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Oooohhhh, Ben’s Chili Bowl was in a Wale video last year, big deal. Today Arcade Fire released The Wilderness Downtown, an interactive clip for “We Used to Wait,” a track from their almost universally acclaimed third album The Suburbs that combines HTML5 technology and Google Street View to custom-build a clip for the song featuring the house you grew up in. Or your ex-girlfriend’s house. Or whatever address you punch in. But the result will probably feel most resonant if you use the address of your childhood home. Doubleplus bonus resonance if that childhood home happens to be located—-like mine, like Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler‘s, and doubtless like that of many Arcade Fire listeners—-in the suburbs.
Yeah, so the digital birds may remind you of the ones from Birdemic, and watching this will do nothing assuage your fears that privacy is but a dim memory in the Google age. It’s still cool the way the video, created by Chris Milk, manipulates multiple windows on your monitor—-assuming you watch it using Google’s Chrome browser, the product the clip seems obliquely intended to promote. (I tried watching it in Firefox, but it didn’t work.)
NOTE: “We Used to Wait” is the song Butler sang while wrapping his mic cord around his neck at Arcade Fire’s Merriweather Post Pavilion concert earlier this month. Listen with caution!