Animal Collective is a band that formed in 2000, and consist of a revolving door lineup of four band members. Animal Collective's music is never the same from album to album. The band members use different instruments on each album. The four band members are:
Avey Tare (A.K.A. David Portner) (vocals, guitar, samples, keys, percussion) Avey is a founding member of the band and has been on pretty much every Animal Collective album. He also released three albums with his side project Terrestrial Tones, and an album with his wife, Kria Brekkan from mum.
Deakin (A.K.A. Josh Gibbs) (guitar, vocals) A founding member. he is the most frequently absent member of the band, not only live, but on albums, this is the band's main guitarist.
Geologist (A.K.A. Brian Weitz) (electronics, samples, vocals) A founding member, he provides the band's electronic sound manipulations and samples. For MPP he went out into the wild and gathered samples from nature. He's also one of the nicest guys ever.
Panda Bear (A.K.A. Noah Lennox) (vocals, percussion, samples, guitar) Also a founding member, he is the main singer in the group. He has three solo albums out, and three albums out with a group named Jane.
Discography and Suggested Listening
Animal Collective's albums vary in sound from each album. I will try to describe each in the order they came out.
Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000) Their debut album. Very 'out there'. Very celestial. This is only Avey Tare and Panda Bear. At the end of the album, you certainly end up asking "what did I just listen to?" If you haven't checked AC out, don't start here. Only listen to this album once you become acquainted with the band. Great Tracks: "April And The Phantom", "Chocolate Girl", "Bat You'll Fly"
Danse Manatee (2001) I must admit, I haven't given this one many listens. It is very experimental, with lots of high and low sounds. One thing that AC has been doing recently in their live shows is adding "Essplode" from this album to the end of "Fireworks" from Strawberry Jam. Great Tracks: "Penguin Penguin", "Essplode", "Runnin The Round Ball"
Campfire Songs (2003) Their most relaxed and chill album. Also, the only lineup to feature Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Deakin. The album is only five tracks long, and three of those tracks are just about 10 minutes long. Great Tracks: The whole album
Here Comes The Indian (2003) This is their darkest, most chaotic album. According to them, it's also the album where they "rock out." It features all four of them on it. Great Tracks: "Native Belle", "Hey Light", "Slippi"
Sung Tongs (2004) This is more stripped down and woodsy than other albums. It's very soft, and easy to listen to. This is their breakthrough album, and it received critical praise and attention. It only features Avey Tare and Panda Bear on it. Great Tracks: "Leaf House", "Who Could Win A Rabbit", "The Softest Voice"
Feels (2005) Animal Collective called this their "Love" record because every song on the album is a love song. It's very dreamlike, and a very accessible album. It features one of my favorite songs by them, "Grass." Great Tracks: "Grass", "The Purple Bottle", "Banshee Beat"
Strawberry Jam (2007) The album that got me introduced to them. It's very accessible, and very easy to love. One of my favorite songs of all time is on this album, "Fireworks." Great Tracks: "Peacebone", "Fireworks", "For Reverend Green"
Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009) Their masterpiece. Many are calling this the best album of 2009, and I agree with them. Not a bad song on the album. It's very accessible, and you love it from the intro to "In the Flowers." People will be talking about this album for years, I can tell you that. Great Tracks: "My Girls", "Summertime Clothes", "Brothersport"
Hollinndagain (2002, 2006 reissue) Live stuff, that mostly hasn't been on an album.
They also released three EP's that are very good, but I won't go into them.
Prospect Hummer (2005) People (2006) Water Curses (2008)
Where to Begin:
Since every album is different for Animal Collective, it differs. I would say start at either Feels, Strawberry Jam, or Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Animal Collective never puts on the same show twice. Their live show is built on improvisation, and therefore seeing them twice is never the same. They usually use lights in their shows, which is fun.
Post by nodepression on May 1, 2009 17:08:39 GMT -5
Haha, I love that video of the old people not getting Animal Collective. Great write up, I really need to get familiar with their earlier stuff, but it's kind of daunting, once school is over I'll have some time to look up the old albums.
I have no idea what to expect from their live show. I'm seeing them in Toronto on the 16th, so I'll have a better understanding then.
A Thieve's Parade 2/24 Conspirator 2/26 Kevin Smith 3/11 Keller 3/17 Papadosio 3/18 JJ Grey 3/25 Bela Fleck/Edgar Meyer 3/26 Toubab Krewe 3/27 O'Death 4/11 Budos Band 4/22 EOTO 4/28 Summer Camp 5/6-29 All Good
While I would have preferred them to be a late-night, I'm going to see Animal Collective regardless. I saw them last year at All Points West, and their set was ridiculous in the middle of the afternoon then, so I don't expect anything less at the Roo. Especially because the sound on the second stage at Roo will be WAY BETTER than APW.