Last weekend was my grandmother’s Celebration of Life. It would have been her 92nd birthday. We all had margaritas (it was also Cinco de Mayo; I had three) and told funny stories about her life. It was a blast, a good closure and celebration to a woman who meant a lot to a lot of people. (more…)
Man, what a wild week. And I’m not talking about the wild you indie folk are used to, likely boozing it up and partying every night. I’m talking about the working life, the stress of the job, the busy days and exhaustion-laden nights. Going to bed at 9:30; I feel old. (more…)
Stuarto Glasser, host of the All Around the World Music Show, called me up a little after 5pm Friday and asked if I could fill in for him. Thinking it would be a great way to attract a few more listeners I agreed. I headed home and put together a playlist of some of my favorite indie artists from around the world. (more…)
I recently stated an opinion, that being that I felt Animal Collective was becoming a bit more accessible. True to an artist like Animal Collective, you never really know what to expect. That is absolutely the case with their new “Brother Sport” video, which throws in all the bizarre elements you’d expect from the early Animal Collective while putting it to one of their top tunes off Merriweather Post Pavilion. (more…)
2009 is a tough year to judge. I’ve checked out more albums this year than any year in the past. Well over 1,000. And there have been quite a few great ones as well. When this list began, it had 110 albums. I abandoned my top 33 and 1/3 for 45, and then said “screw it” and upped the number to an even 50. These are the top notch albums of the year, all worthy of praise. (more…)
Not surprisingly, this list is filled with EPs by quite a few bands you know and quite a few you probably don’t. Of the ones you don’t know, many are likely from Washington; a quick count leaves me with five bands, or 1/4 of this list. Many of these bands I consider among the most promising artists to surface in 2009. All are worth checking out, and you’ll want to keep an eye on them as we head into 2010. (more…)
Accessibility is a consistent wild card when the topic at hand is Animal Collective. With their latest EP, Fall Be Kind, we’re treated with five surreal, cohesive songs much more accessible than their early work and consistent with the more recent path Animal Collective has taken. These songs lack the abrasiveness of the band’s prior releases, packed with dreamy landscapes of sound both hypnotic and mesmerizing. It is, at the most rudimentary of levels, melodic.
Fall Be Kind is missing the shrieks and screams and instrumental dissonance found in those earlier albums, yet the tribal elements remain in instrumentation. You can hear it in the midway flute breakdown in “Graze”, the heavy thumping bass and drums in “What Would I Want? Sky”, and the electronic backing fronted by hand claps on closing track “I Think I Can”. From the onset, the vocals slide between AC’s signature hypnotic styling and one intelligible, which is quite unlike the band. Still, everything flows.
This is quite possibly Animal Collective’s most accessible work yet. Fall Be Kind portrays a fresh, new Animal Collective – one that maintains its eclectic signature roots, all the while growing and progressing in exciting, imaginative ways. Where other albums have had one off gems stemming from early on, Animal Collective has more recently demonstrated in Water Curses, Meriweather Post Pavillion, and now here, that they have the ability to put together albums and EPs that are very much a cohesive unit, solid and catchy to no end.
Animal Collective: What Would I Want? Sky (Stream)
Domino Records [CDEP, 2009]
2. What Would I Want? Sky
4. On A Highway
5. I Think I Can
2005 opened my eyes to a world of new music. I joined the crew at KZUU over the summer, my first summer back in Pullman working toward my Masters in Business. I’d spend my two-hour show pouring over thousands of obscure albums, looking for anything that might spark my interest. While music had always been a borderline obsession, until now it was just that – borderline. In the days that passed, it became a full-fledged consumption of everything me. There are turning points in all of our lives, and DJing at KZUU was absolutely one of mine. (more…)
What a decade it’s been. 2004 was my first year in the so-called Real World; jobs, car payments, instability everywhere. Things weren’t all happy and seemingly upbeat like the mid 90s. After eight months in Seattle, I found myself unemployed and decided it was time for more education. I moved to the greater Portland area and began prep to enter a Masters in Business Administration program, taking night classes at WSU Vancouver and making a frequent trip out to Pullman, where I’d soon attend graduate school. The overall instability and open-your-eyes wake-up calls of 2004 seemed to extend beyond me. Two of the most honest and disturbing albums I’ve ever heard were released this year – another strong one in music overall. (more…)
With more recently-released 7″ singles, you never really know if it’s 33 & 1/3 RPM or 45 RPM. Many do not say. With this single, I started out on 33 & 1/3 and it took me a moment to realize it should have been on 45. That’s the beauty of Animal Collective: it could almost work on both levels. Animal Collective is one of those special groups that will never hit mainstream, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good music. The group’s distinct sound is made up of impossible-to-decipher lyrics, shrieks, and random loops. (more…)