AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Arcade Fire - Miroir Noir [DVD] Album Cover

Arcade Fire - Miroir Noir [DVD]

Reviewed by
8.5
Arcade Fire - Miroir Noir [DVD]
Record Label: Merge Records
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Few indie acts have reached the level of Montreal's Arcade Fire. Formed in 2003, Win Butler's gang of frail, pale multi instrumentalists have stampeded manically on stages all over the world; some small, some big, and some enormous. In the last few years, many of the stages that Arcade Fire have taken have been on the enormous side. Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl (17,000 capacity) and Manchester's Manchester Evening News Arena (14,000 capacity) are certainly not where one would expect to find a band that is so vehemently classified as indie.

Miroir Noir, which is French for “Black Mirror,” follows the band before, during, and after the release of their critically acclaimed 2007 album Neon Bible. The camera follows the group on the road, in the studio, and in some interesting places in between, including hotels, random street corners, elevators, the beach, and vocal recording sessions in unique locations. Anyone not familiar with The Arcade Fire's unique approach to performing music will instantly fall in love with the elevator performances and mid-crowd meddling that takes place at the end of some shows, where some or all of the band will end up in the crowd, but continuing to play their instrument (or sometimes just yelling lyrics through a megaphone).

More intimate than Radiohead's Meeting People is Easy, and only slightly less mind blowing than Muse's much higher-budget HAARP, Arcade Fire's Miroir Noir elegantly combines grainy studio footage with even grainer live footage to create an eerie look into the career of one of the most important acts of our generation.

The camera work is shaky, likely because one is certainly not allowed on stage with Arcade Fire unless a blood oath is made to sing and dance along with the rest of the band. The poor filming doesn't take away from the charm of watching Win play a Suzuki Omnichord, or Régine chase birds on the beach. In my eyes, a shaky camera is actually preferred when watching an energetic band like Arcade Fire, since a stationary camera can turn an energetic performance from exciting to dull and awkward. You wouldn't stand completely still at an Arcade Fire concert, would you? So why should the camera?

A voice mailbox set up for unsuspecting fans (or sometimes non-fans) provides sometimes-humorous, and sometimes-emotional commentary between scenes. As an aspiring connoisseur of music production, my favorite parts of the DVD all involve the recording process. Régine's emotional reaction to a Hungarian orchestra performing on “Intervention” was a beautiful moment, as was watching Win and Régine discuss vocal parts with a gospel choir. Other intriguing scenes include a military men's choir singing on “No Cars Go,” Win recording vocals for “Keep the Car Running” outdoors, and Win recording vocals for “Windowsill” in a taxi cab.

The highlights of the DVD for most viewers will likely be acoustic performances of “Windowsill” and “Neon Bible,” both of which take place in elevators, and an energetic percussion ending of “Haiti”.

The DVD is not without a few flaws. At one point, a self-shot promo commercial for Neon Bible comes across slightly self-indulgent as the band gleefully reads lines about their critical acclaim and awards over a shot of one of the members wearing a mask and holding a Juno. Acoustic or studio performances sometimes segue awkwardly into live or rehearsal cuts of songs in a manner that leaves you wishing you had every version of every song to listen to separately.

The recording quality of the live songs is good, but it’s impossible to have a seizure on stage without hitting a few wrong notes or a guitar falling out of tune. There are plenty of mistakes that are glaringly obvious, but the contagiousness of Arcade Fire’s stage energy helps one forget that any notes were missed. The shakiness of Win Butler’s far-from-perfect voice is also noticed, however, it is an imperfection that can easily be appreciated, as his delivery is too raw and honest to question.

The release of the DVD is as convenient as they come. On Miroir_Noir.com, the DVD can be purchased in 3 forms. An instantly-downloadable Digital Edition is available in 3 sizes at 3 prices: Small (400 x 225) for $6, Medium (640 x 360) for $10, and Large (1280 x 720) for $14.00. The physical DVD is $16, and also includes an immediate download of either the Large or Small Digital Editions. Lastly, a $30 Limited Edition version is also available, which includes a second DVD (including full SNL and BBC performances), special artwork, and a copy of either Large or Small Digital Editions.

Overall, Arcade Fire’s Miroir Noir is a must-have for any Arcade Fire fan, and a should-watch for anyone that appreciates a great live show (Arcade Fire is regarded by many as one of the greatest live bands of our time). Starting at $5.99 for a digital copy, there’s no excuse not to buy it and throw it on your video iPod for a long flight. At 70 minutes, Miroir Noir was the perfect length for a flight from Dallas to LA, and it left enough time for me to sit and smile at the fact that such a talented band has deservingly accomplished so much.

