Collections of Animal Collective

Here is every known Animal Collective live recording

And a large selection of Animal Collective rarities

Huge thanks to all the Animal Collective fans who record and give their time to help share, especially sherbz at bansheebeat.com for compiling the live shows and chemotion.com for compiling the rarities.

There's not much more to say that hasn't been said about Animal Collective. If you haven't joined the bandwagon, then ignore it and listen to the music (after emptying your mind of preconceived notions), but note that most of the old-school fans are still on board.

On their newest, Strawberry Jam, their forest-chanting experiments and shakers and stick rhythms have completely gelled with their samplers and electronics and pop sensibilities into a more focused, steadier beat - where the whoops and ahhhs and hey-oooos and squirts of noise synchronize with the arpeggioed scales and steady but warbling waves of delay that shimmy off of nearly every sound, the whole time phasers and swooshes and other indistinguishable effects are all ingrained, the whole glorious mess somehow vibrating as one. They practice and prerecord their music as much as they improvise, but it always has a live manic energy, and always blends together, and it can be a game wondering during their live performances just what the hell sounds beyond drum shots and singing each member is producing. Third man Geologist (with headlamp) has compared his role to that of Bob Nastovich's in Pavement: the extra background sounds and flourishes, the icing on the cake. But even if Geo doesn't whip out the maracas or shout loudly, perhaps his role is even more important - he's talked on the Collected Animals message board about some of the electronics that are being used, how he and Panda synch their machines together and bounce sounds and samples back and forth to each other. But mainly it's the hooks and beautiful, primal vocal melodies that Panda (top) and Avey (second from top) seem to pull out of a never-ending bag of inspiration that elevate this band to something special. Says Geo: "You can give someone the best sampler in the world and are they gonna make something as killer as what Noah (Panda Bear) made with two sp-303's when he did 'Person Pitch'?" And while both Deakin (bottom) and guitars have been absent from Animal Collective on their recent tours, his recent appearance with the rest of AC on Conan seems to indicate he may be rejoining them again soon. It'll be interesting to see how his guitar fits in to some of the new songs, it seemed to just gently reverberate into the background in the Conan appearance - perhaps there will be some Afro-pop noodling on some of the post-Strawberry Jam tracks like "Will To Joy".

Before you dive into the treasures linked to at the top, be sure to have a taste of Strawberry Jam if you haven't already:

Amazon has it for about twelve bucks new, Insound has it for ten bucks on mp3 and nineteen on LP (nows a good time to experience the richness of vinyl) Thanks to Daniel/Arnold for the Panda pic, *Peter for the Avey and Geologist pics, and Soulsick for the Deakin pic - all three of them have other great pics of AC with not a whole lot of views on them, a shame. BTW, I do have an AC show in my previous post, and it is a great performance of their post-Strawberry Jam tracks with not-too-bad sound, but since then other recordings have come out that handle the super-low bass they've had rumbling lately a bit better, check the newer recordings in the above thread, especially the Charlottesville and London summer shows that come from the Live Music Archive. And if you missed it, they finally made their national TV debut on Conan last Friday night. Avey explained on the CA board that they were limited to around four minutes, so options were limited, but the only rationale I can think of for them choosing to play #1, perhaps the strangest of all tracks on Strawberry Jam, as opposed to the shorter (more energetic) "Chores" or even shorter (and less dissonant) "Derek" is clear: it is them saying, "this is who we really are - even though we're poppier than ever, we're still freaks":

No comments: