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the really sweet, tangy stuff.
September 10, 2007 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Not to judge an album by its cover or anything - see larger image! - but Animal Collective's latest, Strawberry Jam, looks to be as weirdly delicious as ever. Pitchfork gave it a glowing 9.3, but you can listen to two of their new songs and decide for yourself at the BBC's less enthusiastic (but still positive) review. You can also watch the video for the first single, "Fireworks", here. Panda Bear, one of the group's four members who released a widely-acclaimed solo album in March, was interviewed recently (also by Pitchfork) about the making of Strawberry Jam, as well as his thoughts on that cover...

"It was actually an idea that I had, sitting on an airplane, getting my tray of food. There's a little packet of strawberry jam on it-- this was, like, a year, year and a half ago. The sun was coming in through the airplane window, and I just looked at [it] and said, "Man, it'd be really sweet if we could get the music from the album to sound like [what] this looks like." I knew it was really sweet, tangy stuff, but it also has this real sharp quality to it. There was something futuristic looking about it, and I definitely wanted the album to have that sort of quality. Hopefully the music continues that sort of feeling. And the cover photo is an interpretation of that idea."
posted by Muffpub (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
someone's favorite band filter - mmm
posted by caddis at 3:21 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


this'll go well. i'm excited for the album, tho.
posted by es_de_bah at 3:23 PM on September 10, 2007


!BOW
posted by mrnutty at 3:25 PM on September 10, 2007


I'm going to hum and bark and snap and make weird percussive sounds deep in my throat for a response. You're free to either consider me a genius or fool.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:25 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I wanted to like these guys after reading a glowing multipage article in The Wire but everything I've heard ("Grass" single, other cuts) leaves me cold.

Maybe it's time to fire up SoulSeek go to the local record store. What are the best jams from AC?
posted by porn in the woods at 3:27 PM on September 10, 2007


Feels is probably the easiest of their albums to start with.
posted by TrialByMedia at 3:28 PM on September 10, 2007


Dammit straight to heck, I interviewed Deakin a couple of weeks ago and a few of his comments regarding the cover made it inte the final article. Now a lot of "my" readers will think that I stole those questions from bastard Pitchfork. Stupid digital media with their nonexistent printing!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:34 PM on September 10, 2007


Hate, hate, hate Animal Collective. Forced, tacky, contrived, and as far I can tell, completely calculated and insincere infantilism.

Everybody and their brother fucking loves them, though. Sigh.
posted by anazgnos at 3:39 PM on September 10, 2007


David "Avey Tare" Portner photographed the cover, by the way.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:41 PM on September 10, 2007


Next it'll be threads about the Arcade Fire....
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 3:42 PM on September 10, 2007


anazgnos: Well, your least favorite band rules.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:44 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


how about Neil Sedaka?
posted by caddis at 3:44 PM on September 10, 2007


Oh. Ween.
posted by humannaire at 3:48 PM on September 10, 2007


Yikes, tough audience. Sorry if AC isn't your taste, but I read the posting guidelines and didn't feel this was inappropriate for MeFi. If it is, can someone please explain why and preferably without snark?

porn in the woods: I actually think Sung Tongs is their most accessible - my favorite songs on that album are "Winter's Love," "Who Could Win A Rabbit," and "Leaf House". Feels has "Banshee Beat" though, which is my favorite song of theirs, a long, epic, dreamy builder.
posted by Muffpub at 3:50 PM on September 10, 2007


soundofsuburbia: that's a pretty serious accusation to make, but if it's true, that really sucks!
posted by Muffpub at 3:52 PM on September 10, 2007


Whew, I was going to post about Grandaddy. Glad someone else is the snark magnet for a change.

Metafilter: sometimes we're just really mean and bitter.
posted by craniac at 3:56 PM on September 10, 2007


Curs'd fanboy! From hell's heart, I snark at thee!!
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 3:57 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well it's not hard to find on the pirate bay.

... listening...

First track: very strange music. I certainly see what anazgnos is talking about. It's very cloying. It's obviously intended to be challenging, which is probably why pitchfork liked it. I don't like it.

Second track: Similar. Very repetitive.

third track, etc. It's all very repetitive music, almost anti-music. It feels like it all lacks some structure common in most music, but I don't know what it's called. It definitely elicits a strong response, and if I heard it on the radio, I'd probably change the channel.

Yeah, I don't like it. I guess I'm just not as hard core as pitchfork, or not smoking the same drugs as they are.
posted by delmoi at 4:01 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


When Sung Tongs came out, I bought it, got hooked on "College" and didn't get into the rest of the album. I thought it was overrated.

When Feels came out, I bought it, got hooked on a few of the songs and eventually the whole album was at the very least listenable. I went back and listened to Sung Tongs again and it was pretty great. Couldn't get into the earlier stuff, though.

