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Arcade Fire Teams Up With Google

Posted by on August 31, 2010 at 5:34 PM EST

arcade fire googleAlt Rock band Arcade Fire takes the music video to a whole new level.

While Arcade Fire have never shied away from using technology to promote themselves, they have just launched a new website for their new music video, The Wilderness Downtown that shows what is truly possible when you mix imagination with the massive amounts of information available online (Google) and use a new programing language (HTML-5), Google Chrome as the canvas upon which you paint this picture.

See The Wilderness Downtown website.

With their new single, The Wilderness Downtown, the Montreal, Canada based group takes you back to the place where you grew up. . . literally. The website that has been created for the video was designed using Google Chrome and the relatively new HTML 5 language. If you don’t have the Google Chrome browser, it will still work, but the experience is not as impressive. As the site loads you are asked to type in the address of the place you grew up. I grew up in a very small town and amazingly it was able to find that street. Once your street has been entered (it even works better if you can actually put your exact address in) the movie loads and takes you on a visual tour of the place you grew up.

The video was directed by Chris Milk who has worked with bands like Gnarls Barkley. He collaborated with developers from Google for this video experiment that uses 3D graphics seamlessly blended with Google Maps and Google Street View. As the song sours, driven by Arcade Fires now nearly trademark syth-guitar sound, a figure in a hooded sweatshirt sprints down the street. The screen flashes and you see this figure as he runs down the street you grew up in. He passes your house, runs around your block and the camera even pulls back to give you a full aerial view of him on the move as he covers the ground of your old neighborhood. You are even invited to send a postcard to the old, younger you, to advise them what to do in the future. I watched the video several times, each time noticing places that I hadn’t seen before. It has been a long time since I have been on that road, but this video brought the memories crashing back as the figure ran right past my old house, around the corner and down the street.

The Wilderness Downtown is a stunning achievement that brings together the best parts of a band that may just be hitting its prime, a director with a great vision and technology that can be customized and served to each user as a personal experience. Arcade Fire has set the new standard for the music video.



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