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Watch: Arcade Fire's Spike Jonze-Directed Video for 'The Suburbs'

Clip is a startlingly literal vision of song's dark lyrics

November 19, 2010 3:04 PM ET

 

 

Thursday night the "secret film project" that Arcade Fire and director Spike Jonze have been working on for months was revealed to be a video for the title track of the band's latest LP, The Suburbs. It's a startlingly literal vision of the dystopian suburbs depicted in the song's lyrics ("You always seemed so sure/ That one day we'd be fighting in a suburban war").

The clip starts off with idyllic scenes of young friends getting up to teen mischief in the suburbs. But darker imagery — people being arrested, heavily armed soldiers — quickly starts appearing. And when night falls, things get really dark: Martial law is apparently declared and black-masked soldiers move in. Some of the kids are arrested and carted off, and the clip ends with another being beaten savagely in a fast-food joint.

The band's Win Butler spoke with Pitchfork about the clip over the summer, and while he described it as a "science-fiction B-movie companion piece for the record," he didn't hint at its grim and violent nature.

"It was great just hanging out with these 15-year-olds for a week and writing down all the funny things they said," he said. "It was cool to revert to being a 15-year-old for a little while."

Watch: Arcade Fire and Spike Jonze's video for "The Suburbs" [Consequence of Sound]

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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