Now that Strawberry Jam has been moving into every crevice of my brain by capillary action, Feels has lost some of it's appeal and Sung Tongs is better than ever. I still can't get into the older stuff.

Frankly, even if it's all totally calculated, they're doing a really great job of it. Strawberry Jam is really accessible and I could connect with most of the album after only two or three listens.

P.S. My brother doesn't like them, so...COMMENT FAIL!
posted by chemicalpilate at 4:02 PM on September 10, 2007


Yikes, tough audience. Sorry if AC isn't your taste, but I read the posting guidelines and didn't feel this was inappropriate for MeFi. If it is, can someone please explain why and preferably without snark?

I don't think it's inappropriate for metafilter, but if you post about something like music, people are going to listen to it and critique. And if a lot of people think the music sucks, they'll say so. That doesn't mean the post itself is bad.
posted by delmoi at 4:03 PM on September 10, 2007


Just went through the clips at the Amazon page. Kinda reminds me of some of the Shimmy Disc stuff that was all over college radio in the late 80s/early 90s. Maybe a less screwy version of the Tinklers' Casserole.
posted by mediareport at 4:04 PM on September 10, 2007


I've never understood why people call Animal Collective "childlike." Everyone's all like "oh look, it sounds like kids having fun in the woods!" Uh, no.

If anything, they perfectly capture the absolute terror of childhood, the twitchy anxious feelings and the omnipresent unknown. It's the first long trip to grandma's after having the original Little Red Riding Hood read to you, not the seventh trip when you know milk and cookies and a smiley old lady are waiting at the end.

Anyway, seeing them live is a hallucinogenic experience even completely sober. Their recent music scans much better in its fractured and distended live-form than in the polished completeness of the studio versions.
posted by hototogisu at 4:04 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also, the "Peacebone" video is all kinds of fun.
posted by hototogisu at 4:10 PM on September 10, 2007


I loved Sung Tongs but was disappointed by some elements of Feels. Perhaps their formula became more apparent and generic.

Panda Bear's solo album is good for background ambient music, but lacks the creativity of the Collective. On the other hand, Here Comes The Indian is very cool.

I will probably catch them live in Vancouver in a couple weeks before I decide whether or not to buy the new album.
posted by ageispolis at 4:11 PM on September 10, 2007


For the curious. I don't think that it is my cup-of-joe. Interesting music. With a loaded bong, on cool autumn night, in Berkeley...I might be able to take it in and appreciate it.
posted by zerobyproxy at 4:13 PM on September 10, 2007


I can't wait for every single album released from now on to get a FPP.
posted by DU at 4:13 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Every single album released except the ones that we ourselves release, unless we can convince another mefite to post 'em.
posted by davejay at 4:15 PM on September 10, 2007


I will probably catch them live in Vancouver in a couple weeks before I decide whether or not to buy the new album.

Don't wait too long, it's this Saturday, the 15th.
posted by jokeefe at 4:16 PM on September 10, 2007


I really like Animal Collective. Sung Tongs used to be my favorite, but I'm pretty sure it's been supplanted by the new one.

That said, this does strike me as a pretty odd post to make. All of the links are to content that would present itself immediately to anyone who set out looking for information about the band.
posted by revfitz at 4:18 PM on September 10, 2007


Muffpub: Don't sweat it. This happens every single time anyone posts anything about ANY band, musician, artist, pretty much anything anyone else regards as creative. People seem to get a kick out of shouting down anyone who likes anything, and it's hardly specific to Metafilter. There are people from all walks of life here, with VASTLY different tastes. The only thing we all have in common is that we're obnoxious hater pricks.

Hell, I've done it myself. Someone posted some wiener's bad nostalgia-fucking "game boy" music that was just a bunch of NES punch-out samples and mario coins, and I shot him down because I'm some kind of super-refined chiptune connoisseur. I regretted it. Someone got a kick out of that stuff and I pissed all over it. I fucking hate the internet for giving everyone an equally loud, whiny voice.

For what it's worth, AC doesn't really do much for me, but I think it's cool that you enjoy them enough to want to share it, and if you had it on in your car and I were riding in said car, I wouldn't object.

Whether or not it's objectively a "good post" is probably open to debate, but whatever. Dongs everywhere.
posted by jake at 4:19 PM on September 10, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yikes, tough audience. Sorry if AC isn't your taste, but I read the posting guidelines and didn't feel this was inappropriate for MeFi. If it is, can someone please explain why and preferably without snark?

Well, muffpub, since you asked, here's what I think:

Your post consists of:

2 Wikipedia links.
3 (!) Pitchfork links, 2 of which are record reviews.
2 amazon.com links. ("Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought...")
And one other record review.

