Arcade Fire's Latest Music Video Takes Place in Your Neighborhood

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ArcadeFire.pngIn its early days, one of MTV's slogans was "see the music you want to see." That expression got an upgrade today.

The band Arcade Fire teamed up with Google to make an interactive video that features satellite photos and Street View shots from an area designated by the user, presumably centered around his or her childhood home although there's no way to regulate what address is entered. (We did not grow up in Times Square, above.) The project is called "The Wilderness Downtown" and was directed by Chris Milk, who has also worked with Modest Mouse, Kanye West, U2 and Green Day.

The video begins at dusk with a shot of its "star," an unidentifiable, sprinting hooded figure. As the music plays, browser windows open and close revealing both the figure and the neighborhood from different angles. Users are invited to write a postcard which is then animated, and the video ends with shots of the neighborhood overrun by computer-animated trees. The song is "We Used to Wait" off of the band's latest album, "The Suburbs," which was released early this month. Though it's far from perfect, the video is still captivating. And, of course, words pale in comparison to the actual, resource-intensive experience.

The project relies on the feature-rich HTML5, the latest version of the Web's standard markup language which Google has been touting in conjunction with its Chrome browser. The video is also the latest of Google's "Chrome Experiments," which showcase the capabilities of HTML5.

Listen to the song below if you don't feel like rocking out to The Google Experience:

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Niraj Chokshi is a former staff editor at TheAtlantic.com, where he wrote about technology. He is currently freelancing and can be reached through his personal website, NirajC.com. More

Niraj previously reported on the business of the nation's largest law firms for The Recorder, a San Francisco legal newspaper. He has also been published in The Hartford Courant, The Seattle Times and The Age, in Melbourne, Australia. He's also a longtime programmer and sometimes website designer.
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