But hey, at least Arcade Fire got some desperately needed buzz for their new album. How else would we possibly have heard about it except for their millionth Saturday Night Live appearance, their single’s constant play on satellite radio, their video getting shared a bajillion times on Facebook, billboards plastered everywhere, their likely Grammy nomination, and every music publication under the sun rolling out the red carpet and heaping all kinds of off-base praise on it? Rolling Stone reviewed Reflektor and likened it to albums by Radiohead, U2, and the Rolling Stones, which they meant as a compliment, but it’s actually a hilarious example of how Arcade Fire are now part of an elite circle of artists that have been getting a free ride for years as a result of an album they wrote a decade ago. Arcade Fire have sealed their spot as a band that could record themselves drowning rescue puppies, and Rolling Stone will call it a “monumental work,” give it five stars, and put them on the cover.
So instead of leaving this to be yet another article about CMJ that only really mentions Arcade Fire, here are a few bands that played this year that you should check out: Pity Sex, Greys, Ovlov, Desert Sharks, Josh Berwanger, Perfect Pussy, Eagulls, Stevie & The Lion, Speedy Ortiz, Hookworms, Deniro Farrar, Nothing, Verses Narrow.
Enjoy those bands now, before they come back in ten years to steal the show.
Dan Ozzi is a music writer who had no interest in attending the secret Arcade Fire shows. Follow him on Twitter: @danozzi.