Essentially, this is the kind of post I would put together if I were the band's press agent. This is what would be called a "mailout". And otherwise, what DU said.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:20 PM on September 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


way better than Fiery Furnaces though
posted by Large Marge at 4:26 PM on September 10, 2007


I guess everyone's got their own taste....
posted by nkaujnom at 4:28 PM on September 10, 2007


I saw them live a few months ago. They actually kind of sucked. The set was barely over half an hour. Rather disappointing.
posted by signalnine at 4:29 PM on September 10, 2007


i like Animal Collective, but this post is no good. You care too much what Pitchfork thinks.
posted by dydecker at 4:30 PM on September 10, 2007


Yeah, a more interesting music-related post might be about MF Doom is sending imposters to perform at his own shows.
posted by basicchannel at 4:34 PM on September 10, 2007


I thought this was a bring your own pitchfork thread?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:44 PM on September 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Calculated?

anazgnos, are the bands you listen to not calculated? Do they just open up their mouths without thinking about anything, and beautiful music just happens to come out? What the shit kind of person derides a piece of art for being "calculated"?
posted by Greg Nog at 4:46 PM on September 10, 2007


New Springsteen - anyone else listening? After 5 or 6 listens, me likes.
posted by davebush at 4:49 PM on September 10, 2007


Hate to say it, but that hit their peak at "sung tongs." A beautiful, CATCHY group of songs that didn't change their sound ala "selling out." This album isn't anywhere as concise, intense, or memorable.
posted by gcbv at 4:50 PM on September 10, 2007


calculated and insincere infantilism

Calculated infantalism would indeed be problematic. Like spontaneous inertia. Doesn't really work.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:52 PM on September 10, 2007


Muffpub: This post does have the feeling of "Attention world: there is a band which has released an album", without much to explain why I would be interested in this band or their album. It sounds like you're saying the name and the cover art are especially noteworthy, but I don't really see it. "His thoughts on that cover" suggests the cover is going to be shocking or confusing or notorious in some way... It's a photo of jam; why does this require any explanation? Basically, I think flapjax is right, it sounds too much like something written by the band's publicist to send to music-review outlets.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:52 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Meant for Greg Nog. In explanation, not defense. Never heard of these folk before. I have no infant in this fight.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:53 PM on September 10, 2007


also, re: MFDoom.... hee hee hee.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:54 PM on September 10, 2007


Ah. Gotcha, IRFH. Though I gotta say, I have a hard time seeing what about grown men playing largely percussive music in a touring band seems infantile. Are they singing about milk from their mom's teats and that awesome new mobile above their cribs?
posted by Greg Nog at 4:59 PM on September 10, 2007


(Er, a photo of mushed strawberries, rather than jam?)
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:00 PM on September 10, 2007


New Springsteen?

*sends signal to Galactus*
posted by humannaire at 5:02 PM on September 10, 2007


Personally- very personally - I am unable to get enough of Frenetic a.k.a. Brad Sucks' "Making Me Nervous." [fan video]
posted by humannaire at 5:07 PM on September 10, 2007


Though I gotta say, I have a hard time seeing what about grown men playing largely percussive music in a touring band seems infantile.

I've heard "infantalism" used to describe other artists, and not entirely obviously as a put down, so perhaps there's a movement or a theory associated with the term that I'm not really familiar with. Or maybe it's just a sneaky way of saying someone "sucks, they suck hard, day and night they are sucking, for christ's sake can't a woman get a little rest?!!!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:12 PM on September 10, 2007


Whoops! I meant to post this link, as well.

BTW, frenetic? I had sex to "Makin Me Nervous" yesterday (and it was like you know great). Six days to go. I hope I can get some more in before then!
posted by humannaire at 5:14 PM on September 10, 2007


I don't see what is so complicated about the phrase "calculated infantalism". It seems to mean acting childish in a calculated way, as opposed to actually being childish.

No one would complain about 'Calculated sophistication' or 'calculated erudition', but it would seem proper to gripe about 'calculated outrage' like Linkin Park or 'calculated punk ethos' ala Avril Lavigne.
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on September 10, 2007


Flapjax is right— this is mailout bullshit. For a handy example of what music posts should look like, see Flapjax previous catalog. While I think he's a little dad-ly on his tastes, man can link. I often find myself learning more about things that I wrote off years ago just by having him around.
posted by klangklangston at 5:19 PM on September 10, 2007


Was listening to this album earlier today via Rhapsody. Verdit: Meh. Sounded to me like music that people who feel insecure about their musical tastes listen to in order to feel superior to people who actually know what they like and why.

But if it makes you happy, you know. Knock yourself out.
posted by jscalzi at 5:41 PM on September 10, 2007


I'll give Sung Tongs a whirl next time I'm at the record store on BitTorrent.

oh crap, got that backwards.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:43 PM on September 10, 2007


Once again, proof Pitchfork provides excellent reviews--when used inversely.
posted by vaportrail at 5:59 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]




anazgnos, are the bands you listen to not calculated?...What the shit kind of person derides a piece of art for being "calculated"?


