i wasn't going to do an entry about the new animal collective album "merriweather post pavillion", but how could i resist? sure, now they are big rock stars appearing on tv, having practically a critical consensus of acclamation for this album which is already being hailed as the best album of 2009 (so soon? oh yes), but goddammit, i have loved this band forever and i'll be damned if i don't get to glow for them too!
this is their best album. it seems as though they have tapped into some sort of field of consciousness as a group and become a whole. i feel as though the organic blends of vocals and accoustic instruments are finally melting into the digital blendings and manipulations at the hand of the geologist. the swirling tidal wave of sound and emotions wash over you and leave you hypnotized and mesmerized. if you have ever wanted to experience psychedelic substances, but don't have the gall, i would suggest popping this album in while taking a nap. you will be elated by the carnival of imagery that ensues, and you may just end up tuning in and dropping out, if just for that moment.
i first heard this band back in 2004. a friend of mine had been giving me mp3s of theirs here and there, which i digested with not much thought to it. sure, they were a great band, even then, but that is all that it amounted to in my mind. he convinced me to come with him to a show at the great american music hall. they were playing with black dice, so i didn't protest. what i saw that night changed me. they played songs mostly from the album i later came to know as "sung tongs". i swear to god, it was like a spiritual awaking! i felt like fucking hippie, eyes closed, hands in the air, jumping up and down to the grind of their pulsating beats. all this without the aid of any substances. how embarrassing. the most interesting part of the show was that geologist was playing with them at that show, but he did not appear on the album. i bought a black dice/animal collective split there called "wastered" but don't waste your time with that.
i have seen two other shows since. i saw them at the fillmore where they debuted songs from the album feels and also in seattle at neumos doing songs from strawberry jams. the latter wasn't as good of a show as i was used to with them. at first i thought that maybe it was just the venue. i have been to neumo's several times and it seems like the bands don't have as much energy there, i'm not sure why. it also gets rediculously crowded, but that is beside the point, because when the album was finally released, i knew the problem instantly. the album, compared to their previous work, was a flop. i couldn't believe it! it was the first time that i noticed any sort of commercial concern in their music and it seemed forced towards popiness (i think that i just made up a word!). that was a sad day for me. luckily i had so much other work to draw pleasure from.
here is the point if this entry. if you like the new album as much as i do, it is definitely worth your while to check out some of the other pieces put out by members of the collective.
avey tare and panda bear: there you go. the beginning of it all, sort of. this band is considered to be the early incarnation of the band that is now the animal collective. "spirit they're gone, spirit they've vanished" is one of my favorite albums.
jane is also amazing. this group is comprised of panda bear and scott mou. i have the lp "berserker" on vinyl and i love it very much.
another fun ensemble is avey tare & krÌa brekkan, krÌa being avey tare's girlfriend.
animal collective's record label supports a cast of very enjoyable and obscure acts such as ariel pink. check out the paw tracks website for more details.