Have Youz Seen This? (Arcade Fire – The Wilderness Downtown HTML 5 Music Video)

screen shot of the Arcade Fire, Wilderness Downtown

Welcome to my second Have Youz Seen This? post, a section where I feature content from the internet that I did NOT create, but still wish to share. Today’s post features some heavy duty HTML5 lifting by the collaborative genius of Arcade Fire and director Chris Milk. The band is no stranger to interactive music videos, with their previous album’s lead single “Black Mirror” setting an early tone. At the Wilderness Dowtown, Users can input personal information (address) and use the keyboard and mouse to interact with some visual aesthetics, so that the end result becomes a nostalgic and customized music video, showcasing the song “We Used to Wait” from the Suburbs. To see my version and to create your own, please … proceed past the JUMP.

For a beat by beat break down of what tricks this music video pulls, head over to Chrome Experiments. The film elements are great, with a Lil’ Mac like hooded runner speeding through both night and day versions of the neighborhood of your choice. Users are asked to enter the address of where they grew up. The site then takes that information and utilizes a 3D google-map of your old neighborhood and makes it the setting of the music video. The concept is great but its application is a bit rough. Interestingly enough, the address (city, state, and zip) I put in placed my runner about a block away from my Kindergarten, Boothwyn Elementary. If you head to the site you’ll be able to customize your video and produce a neat little postcard, both of which you can share with friends. My video can be found here and my version of the postcard is located below.

Arcade Fire Wilderness Downtown postcard

My personal postcard created @ the Wilderness Downtown

As for the album, the Suburbs, I’m in love with it. But it didn’t happen overnight. I am not ashamed to say that the three or four singles I heard on the radio that weren’t track 1’s “The Suburbs” weren’t all that impressive. And then I was linked to NPR’s first listen and didn’t make it through the whole album. The following day, I utilized Amazon’s MP3 album download of the day to get the darn thing for $3.99. Suffice it to say that it took one, tahoo, thaaaareee or four listens to “get” this album. Its strong, and a great listen the whole way through. This band is at the top of their game and they’re making concept albums, something I’ve always been a fan of, something the masses can get in to. Funeral was an easy sell and Neon Bible took maybe two listens to hook me… but this puppy scared me at first. I was worried. I’m also willing to go on record to say the opening four tracks of the Suburbs might be the best start to any album I’ve ever heard … 2nd only to Ok Computer’s 6 track tour de force (Airbag, Paranoid Android, Subterranian Homesick Alien, Exit Music, Let Down, and Karma Police). But when all was said and done, they pulled it off in a major way. Go Canada!

I would also be remiss if I didn’t share the band’s YouTube channel, which showcases a live concert shot by none other than Terry Gilliam. I mean is this band on a roll or what?

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