Well, not me, for one...It's more the fact that it's bad, and calculated. But I won't really press that point, I have nothing but gut feeling based mostly on a live show I saw them do a few years ago to back it up. I'm sure there's plenty of music I like that could justifiably be called calculated, but it's also good music in my opinion.

Also what delmoi said.

I have a hard time seeing what about grown men playing largely percussive music in a touring band seems infantile.

When I saw them, they spent 40 minutes banging detuned guitars and making primal monkey scream noises into the mics. There was nothing musical about it, and to me, what their whole approach communicated was a, yes, infantile "we're not going to censor ourselves in any way; whatever we do is "real" and therefore good" kind of approach. I've heard stuff from them since that would at least qualify as musical (and I'll even begrudgingly acknowledge that Person Pitch is at least halfway-decent) but nothing I've heard has really knocked down that initial impression.
posted by anazgnos at 6:05 PM on September 10, 2007


Sounded to me like music that people who feel insecure about their musical tastes listen to in order to feel superior to people who actually know what they like and why.

Sounds to me that you're committing music appreciation sin no.1: judging a piece of music by its fans. Even worse, you have no idea who those fans are, so you're imagining what they're like and hating on that.

That kind of criticism might shed heat, but it sheds zero light.
posted by dydecker at 6:19 PM on September 10, 2007


Wow, the music sucks too.

I have a problem with "hey look at this new album" posts. They are not any better, and actually quite a bit worse, than hey look at this new toy that some company I like released posts. meh. They are almost never good, even when I love the band. If you have some grand retrospective of something important in music, perhaps that is fine. If you have something cool about a completely ignored area of music also fine. Your favorite band has just released an album? Sucks. This band is so bad, why do you like them? Are you related to someone in the band? Are you in the band?

Okay, end of cranky. Get your d*** band off my lawn.
posted by caddis at 6:36 PM on September 10, 2007


I'm not sure why 'check out this band' posts are any worse than Jonson's 'check out this artist' posts, which almost everybody agrees are great.

This particular one might have been better, though.
posted by empath at 7:31 PM on September 10, 2007


the fanboy stuff turns me off. i can take or leave Animal Collective. usually I leave them. i'll skip this one for now.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:56 PM on September 10, 2007


Sorry if AC isn't your taste

Funny, I read this and thought you were referring to Anal Cunt.
posted by fungible at 8:45 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not touching the they-rule-no-they-suck convo with a ten foot pole, but if you DO like them here are two live videos of new & unreleased tracks.
posted by hypocritical ross at 9:12 PM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


This post does have the feeling of "Attention world: there is a band which has released an album", without much to explain why I would be interested in this band or their album.

Duly noted. Promise to do better next time. Wasn't trying to sound like a publicist, sorry if this post came off that way.

(I would take this opportunity to explain further their appeal to me personally at this point, but I think this one's probably a lost cause anyway.)
posted by Muffpub at 1:14 AM on September 11, 2007


There's only one song I like by animal collective ("Queen In My Pictures). I wanted them to be more like Skygreen Leopards or Ivytree (both@my mp3 blog), but no luck.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:15 AM on September 11, 2007


All right, I slept on the whole calculated thing, and I admit that I may be out of my element here, as I've only heard the music via CD (which was perfectly lovely), rather than live (which might indeed cause me to think that they're jackasses).

anazgnos, if I go see one of Animal Collective's live shows, and their musical experimentation strikes me as more of a joyless exercise in gimmickry than a genuine expression of glee, then I will happily come to dinner at your house, where I vow that I will eat the biggest crow you can cook for me.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:47 AM on September 11, 2007


Muffpub: no worries. I just meant to be explaining why I thought people were grousing. It's a fine line, I think, between just saying "here is this band" (too little context about why anyone would care) vs. saying "here is my favorite band. I love their hair and their eyes, and their lyrics and their melodies, and I love their cute little butts" (maybe too much editorializing and people might respond "get your own blog if you want to pimp them"). I'm not sure what the right balance is.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:10 PM on September 11, 2007


MF Doom was probably just afraid of battling MC Jelly Donut here in SF.
posted by whir at 5:36 PM on September 11, 2007


Wow! What's with all the hate? I thought the post was fine. No, not necessarily the most informative post in the world, but it turn me onto a new band (For Reverend Green is my new favorite song).

Beyond that though, what i find especially odd is the fact that so many people are hating on muffpub for posting about something he found interesting. If you don't like the music, say it. If you think it's calculated infantilism, great. That's fuel for debate. But if you don't like the post because you personally don't find it interesting or informative, just ignore it and move along. Commenting on a post you don't like is like stopping to pick up a turd on the side of the road. Ignore it. Keep walking. Chill.
posted by towelmonkey at 8:41 PM on October 2, 2007


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