By Mikael Wood
3:30 PM EDT, October 22, 2013
This post has been updated; see below for details.
The Arcade Fire keeps on burning.
Hot on the heels of two small-scale warehouse shows in New York, the Canadian indie-rock band on Monday released a new song from its upcoming album, "Reflektor."
Like the title track that appeared last month, "Afterlife" layers frontman Win Butler's vaguely apocalyptic ramblings over a sleek disco groove presumably honed by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, who's credited as a producer on the album, due Oct. 29.
This weekend, the band will bring its elaborate promotional campaign to the West Coast, first for an appearance Saturday at Neil Young's annual Bridge School benefit concert in Mountain View, then for a concert Oct. 29 at a still-undisclosed outdoor venue in Los Angeles.
For the latter gig, which doubles as a bit of hype for MTV and Intel's so-called Music Experiment, Arcade Fire and its partners are asking fans to take part in various "challenges" to earn tickets. The latest, according to the Music Experiment website, is to "make a meme showing why you deserve tickets to the show."
Now, maybe we're just old and cranky -- OK, we're definitely old and cranky -- but this whole jumping-through-hoops thing strikes Pop & Hiss as a bit disrespectful toward the folks being counted upon to buy copies of "Reflektor" when it comes out next week.
Might you "deserve" tickets to the show simply because you're into the band? We like the idea of transforming the album rollout into an opportunity for fun, but since when did loyalty become a competitive sport? And, come to think of it, does anyone actually find this hoop-jumping fun?
Anyway, listen to "Afterlife" below -- and start working on those memes.
Updated 4:35 p.m., Tuesday: Following the publication of this post, some of the language on the Music Experiment website changed. It now reads in part, "Make a meme showing why you'd love tickets to the show."
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