Arcade Fire Wins. So Do We.

Watch the band do “Ready
To Start” from the Grammys last night, below.


By Fred Mills


The indie world got a delightful – some might say, “shocking”
(and someone did; see below – early Valentine’s gift last night when Arcade
Fire won the 2011 Grammy for Album of the
. The significance of the Canadian band besting commercial behemoths
Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Eminem isn’t lost on anyone (the fact that this makes
the second time Arcade Fire has tweaked Eminem: upon its first week of release The Suburbs bumped Em off the top of the
Billboard charts), and as such, it’s
no hyperbole to suggest that it represents a win for more than just A.F. – it’s
a victory for their label, Merge; for bands everywhere who now realize they don’t
have to go multi-platinum to have an impact; and for the overall health of the
independent music sector, which can take deep satisfaction from the knowledge
that even while the major label plantation system of doing business has been
steadily crumbling, the smaller-is-better-and-more-efficient model has been
quietly proving its worth in a troubled economy.


Back to the band, though: as we pointed out back in
, in our 2010 wrap-up and list of the Top 50 Albums of the Year, “Simply
put, Arcade Fire has worked as hard as any combo out there, while at the same
time not allowing its musical imagination to stagnate or grow complacent,
remaining artistically hungry and unwilling to compromise. Those are qualities
that should be celebrated beyond matters of record sales, chart placings and
awards ceremonies.”


After accepting the award and performing what may have been
an unplanned version of key Suburbs track “Ready To Start,” Arcade Fire repaired to the Grammys media room where,
according to, Win Butler told reporters that their win was “shocking.”


“The idea [that they would win] never even entered my mid, even the
slightest bit, until when they said the name of the album,” said Butler.This award
is for our record. We really believe in records. When we make a record, we
really put all of our soul into it. To be recognized for that [by] this group
of people, in the age of the iPod or in the age of the single or whatever it
is, we still really care about records so it means a lot to us.”


Amen to that. Watch the band do “Ready To Start” from the Grammys last
night, below. The grin on Win Butler’s face is utterly priceless. Those are
some happy folks. Congrats, kids.


Go to the official Grammy website for details on all the winners.



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