Animal Collective - Merriweather POLL Pavilion

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someone said it upthread, but the whole GAPDY thing wasn't a scene, it was just that those 5 bands were the favorites of a particularly strong critical consensus that year (5 of the top 6 albums AND songs in the PnJ poll came from the GAPDY). And they were all to one extent or another "established" indie acts, and therefore pretty easy to yawn at.

Of course AnCo emerged from the early 2000s noise scene (covered in this Whiney thread), "GAPDY" status doesn't eliminate that or give their noizier fellow travelers "GAPDY" status

intheblanks, Sunday, 6 January 2019 21:25 (one year ago) link

that said GGD was one of my favorite bands of that era, always glad to see them get love. I liked that "noise bands" get blissed out era, high places was another band that had similar vibes to me

intheblanks, Sunday, 6 January 2019 21:28 (one year ago) link

I've accepted that I have zero idea of how popular anyone is in real world terms these days. Like, I thought Kurt Vile was indie-famous and doing fine, but I didn't know that he could sell out a 2500 capacity venue in Wisconsin.

Similarly, I hadn't heard of this band Lake Street Dive until a few months ago, but all the 40+ year olds I know were like "oh yeah, of course" and they sold out the same venue. I'm not sure where they would even hear about a band like that (inoffensive folk-y r&b) besides NPR?

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 6 January 2019 21:30 (one year ago) link

Kurt Vile has made Obama's top songs/albums list a couple years at least, including the recent one.

flappy bird, Sunday, 6 January 2019 22:22 (one year ago) link

Xpost Jordan - I'm sure your familiar with the Current npr station in Mpls, stream that and you'll get a great view into that whole Lake Street Drive hip for basics (tm) scene

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 6 January 2019 22:56 (one year ago) link

idk how we got here, but kurt vile is one of the most played artists on alt rock radio

bros before HOOS (voodoo chili), Sunday, 6 January 2019 23:01 (one year ago) link

I've relistened to this album all the way through and my conclusions are:

- I'm not a lyrics person and I never cared about AC's lyrics because half the time they're way too obfuscated to understand, so it's strange to see so much emphasis on the lyrics to My Girls
- I'm surprised that this was such a crossover hit in the US (playing at frat parties etc). Hardly the case in the UK.
- The lyrics are one thing - you could interpret them one of many ways - but for me the production on My Girls is representative of the downfall of this album. This song would be a million times better if the production had been bigger. Those big bass hits just don't sound very big at all. It's like dance music with all the oomph sucked out of it. The semblance of bass, without the low end. The vocals should be beautiful and soaring but they're flat and sit awkwardly in the mix.
- I'd love to hear a remixed version of the whole album. Tone down all the horrible squiggly deteriorated synth noises, let the thing breathe a bit, get rid of the DAW reverb that suddenly so many bands were flooding their music with at that point. There are good songs in here, but they're so overstuffed and compressed and undynamic that something like Daily Routine just wooshes past without touching the sides.

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 14:04 (one year ago) link

Good to see some Tomboy loving. I prefer it to Person Pitch and MPP by a considerable stretch. Never got the hang of Person Pitch

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 14:05 (one year ago) link

completely agree about the mix - i do like my girls a lot as it is but it could have been so much better than it was. it at least sounds much better on record than most of the dreadful live versions

ufo, Monday, 7 January 2019 14:11 (one year ago) link

Person Pitch's appeal was really about "Comfy In Nautica" being such a shock in its simplicity, brutally repetitious production and a sing-song melody, I remember feeling incredibly wide-eyed wow the first time a friend put it on. It's a very aesthetically extreme album and the extremity of what-it-was-doing has probably become less impactful, but it seemed so bold at the time

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 7 January 2019 15:59 (one year ago) link

I was a big fan of AC and Panda Bear's Young Prayer at the time but Person Pitch made very little impact.

I revisit it occasionally and it leaves me totally cold other than maybe the last track which is quite pretty. Again, it's a production thing for me - a sound that had become increasingly popular between about 2007-2011 where indie types were experimenting with dance music and, at the same time, shoegaze, but getting them both a bit wrong.

Whatever continuum encompassed both Caribou and Grizzly Bear: 4/4 beats stripped of bass, devoid of funk and played reed-thin; Beach Boys-influenced harmonies with all the blood let out; layer upon layer upon layer of twiggly folk guitar; electronic reverb applied with a spade. I hated it so much.

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 16:55 (one year ago) link

fwiw the only AC song with a bass guitar is What Would I Want? Sky

dog latin: makes sense you dig Ponytail the most of all the songs on PP, that one always seemed to me like a preview/transitional piece to Tomboy.

flappy bird, Monday, 7 January 2019 17:06 (one year ago) link

that's a good point. they don't have a bass player, never really struck me. but yes the synthetic bass they use on their work is horrible. I say that as a fan

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 17:39 (one year ago) link

Maybe because I was so used to the live versions of these songs - saw them the week Strawberry Jam came out, and listened to countless bootlegs - when I heard the album I was blown away by the bass presence. As opposed to SJ, where imo they neutered a stellar group of dark songs into something too dry, too clean - MPP sounded fully realized, evolved, high-def. I love the production on MPP and think Ben Allen was the perfect person to produce it, I hear lots of bass, but perhaps it was just obvious in comparison to the live versions.

flappy bird, Monday, 7 January 2019 18:23 (one year ago) link

my problem with the lyrics on "My Girls" isn't the theme but rather that they sound like they were written by someone who does not speak English

frogbs, Monday, 7 January 2019 18:35 (one year ago) link

I just realised the melody from Comfort In Nautica always reminded me faintly of the Thames Television ident..

