Three out of four ain't good

Animal Collective, Avalon, September 5, 2007
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 10, 2007
insideanimal
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Furry suits might have helped.

Slideshow: Animal Collective at Avalon, September 5, 2007
It was both tiresome and tiring to watch and listen to the three members of the Brooklyn avant-art-folk group Animal Collective indulge their penchant for tribal electronics on stage at Avalon a week ago Wednesday. The trick, I suppose, was to discover the magic beneath the mayhem, the daring in the discord, the hooks amid the hype that all but filled Avalon with fans — a large number of whom appeared transfixed by the industrial rhythms, the tom-tom pounding, and the vocal yelps. But to judge by the blank look on the faces of the dozen or so paying customers who’d taken refuge from the noisy assault in a comfortable alcove at the back of the room, I wasn’t the only one left nonplussed by the seemingly random ebb and flow of pounding grooves and ambient textures.

Animal Collective are the kind of band — difficult, challenging, mysterious — that adventurous musos like myself are supposed to celebrate. And the band’s new Strawberry Jam (Domino) does succeed in its fusions of art folk, psychedelia, and electronica. Which only made the Avalon show that much more frustrating. Perhaps the absence of one member threw off the Collective interplay. (Geologist, a/k/a Brian Weitz, with his lighted visor, was there along with Avey Tare and Panda Bear — a/k/a David Porter and Noah Lennox — but Conrad Deakon couldn’t make it). The fragile folk melodies that counterpoint the harsh electronic storms were dearly missed.

Maybe I was just expecting too much — furry suits or colorful masks rather than just T-shirts and jeans. The Day of the Dead skeletons that flanked the band were a colorful touch that underscored the occasional bouts of tribal drumming and (largely unintelligible) chants. But that wasn’t enough to offset the incessant, atonal rave-like loops that just kept coming in wave after abrasive wave.

  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Animal Collective,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MATT ASHARE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEND IN THE CLOWNS  |  July 02, 2009
    The New York Post got to resurrect its priceless "Wacko Jacko" headline. Barbara Walters scored Super Bowl-level ratings without having to lift a pretty little finger. And Michael Jackson, well, no matter how you slice it, he got screwed royally.
  •   ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS  |  September 16, 2008
    Lack of talent, charisma, and/or personality can prevent a good band from achieving greatness — but too much of a good thing can also be a problem.
  •   ROCK THERAPIES  |  July 22, 2008
    A little over four years ago, the Boston music scene lost one of its cuter couples when singer-songwriter Blake Hazard and guitarist/producer John Dragonetti left town for LA.
  •   FORTUNATE ONE  |  July 07, 2008
    It was no surprise to find Chris Brokaw in Hawaii last week, just two Saturdays before he’s due back in Cambridge to pull a double shift upstairs at the Middle East.
  •   BOSTON MUSIC NEWS: JULY 11, 2008  |  July 08, 2008
    The New Year, a band the Kadanes started with Chris Brokaw on drums a decade ago, are still a going concern.

 See all articles by: MATT ASHARE