text and photos by Brad Roberts
Sometimes I feel like I have just landed in the right place at the right time, with all elements in place and all the planets aligned. I have to confess, it's happened to me a lot my life and it happened again on Monday night, May 13. Attending the second Monday of the Torches (at right) residency at The Echo, I was aware that they were going to cover some songs by Arcade Fire, but when they started with "Rebellion", that feeling came over me again. A lot of people already know this story about how Arcade Fire are directly responsible for my entry into the world of music, but I'm going to tell it again.
Once upon a time, I was sitting on my couch realizing that my world was pretty settled, life was fairly routine. I had a job, a career, a few friends, family of the other coast and I was entering late middle-age and beginning to feel my passion for living was waning. It was after 11 PM on Monday, August 1st 2005, and as I was channel-surfing on TV, I went by a music video for "Rebellion" by Arcade Fire and it stopped me in my tracks. I listened for a minute then moved on, but realized I couldn't stop hearing that song so I went back to that channel.
Over the next 2 and a half minutes, a fire was ignited in me that grew and grew and has been burning brightly ever since. I had not listened to rock and roll in about 15 years and had believed it to be a dead art form. The next day I went out and bought the first rock CD I had bought in over ten years, Funeral by Arcade Fire and my journey began. There's so much to recount here, involving the Internet, the failing grasp of the giant music label behemoths, the rise on independent music, and the fertile local music scene, the hotbed of creative energy all around us...and on and on, that I need to write a book.