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The Arcade Fire
Formed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada around the husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, and rounded out by Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld, and Jeremy Gara. Howard Bilerman, who played drums on their first full-length album Funeral, has since moved on to other projects. The Arcade Fire is known for its enthralling live performances, as well as its use of a large number of musical instruments. The promise showed by the band in its live shows allowed it to land a record contract with Chapel Hill-based independent record label Merge Records. The band employs a vast array of instruments—mainly guitar, drums, and bass guitar—but also piano, violin, viola, cello, xylophone, keyboard, accordion, and harp. With several able musicians, the Arcade Fire takes most of its instrumental diversity on tour, with band members switching instrumental duties between songs. The number of instruments, along with a wide set of musical influences has provided a substantial number of resources on which to draw from during the recording process. Their first full-length album, Funeral, debuted in September 2004 in the USA and in February 2005 in the UK, and was very highly acclaimed by critics. The title of the debut album was chosen because of the deaths of several relatives of band members during recording. These events created a somber atmosphere which influenced songs such as “Une année sans lumière” (”A Year without Light”), “In the Backseat”, and “Haiti”, Chassagne’s elegy to her lost homeland. The band booked small clubs for their 2004 tour but overwhelming interest forced many venue changes, far beyond the band’s expectations, and continued internationally into mid-2005 throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the SummerSonic Festival in Japan. Funeral made many top ten album lists for 2004. The Arcade Fire are pictured here on September 29th, 2005 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN.

Funeral (2004)
Arcade Fire EP (2003)
Us Kids Know - an Arcade Fire Fansite
Arcade Fire at Wikipedia
Band Flash Site