By Leah Greenblatt
Updated August 12, 2009 at 08:11 PM EDT
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Having successfully avoided the gathering tumbleweed of hype surrounding kaleidoscopic psych-rock collective Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, I finally got snagged on a live YouTube clip that made the Music Mix email rounds today. Watch below:

First thought? Wow, that intro sounds exactly like The Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” with bits of “Crown of Love.” Second thought? Oh goody, more beardy-messiah commune rock! Meet you at the corner of Polyphonic Spree Street and Devendra Boulevard, my hairy friends! Third thought: Holy crap, is that the old singer from Ima Robot?

That would be the dance-punk outfit whose 2003 self-titled full-length was full of spiky little razor-wire ditties like “A Is for Action” and “Dynomite” — a wee bit L.A.-fromage and frankly bandwagon-jumpy, but oh, so hooky.

Now that you’ve witnessed the artist formerly known as Alex Ebert, now “Edward Sharpe,” with his beatific, sprawling crew of Magnetic Zeros, tell me — are you buying what he’s selling (along with, I’m guessing from this video, handmade tambourines and veggie burritos from a van)? Or does it seem just a little too third-gen Father Yod/indie-trendy opportunivore?

Frankly, I’m still very much on the fence, though you can buy the new self-titled record, or see them on tour now through October and judge for yourself; if you’ve already made up your mind, do tell me in the comments section below.

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