Polyphonic Spree: cult or not?
April 23, 2005 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Okay, what's up the Polyphonic Spree? Are they a cult or what? Interestingly, this same question came up on Ask Yahoo! and comes up as the fourth link on a Google search, so I know I'm not the only one who's wondered. [band link is heavy with Flash]
posted by tommasz to Media & Arts (17 answers total)
 
Mediocre pop act with massive 'indie' appeal. (Also see The Arcade Fire.)
posted by Jairus at 12:44 PM on April 23, 2005


Not a cult. They play dress-up on stage just like every other band out there. Slightly different style though.
posted by hootch at 1:15 PM on April 23, 2005


Jairus: Don't you fucking dare compare the Polysphonic Spree to the amazing Arcade Fire.

Take it back.
posted by xmutex at 1:42 PM on April 23, 2005


They're the only band out there that I know of that has their own fan robes.

"With the bands new logo these robes will enable you to participate at shows fully by donning our cassock. Hem color may vary."

I saw these guys on Austin City Limits, and they play very psychidelic, sprawling pieces. They also all wear robes on stage. Creeped me out, to tell you the truth, though I found the music oddly engaging.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:59 PM on April 23, 2005


What--you expect an indie rock choir to be wearing vintage Fred Perry? Come on, robes are the only option.
posted by hototogisu at 2:39 PM on April 23, 2005


For a band with 30 musicians and a name like "polyphonic spree," you'd think the music would be more complex.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:44 PM on April 23, 2005


I've seen the Polyphonic Spree a few times. (I think they're more popular here in the UK than they are in the states.)

The aim of the project seems to have been to take a bunch of indie musicians, some of whom individually would have very little traditional talent, and gang them up together on these joyous choral jams. Together they are more than the sum of their parts.

It's mostly about the family atmosphere and the sense of fun rather than being about carefully constructed masterpieces. In fact many of their songs are mostly climaxes - these looping phrases which seem to get bigger and bigger the whole time.

They are not a cult, but would probably be delighted to hear people asking that. Personally though I worry about the airfares. Quite different to taking a power pop trio on the road!
posted by skylar at 3:08 PM on April 23, 2005


Arcade Fire is overrated
posted by cyphill at 3:10 PM on April 23, 2005


Pronoucing a cool band overrated is overrated.
posted by ascullion at 3:42 PM on April 23, 2005


A friend of mine plays violin w/ the Spree occasionally, they are most assuredly not a cult. While I'm not wild about the frontman's lyrics and voice, I do enjoy a Polyphonic Spree song occasionally, and my friend is a truly outstanding violinist.
posted by statolith at 5:08 PM on April 23, 2005


I was offered a free Arcade Fire ticket for their show tonight in Montreal. Such is my integrity that I said, "No, good sir, I will not go see that show."
posted by jon_kill at 5:42 PM on April 23, 2005


Derail question (since this one has already been answered and all):

Why did everybody decide to get sick of indie rock when the Arcade Fire started getting a lot of press? I'm not a big fan of theirs, or indie rock in general, but they don't sound any worse than all of the other bands in the scene to my ears.

While I can be a little sympathetic if people are just getting tired of the whole Pitchfork thing, it strikes me as unfair to take it out on one band.
posted by Eamon at 6:20 PM on April 23, 2005


The Polyphonic Spree used to be Tripping Daisy, a mediocre band from Dallas, TX. Then one of the members died (killed himself, I think?), and the other guy started writing a lot of depressive music, but then decided, "Fuck it... I'm going to write music that sounds as happy as I am sad." So he did. Yeah, it's corny as hell, but anybody who tries to create joy out of despair is cool in my book. And I like the whole "pop choir" idea. Brian Wilson wishes he'd thought of that, though I'm sure he'd write even better songs.

The cult thing probably comes from the robes and the fact that they're from Texas.
posted by BoringPostcards at 6:23 PM on April 23, 2005


Why did everybody decide to get sick of indie rock

Indie rock is all about getting sick of indie rock. Anyway it happened when the White Stripes got super-mainstream, then again last summer when Modest Mouse hit the Top 40, and actually way back in the 70s rock was dead, then in the 80s, and the Rolling Stones killed rock and roll if you ask Don McLean. It's all rockism, and it turns otherwise decent music fans into the first act of Almost Famous, until they can't say anything and have to play albums at each other instead. The academic equivalent is when students, in the heat of debate, suggest books at each other.
posted by NickDouglas at 10:17 PM on April 23, 2005


Indie rock is all about getting sick of indie rock. Anyway it happened when the White Stripes got super-mainstream, then again last summer when Modest Mouse hit the Top 40, and actually way back in the 70s rock was dead, then in the 80s, and the Rolling Stones killed rock and roll if you ask Don McLean.

Nothing is any good if other people like it.
posted by aburd at 12:26 AM on April 24, 2005


I admit, I haven't clicked, but sounds a bit like Chumba Wumba - Meh ...
posted by Dag Maggot at 3:40 AM on April 24, 2005


They're not a cult, but the FBI would like a word with them.

Yes, that's a link to pitchfork. I don't give a damn!
posted by fletchmuy at 7:49 AM on April 24, 2005


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