the Arcade Fire. Le sigh.
Coyne goes on to include the quote, "They have good tunes, but they're pricks, so fuck 'em." I, umm, don't really know what to say.
Here's the thing: I'd like to think that the Arcade Fire are nice people, but with the grandiose nature of their music, I'm somehow not surprised to hear that they might be kind of pompous and dickish. It seems fair that if you release an album like Funeral, you can be arrogant. Then again, if you make an album like Clouds Taste Metallic, you can be pretty arrogant too.
Kristina's gonna side with Coyne, I just know it. So, in order to make things interesting, I'm taking the Arcade Fire on this one, for a couple of reasons:
1) From the Pitchfork article: Talking to The Guardian about one-time tour mate Beck in 2003, he said, "When you hear his songs, you think he must really have some tender feelings, but then you find out it's a made-up thing."
Beck? Not my Beck. As far as I'm concerned, they should put Beck's face on Mount Rushmore.
2) In my humblest of opinions? Funeral > The Soft Bulletin by a nose. The Flaming Lips kind of obviously have a better discography, but I'd be hard-pressed to name any of those albums in my top five overall.
So, your call, faithful reader(s?): Wayne or Win and company?
EDIT: Win responds, and I feel justified in taking his side:
"The only time we have ever shared a stage with the Flaming Lips was our last show on the Funeral tour at a festival in Las Vegas (over 3 years ago)...we arrived the morning of the show from Brazil, slept all day and awoke into some kind of surreal Vegas jet-lag dream in which we were playing after the Flaming Lips...how strange...I was really excited to meet Wayne. Clouds Taste Metallic was a huge record for me, and growing up in the weirdness of Houston, I always imagined Oklahoma City to be in the same universe. I was really nervous to meet him and I felt a little weird that we were playing after them. We traded a little hello, but he was a hard guy to get a read on. Steven Drodz was super nice, and I felt good after talking to him...
...I am not sure Wayne is the best judge (based on seeing us play at a couple of festivals) if we are righteous, kind and goodhearted people like The Edge and Justin Timberlake (who I am sure he knows intimately as well). I can't imagine a reason why we would have been pompous towards The Flaming Lips, a band we have always loved, on that particular night, all those years ago. Unless I was way more jet-lagged then I remember, I hope I was less of a "prick" then telling Rollingstone that a bunch of people I don't know at all are really assholes.
As a closing note, the main point that I am offended by in this whole thing is for Wayne to say we treat our audience like shit...
At times like these I am comforted by knowing that even though Wayne slammed Beck all those years ago, he seems like a really nice guy to me. I guess everyone has a different idea of what being pompous means."
Thanks, Win. He was even cordial enough to title the post "i still like clouds taste metallic." Keep making good music, both sides.