Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Arcade Fire and Collective Effervescence

I've been thinking about what makes us go to concerts, the ecstatic feeling of being together with that many people who love the same thing, who know the words, who are moved to belt out the whoh-oh-oh parts together.

Collective effervescence (as coined by Emile Durkheim) is the spiritual change in energy we feel when experiencing strong emotions in a group. Durkheim said "god and society are one of the same…the god of the clan…can be none other than the clan itself, but the clan transfigured and imagined in the physical form of a plant or animal that serves as a totem."

Or in the physical form of ebullient xylophone players, a dancing girly girl accordion player, bright, elaborate lighting...

This is exactly what we're looking for, I think. Or at least what I'm looking for. It's finally enough love.

Lyrics to Wake Up :
Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’,
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little god’s causin rain storms turnin’ every good thing to rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’ to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’
With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am go-goin’

You better look out below!


  1. & yeah! The collective energy in yoga class too.

    ox T.

  2. Despite the terrible audio quality, I can feel it. As soon as everyone chimed in on the Whoa-oh-ohs, my eyes welled up with tears.

  3. I know! I get goosebumps just thinking about it.