#3 on the 2009 Musical Advent Calendar
Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective
It’s amazing what you can do when you get a full zoo of animals together. Animal Collective is the proof for the infinite monkey theorem — get a room full of monkeys together randomly typing away on typewriters and eventually you’ll end up with War & Peace. Led by a Panda Bear, a couple of animals I’ve not heard of before (an Avey Tare and a Deakin), and all combined with, strangely, a Geologist, the “band” has been able to produce a wide array of music since forming in 1999.
This band does nothing but cause confusion and begs me to ask any number of questions. It’s still unclear to me how they are able to get a panda to sit down and play keyboards for any length of time. And how does it twist knobs with those giant paws? That Geologist must be one hell of a trainer.
What does an Avey Tare look like, and what is its natural habitat? Must be a close cousin of home sapiens, because it sure sounds like the thing is singing in English. Perhaps it’s a kind of parrot.
What the hell is a Deakin? Sheesh. I knew they were finding thousands of new species of animals deep in the Amazon Rainforest, but animals that play instruments and can sing like a human being? That’s just too much.
It is such a show of human ingenuity that someone — a Geologist! — was able to get these disparate animals together and keep them producing music for 10+ years. The “band” has produced 8 full-length albums in that time! They even go on world tours, although they must have their own plane or train, because I think it’s still illegal to put a panda in your carry-on across international lines.
I first heard Animal Collective on their 2005 release Feels. After stumbling a tad by following that amazing album up with Strawberry Jam, the “band” came back full force with Merriweather Post Pavilion. I’m totally confounded by this band. Not really sure how the “band” does it all, but I don’t care, either. As long as they keep producing music like Merriweather Post Pavilion, from which the above video for “In The Flowers” is shown above, then I’ll be a happy boy.
Tomorrow: Back to reality. Through the process of elimination, are there any guesses as to who #2 and #1 are?
4. The First Days of Spring by Noah and the Whale
5. These Four Walls by We Were Promised Jetpacks
6. Hometowns by the Rural Alberta Advantage
7. Velvet Underground & Nico: “Record Club” by Beck
8. March of the Zapotec/Holland by Beirut
9. There is no Enemy by Built to Spill
10. Dark Was The Night, a Red Hot Compilation
11. The Mountain by the Heartless Bastards
12. Creaturesque by Throw Me The Statue
13. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band by Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
14. Horehound by The Dead Weather
15. Promenade by Grand Hallway
16. Grand by Matt & Kim
17. Blood Bank EP by Bon Iver
18. Fever Ray by Fever Ray
19. Tell ’Em What Your Name Is by Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
20. Mo Beauty by Alec Ounsworth
21. Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants
22. Noble Beast by Andrew Bird
23. Hungry Bird by Clem Snide
24. Actor by St. Vincent
25. Elvis Perkins in Dearland by Elvis Perkins in Dearland
26. XX by the XX
27. Grrr… by Bishop Allen
28. Keep It Hid by Dan Auerbach
29. It’s Blitz! by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
30. Beware by Bonnie “Prince” Billie
31. Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear