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March 15, 2007

The Barack Obama of Rock
Posted by Shadi Hamid

Arcade Fire is the Barack Obama of rock. And rightfully so. They're damn good. I just worry that the expectations can sometimes get a bit out of hand. I mean, it's a tempting possibility, but I don't actually think that Obama is the messiah (although some of my friends are keeping the hope alive). Which is why I'm afraid to listen to Arcade Fire's new (sophomore) album Neon Bible. Some are hailing it as the best thing since well, I don't know, Ok Computer, Definitely Maybe, Nevermind, or __________ (pick favorite Indie Rock touchstone). Can it really be that good? Can it really even be better than their first album, Funeral, which was nothing less than a masterpiece? Gingerly and fearing dissapointment, I listened to the new album's first single "Intervention" a few weeks ago. I was underwhelmed at first, but then I let it grow on me. Intervention - appropriately titled - is one of those rare songs that actually manages to capture the cultural-political zeitgeist of the Bush era. There's teenage angst, sexual angst, and then there's political angst. And few bands can pull off the latter like Arcade Fire:

Been working for the church while your life falls apart
They're singing hallelujah when defeating your heart
Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan all quiet and alone

It may not sound groundbreaking (it isn't), but listen to the way lead singer Vin Butler sings those words. This is what music was supposed to be about.


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If they're the Barack Obama of Rock then they'll surely sell out to a country music promoter.
News report:
In his first major speech on Middle East policy since his election to the Senate, Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) told a crowd of AIPAC supporters that Israel is "our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy."[well, Palestine might be an established democracy too if the State of Israel hadn't brutally taken their property]

The Senator's remarks took place in front of 800 delegates attending an afternoon AIPAC Foreign Policy Forum at a downtown Chicago hotel.

In his address, Sen. Obama emphasized the urgency of stopping Iran's illicit [big fat lie] nuclear activities. "The world must work to stop Iran's [legal] uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons [but it's OK if we threaten Iran with nukes]," Obama said. "It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical [i.e. anti-Israel] theocracy."[but Israel's OK--they have that big political ATM in NYC]

Sen. Obama also noted that a Palestinian unity government "under a Hamas prime minister, without any recognition of Israel... is not good enough," and said "we must tell... Mr. Abbas that he has to do better."[but Israelis can continue to invade Lebanon and shoot Palestinian teenagers on sight]

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