WBEZ | Arcade Fire Breaking Bad Badfinger http://www.wbez.org/tags/arcade-fire-breaking-bad-badfinger Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Arcade Fire premiers new sounds on SNL, while Badfinger says bye-bye to 'Breaking Bad' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-09/arcade-fire-premiers-new-sounds-snl-while-badfinger-says-bye-bye <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/arcadefire.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Two musical moments from weekend television worth noting: Arcade Fire trumpets the Oct. 28 release of its fourth album with an appearance on <em>Saturday Night Live</em> and a half-hour special immediately following, and the &rsquo;70s power-pop band Badfinger dominates the final moments of <em>Breaking Bad.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_fFAKrIntzY" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Based on their live performances on <em>SNL</em> and the Roman Coppola-crafted video special that aired afterwards, my early reaction to the forthcoming <em>Reflektor </em>by everyone&rsquo;s favorite Montreal-based orchestral-popsters primarily is one of confusion. Working in the studio with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem partly in control, Arcade Fire seems to have crafted an unlikely hybrid of &rsquo;80s David Bowie, &rsquo;90s U2 (when Bono was in his MacPhisto phase), and disco-era Roxy Music playing electro salsa and New Orleans second line music.</p><p>The result sounded clunky and stilted, while the psychedelic/surreal look of things as set by the least talented Coppola&mdash;with a slew of gratuitous cameos by stars such as James Franco, Ben Stiller, Michael Cera, and the Almighty Bono Hisself, plus some tired plushies borrowed from the Flaming Lips&mdash;all came off as more than a little forced, awkward, and over-reaching. Here&rsquo;s hoping for much better when the double album drops.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/C53QAuOoSgc" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Meanwhile, I&rsquo;ll leave the bulk of the finale of <em>Breaking Bad </em>to my television-critic colleagues, but I&rsquo;ve got to say I was pretty disappointed by auteur Vince Gilligan&rsquo;s choice of a musical farewell to Walter White in the closing moments, proud as the show runner seemed to be of it in a live interview with AMC right after the show.</p><p>The Todd Rundgren-produced &ldquo;Baby Blue&rdquo; is a 1972 single by Beatles protégés Badfinger that, while it&rsquo;s hardly a bad song, certainly isn&rsquo;t a great one on the same level as what <em>Breaking Bad </em>was for television. Leaning so heavily on this fair-to-middling tune to wrap up so many years of emotional investment and an adamant refusal to ever play things as expected reeked of <em>The Sopranos </em>ending it all with Journey&rsquo;s &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t Stop Believin&rsquo;&rdquo;&mdash;and that is <em>not </em>intended as a compliment&mdash;though the show otherwise wrapped things up too neatly, with none of the lingering question marks in the mob series.</p><p>Back to the song: Like &ldquo;Crystal Blue Persuasion&rdquo; from earlier in the series, it was, as Gilligan pointed out, an obvious reference to Walt&rsquo;s infamous blue product. (Duh.) But if that was its biggest qualification, and if staying time-appropriate to the period when the show was set was not a concern, I can think of a much, much better ditty that could have ended things.</p><p>Alas, getting the rights to this one must have been cost-prohibitive.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hBiwMT77Csg" width="420"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 07:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-09/arcade-fire-premiers-new-sounds-snl-while-badfinger-says-bye-bye