Arcade Fire's Bad Covers, Radiator Hospital's Thrifty Ideals

Arcade Fire is pretentious enough already — why do they have to butcher these beloved songs, too?

As the '90s rear their head for a pop-culture resurgence, wherein throwback formats like tapes fight for a wistful comeback, Cook-Parrott's DIY aesthetic seems anything but trendy.

"The beautiful thing about DIY music and culture is, it's the most natural way to do things," he says. "We're just making music, and doing it in the most natural way. We think, 'OK, there's this show happening – let's play it.' Or, 'We wrote these songs – let's record them.'

"I mean, I don't even know another way to do it," he admits. "Do you get a PR person who sends your record to Rolling Stone? Or do you get sponsored by Vitamin Water, or something? I wouldn't even know how to do that."

Peter Beste

In lieu of high-profile publications and bigwig advertising endorsements, Cook-Parrott sticks to the essentials of recording and touring. Radiator Hospital is currently touring as opening support to Waxahatchee, whose band members are old pals (and former roommates) of his.

"They're like our best buddies," he says of Waxahatchee. "Last year, we all lived in a house together in Philly — the same house where we recorded Something Wild, and where Waxahatchee recorded [2013 LP] Cerulean Salt. I'm super-excited they're getting a lot of attention, because it's totally deserved."

Cook-Parrott, too, is deserving of such acclaim. He's currently writing material for his next album – which, unsurprisingly, will also be home-recorded and released on cassette tape. He hopes to release this new album by summer's end, giving you ample time to dig up and dust off your old cassette player. And when you're inevitably reeling in the nostalgic glory of days past, you'll have Radiator Hospital to thank.

Radiator Hospital and Waxahatchee play Friday, April 4 at Mango's, 403 Westheimer, Doors open at 9 p.m.

Ask Willie D

Singled Out
A young mother on her own needs some advice.

Dear Willie D:

I am a single mother of two teenagers and one preteen. I sometimes find myself at a point where I don't think I can make it anymore when it comes down to providing for my family. Both of my daughters lost their fathers to violence a few years back, and my son's father is in his life but I receive no child support. My family and I are not as close as a family should be.

I often wonder if I should get a second job, but with three kids at home — one of whom is only 11 and at the age where he needs me home more to give him the attention that kids need at that age — I don't know. What's your best advice to me on how to get through this single-mother struggle?

Struggling Solo:

The first thing you should do when money is tight is cut back on your lifestyle. Look around and eliminate anything costing you money that you don't need: cable TV, cigarettes, alcohol, cleaning services, credit cards, Starbucks, name-brand clothes and anything else you can think of. Take your lunch to work, don't eat out, and if you drive an expensive car, downsize to something less expensive but reliable. Get the son's father to help out voluntarily or put the courts in his life.

I admire the fact that although you're thinking of taking a second job, you're considering how the time away from home might affect your kids. Lord knows in this day and time we need more parents spending quality time with their kids. With so many people having success working from home today, that may be a good option for you also. If everything works out, you might be able to quit your first job and work full-time from home.

Remember, whatever you decide to do your situation is temporary, not permanent. You just need to make some adjustments until you can get on your feet. I know life seems gloomy at the moment, but it gets better. Sometimes we have to crawl in the dark before we can walk in the light.

Ask Willie D appears Thursdays on Rocks Off.

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Maybe Arcade Fire should just stop playing music period. 

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