(Rough Trade, 2005)
Another “Power Out” single, but this time around we get a live version. And in the grand tradition of live recordings, it’s a little bit faster, a little bit noisier… & there’s really nothing else to say. Sorry. The flip comes from a New York show where David Byrne joined the group onstage to sing the Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place.” The big revelation here is, in hearing the two voices (A-) side by (B-) side, the vocal similarities between Byrne and Win Butler become clear: both have that sorta nervous energy and the tendency to “swoop,” pitch- and volume-wise. Hot dang! The performance itself is pretty turgid, and seems to have been included here more to spotlight “hey look who we got to play with!” than to document anything musically exciting. Not to be Brigadier Bummer, but neither recording adds much to anyone’s life. At most, the disc proves that (a) the Arcade Fire does a great and faithful job performing its material live, and (b) the band had shot to the top o’ the heap fast enough to have an elderly celeb like David Byrne hop on the mic by the end of its first national tour.
However! High-fives and backslaps are in order here, because it’s not every day that a group releases different versions of an A-side and thus (kinda) tries to give the masses their money’s worth in the multiple-format-single racket. Sure, it would’ve been better if they’d just released a four-song CD maxi single instead of two 7”s, but at least they’re making a teensy effort not to bilk the consumer.