Animal Collective defines hype

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animal_collectiveThey have done it. A band has managed to create as much buzz as The Beatles. But they have done it while holding the same amount of musical ability as Paul held in his left testicle. (on an off day mind you)

Merriweather Post Pavilion was the first actually listenable Animal Collective album I have been able to sit through. I started with Sung Tongs and have given every one of their albums since a chance. Why did I give every one a listen? Because everyone else said they were brilliant. (Pitchfork, I blame you first)

I don’t want to bash them as a group because I bow my hat to their odd marketing strategies. (odd because it seems they have none besides the same fashion I put forth. Blogs.)

After I finally decided to give up on the group, they came out with Merriweather Post Pavilion. That was the first time I said wow, NOW I get it. But even an electronic band needs to carry their weight live. DJ Shadow can do it. Daft Punk can. But I finally stuck my fork in when I saw this performance of My Girls from Coachella. It was the first song on the album to REALLY pull me in so I of course couldn’t wait to see them do it live.

And I know, judging a band by a performance on youtube is not really fair. But there’s a BIG difference with this one. (somehow Fleet Foxes managed to blow my mind with their SNL performances. And the only place I saw those was on youtube, briefly until they were yanked)

I have yet to buy a ticket to see them live. So this is very unfair of me. So to Animal Collective and all of their fans and disciples, I apologize. But watch and tell me this is brilliance. Please do.

4 Responses to “Animal Collective defines hype”

  1. Kerri says:

    I’m no musician, but I can’t help but cringe while listening to the very very different live sound a.c. produces. I admit to having trouble with their recorded albums, but their live stuff—well it doesn’t hold a candle to the recordings. I recently saw Grizzly Bear live and was happily surprised at their show—the sound they delivered on stage was practically indistinguishable from their recordings, and in many cases even more enjoyable. I make this statement because many songs they produce are filled with “heavily produced” sounds (difficult I’m sure) to replicate on stage. And yet, I remember them making only one weird and off key note at the beginning a of one flute loop. Animal Collective, certainly not so.

    If musicians can’t replicate their sound on stage, should they play live?

  2. dirkler says:

    Thanks Kerri.
    You raise a good point about musicians performing live.
    The benefit of going into the studio is you can produce sounds and arrangements that are impossible to reproduce with a small, touring band. Some bands take this into account, and some throw it out the window.

    A band like Radiohead somehow has mastered this. They keep the same 5 man line-up that is used to record their music in the studio, yet when you go see a live show, you are almost sitting at home listening to a heart pounding version of their albums.

    Animal Collective just doesn’t seem to be able to reproduce what they put on record. So should they tour? Well, that’s how they make money. So I guess they should. But are they good and worth going to see? My vote is absolutely not.

  3. adam says:

    In total agreement with you here. “MPP” was the first album that I “got” Animal Collective, in fact, I’m still obsessed with the album and it’s my favorite of the year. But when I saw this, I was pretty disappointed. it’s absolute shit.

  4. dirkler says:

    “It’s absolute shit.” I think you summed it right up here Adam.

    It’s sad really. I’ve looked for other performances of the same song and they have all come up pretty similar.
    How can such a great song on record turn out so poorly live??
    Great production maybe…

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