Recommended If You LikeRadiohead, Meeting People Is Easy; Muse, HAARP; Modest Mouse; Interpol; The Shins; Bright Eyes

myspace.com/arcadefireofficial
This review is a user submitted review from Analog Rebellion. You can see all of Analog Rebellion's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
09:18 AM on 04/17/09
#2
wtfTouchMyBalls
2003
Offline
User Info.
wtfTouchMyBalls's Avatar
niceee. you have a way with wordsss or at least that's what i've heard.
01:21 PM on 04/17/09
#3
ExplodingStereo
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
ExplodingStereo's Avatar
Nice review, Dan.

Quote:
There are plenty of mistakes that are glaringly obvious, but the contagiousness of Arcade Fire’s stage energy helps one forget that any notes were missed. The shakiness of Win Butler’s far-from-perfect voice is also noticed, however, it is an imperfection that can easily be appreciated, as his delivery is too raw and honest to question.

I think this sums up why I enjoy the band. I can't say I love Neon Bible, but some moments where Win's voice seems off and something just doesn't sound quite right doesn't faze me because they're just, overall, so good at music and live shows.
06:53 PM on 04/17/09
#4
Broclee
Dude, this is so Inception.
Offline
User Info.
Broclee's Avatar
I just got this today, I'm super excited to put it on.
07:25 PM on 04/17/09
#5
-ben
Finally here.
Offline
User Info.
-ben's Avatar
wow, this is a really good review. I am actually really considering purchasing this. This is the first review that has led me to instantly consider purchasing something I haven't even tasted yet. Props to you, sir.
09:52 PM on 04/17/09
#6
Analog Rebellion
Offline
User Info.
Analog Rebellion's Avatar
wow, this is a really good review. I am actually really considering purchasing this. This is the first review that has led me to instantly consider purchasing something I haven't even tasted yet. Props to you, sir.
It's as good as I make it sound. If in doubt, just pick up the $6 digital copy.
09:57 PM on 04/17/09
#7
Broclee
Dude, this is so Inception.
Offline
User Info.
Broclee's Avatar
Dan, you were right. You were more than right. I just finished it, and that was astounding. Easily the best music "documentary," for lack of a better term, that I've ever seen.
09:06 AM on 04/18/09
#8
more heart
Regular-Sized Rudy
Offline
User Info.
more heart's Avatar
Dan finally got his review posted!
06:02 PM on 04/18/09
#9
DogSizedBird
Offline
User Info.
DogSizedBird's Avatar
Meeting People Is Easy... one of the greatest rock documentaries ever.
06:48 PM on 04/18/09
brenByah
Welcome to the Blue Hell
Offline
User Info.
brenByah's Avatar
Is there much in the way of Win discussing his songwriting? I'd love to get in his head, his work boggles me in the best possible way.
07:41 AM on 04/19/09
Broclee
Dude, this is so Inception.
Offline
User Info.
Broclee's Avatar
Is there much in the way of Win discussing his songwriting? I'd love to get in his head, his work boggles me in the best possible way.
No, not really. There's music writing being discussed some, but not songwriting.
03:22 PM on 04/19/09
Analog Rebellion
Offline
User Info.
Analog Rebellion's Avatar
Meeting People Is Easy... one of the greatest rock documentaries ever.
Ehh, Meeting People Is Easy is pretty good, but I wouldn't consider it the best ever. The only reason it's good, in my opinion, is because it caught Radiohead at the perfect time in their career.

Is there much in the way of Win discussing his songwriting? I'd love to get in his head, his work boggles me in the best possible way.
No, there's not. I would have liked to see that, too.
04:09 PM on 04/19/09
brenByah
Welcome to the Blue Hell
Offline
User Info.
brenByah's Avatar
That's too bad, I would have loved to hear about his songs. I plan on picking it up regardless, this band is truly one of a kind.
08:03 PM on 05/15/09
-ben
Finally here.
Offline
User Info.
-ben's Avatar
I did end up buying this after it was recommended to me by Chris from Manchester Orchestra, and I couldn't be happier I did. I only wish I could've found the deluxe edition, but I'm content nonetheless. I'm doing an essay on it for my english class and segueing it into the importance of music on one's emotional state. I'll post it somewhere when I'm done, I think it's pretty good. The DVD however, is fantastic. Worth every penny.
08:29 PM on 05/15/09
Analog Rebellion
Offline
User Info.
Analog Rebellion's Avatar
I did end up buying this after it was recommended to me by Chris from Manchester Orchestra, and I couldn't be happier I did. I only wish I could've found the deluxe edition, but I'm content nonetheless. I'm doing an essay on it for my english class and segueing it into the importance of music on one's emotional state. I'll post it somewhere when I'm done, I think it's pretty good. The DVD however, is fantastic. Worth every penny.
Awesome

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate