Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Tommie Sunshine Quaalude Edit)

December 18, 2010

15. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) (Tommie Sunshine’s Quaalude Edit).mp3

The Arcade Fire return with a new album, a new video experiment in Google mapping and an entire internet’s worth of remixes. None of them (not even the original) touch the heights of Tommie Sunshine’s airtight production, which wastes not a single beat, build or infectious synth line.

More than a bit like tying your heavy heart to a bouquet of helium balloons, despite the attached “Quaalude” descriptor. It’s grinning-like-an-e’d-up-idiot, straight-up dancin’ music.

To the Arcade!

Catch some rays!

The rest of the Top 50.



  1. It is hard to tell for sure, but Mr. Sunshine appears to be wearing Mocc Socks.

    • And thus began “The Great Comment Thread Hijacking of 2K10.”

    • Hahahahahahaha!

    • I doubt it. Going by the picture, he looks like a real man to me.

    • Must be that issue of “Screw” magazine he’s sporting.

  2. I may be constitutionally obligated to gush about Arcade Fire and their recent success, but that’s not exactly a difficult burden.

    If I could identify enough good songs of 2010 to compile a decent Top 50 list, at least 2 songs from Arcade Fire’s album Suburbs would be in the Top 20. If there was a record store left in my city, I might even buy the album.

    I haven’t seen a Canadian band release a song about the suburbs this good since http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibThnMWmdKY Curiously, while stylistically different, it leaves me with similar -uh- “emotions”, as painful as it is to just say that word.

    As for the remix, (I hope your sitting down) it might make my fictional Top 50. The remix takes a moody song and tweaks it into a sort of happy disco version. This disco feel recalls the earlier era Rush song, an era Arcade Fire is actually personally hearkening back to. The disco treatment also puts a smiling false facade on the less than joyous reality of the song, which is exactly what suburban life is all about, covering up the soul crushing emptiness with a happy, idealistic, consumption based, existence…even if it takes a pound of Quaaludes a day to achieve that smile.

    While the remix is musically not as good as the original, nor does it have has the same kind of staying power, it’s all very, very, clever. Mr Sunshine completely alters the original, but takes you to the same place, a late 70’s suburb where kids are listening to disco or Rush. Mr Sunshine even looks like he’s been transported here from that era, Screw Magazine included.

    Such levels of ironic nostalgia and social commentary gets a “2 thumbs up” from me, not to mention a knowing smirk.

    • This is quite possibly better worded than my own review. Logically, it would follow that I hate it. But I’m not one to hold a short grudge or even do much editing on my own work, so I’ll let it slide.

      Still, I’m tempted to bash something but there’s really nothing there. I will warn you that you may have temporarily edged onto RF Interference’s good side by mentioning Rush in a positive matter. As much as he’ll never understand my love of repetitive beats, I’ll never understand his love of one of the few bands that has a drummer more famous than the lead singer.

      Also, I’m tired of hearing “Tom Sawyer.” As a Rush fan, it must be completely intolerable to you both.

      Thanks for the extremely well-written comment, SM. It’s comments like these that make we want to stop my faux-bitching about “blogs within blogs.”

  3. Good for RF Interference for liking Rush. I guess his “invisible airwaves crackle with light”. Maybe he’s not a lost cause. (This optimist thinks he can save them all.)

    I’m constitutionally obligated to like Rush, but I see how some folks can tire of their brilliance. (People tire of my brilliance all the time.) Commercial radio has this incredible ability to suck every milligram of enjoyment from even the best music (ie Rush) though numerous methods; overplaying being the most obvious. I avoid commercial radio, especially “classic rock”, because I want to continue enjoying the music I like.

    In a country awash in American culture, Rush is ingrained in the Canadian psyche. Outside of music, they’ve been closely associated with the 2 two biggest (non-hockey) Canadian cultural movements in the last 40 years.

    First, from an album I actually own.

    Second, from today’s reigning Canadian icons.

    Alex Lifeson is particularly attached to the Trailer Park Boys. He’s been on their show, in their movie, in their stage show, and invited Bubbles to record with Rush. He’s also in their upcoming series The Drunk & On Drugs Happy Funtime Hour.

    • I never tire of your brilliance SM (nor do I tire of CLT’s).

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