Thursday, March 23, 2006
Animal Collective, "The Purple Bottle"
Animal Collective, "Turn Into Something"
3rd show of the week, and things finally got weird. Not surprising, since I was going to see everyone's favorite experimental band, Animal Collective, at the Starlight Ballroom. The show was a sell-out, a packed house again. Yeah Philly! Stand up! Unfortunately, I again had to attend this show by myself, as a last-minute cancellation left me all alone in this concert world again. Fortunately, I was going to see an avant-garde group play, where a bearded white guy loner does not seem out of place. In fact, it's the people with friends and people to talk to who are the outsiders, so there!
I arrived in time to catch the last few songs of opening act, and came away impressed. It was a big band, really, with 7 people on stage, including a cellist (?) and trombonist. The sound was loud and chaotic, with hints of klezmer and jazz and rock spilling out. This is my kind of shit, to be honest, as I love that loud, sloppy sound that harkens back to old music. I don't know much about the band, but hope that they will make more stops in Philly. Fans of Gogol Bordello should take note, as there was a similar vibe and sound.
Animal Collective came on stage a little after 10, after a few false starts and annoying clapping displays by the mostly-teenage audience. They started off with a slow rumble from the samplers and mikes, then slowly built into a song and noisier interludes. It went like that for much of the night, as the band dealt mostly in peaks and valleys, soft than loud, composed than improvised. It was amazing at times, particularly when the sampler let loose and hit us with a deep, powerful bass and strange, resampled sounds and the drummer actually used his kit and banged out a simple beat.
Above are a few songs from their most recent album, Feels. It's interesting, as this album did not prepare me for the live show, which featured much harsher sounds, much more electronic noises, and less of a psychedelic feel. That is why I really like this band, and consider them a group to constantly keep an ear out for. They are willing to try different things, willing to look like an assholes up on stage or on wax, immune to the pressures of the industry or hype scenes. Is it everyone's cup of tea? No. But it's nice to know that they are out there, and all of the other bands who haven't achieved their level of popularity.
If there is interest, I will put up some more tracks from their earlier albums and side projects, not sure if people wanna check them out or what. Go here and buy the last album, one of the best of 2005.