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 18:37 (one year ago) link

xp that's AC all over though. it's what I liked about previous albums. the lyrics sounded like they'd literally been written by animals who had somehow become lucid and it really worked with that bongos and acoustic guitars vibe they were doing then.

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 18:55 (one year ago) link

but on My Girls they do just sound a bit lazy, The idea that 'social status' is a 'material thing', the use of 'Adobe slabs'. There is something facile and tossed off about it, as opposed to primal

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 18:58 (one year ago) link

I agree PB's lyrics have always been facile. the one that always bugged me was the chorus of "Take Pills": "I don't want for us to take pills / anymore / not that it's bad." --- huh???

I remember reading or hearing recently that he writes the vocal melodies first always and finds words that fit the cadence... hence such mindblowing lyrics on his recent "Part of the Math": "I'm an animal / I'm a mineral / I'm a vegetable / I'm an abacus / alright."

but he's always good for some gems, like "Sunset," which does have the line "were a peacock in the rain / slain / when a bum note is in play," but the line "every day I found a euro on the ground" within the context of the song's severe melancholy hits me hard. that's a beautiful song.

flappy bird, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:10 (one year ago) link

the absolute state of that headline jfc

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 7 January 2019 19:21 (one year ago) link

the headline only comes into play in the last 3 grafs, the rest is pretty much the same as all the other retro pieces:

What’s slightly more surprising is Merriweather’s own lack of projected influence on indie at large. Even though chillwave, the electronic pop sub-genre borne out of the bedroom-recording movement of the early 2010s, is often attributed to Merriweather’s influence, its practitioners’ taste for hazy atmospherics and nostalgia-evoking reference points hews way closer to Person Pitch’s warped aesthetic than Merriweather’s high-gloss sheen. During much of the 2000s, acts that liberally borrowed from Animal Collective’s aesthetic were everywhere, from the electric abstractions of indie rockers Nurses to the off-kilter folk of acts like Our Brother the Native and Le Loup. But going into the 2010s, such acts simply stopped popping up, as much an acknowledgement of Merriweather’s unbeatablity as a signal of a new cultural focus taking hold in indie.

Even the level of mass excitement that led up to Merriweather’s release—a palpable sense of anticipation readily memorable to any aging indie fan who spent the 2000s with the type of high-speed internet access that only their university could provide—has yet to be replicated in the decade since. The collective sway of the internet’s attention is more diffuse, diverse, and ephemeral, and much of the emergent indie trends this decade have drawn from more melodically fertile ground than the defiantly outré sounds that Animal Collective worked in pre-Merriweather.

These changings of the guard aren’t bad things, they just are—and when it comes to Merriweather, they work in Animal Collective’s favor. The album’s singular mythology speaks to its strange and strangely simple pleasures. Animal Collective chose not to finish the conversation their most successful album started, and no one else even dared to try.

flappy bird, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:36 (one year ago) link

I may be alone in this but I more or less just consider this album the apex of chillwave. like, I know they weren't really part of that scene such as it was, but that's the cultural/musical context that it seems to slot into in terms of sound and approach.

Οὖτις, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:39 (one year ago) link

lol xps

Οὖτις, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:40 (one year ago) link

Washed Out and Neon Indian's signature hits all came out the same year, after all

Οὖτις, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:41 (one year ago) link

I think that makes sense, in the same way that Nevermind is the apex of "grunge" despite Nirvana flying on their own and not really participating in the ensuing cultural wave (besides bumps for Soundgarden, Melvins, and Mudhoney, similar to the rising tide that helped AC's friends like Black Dice, Lightning Bolt, and GGD). in my mind Silverchair = Neon Indian is a perfect comparison.

flappy bird, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:48 (one year ago) link

it's all just post-Obama victory drugs-n-partying for norms music

Οὖτις, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:55 (one year ago) link

i could write a book-length ilx post about what this album meant to me and others at my liberal arts college. i may just do that, even if it earns me 51 flag posts.

flappy bird otm.

Trϵϵship, Monday, 7 January 2019 19:57 (one year ago) link


( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Monday, 7 January 2019 19:58 (one year ago) link

weird album for me in that i did really love it when i came out, though not as much as person pitch, but then i have listened to none of the ac related material that's been released subsequently.

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Monday, 7 January 2019 20:00 (one year ago) link

if anyone is seeking bass from these guys please check out A Day with the Homies by Panda Bear, released last year. it's vinyl only and there's nothing online though............... I did make a tape bounce of it and it's in my dropbox uh... just sayin..........

flappy bird, Monday, 7 January 2019 20:37 (one year ago) link

Reminder that this year I'm either going to run or make seandalai run the overdue 2000-09 albums and tracks poll

imago, Monday, 7 January 2019 20:41 (one year ago) link

mpp is a good hippie album, no more no less imo

marcos, Monday, 7 January 2019 21:39 (one year ago) link

this is overall good but referring to the MP3 blog era as "pre-algorithm" is really strange considering the existence/relative ubiquity of the Hype Machine

theorizing your yells (katherine), Monday, 7 January 2019 22:14 (one year ago) link

many interesting recent posts. never thought about it in this way but "post-Obama victory drugs-n-partying for norms music" in retrospect although maybe a little cynical makes some sense

I had the same experience as jim in vancouver, I liked the album but not as much as Person Pitch, and never followed them after that. I'm really enjoying hearing it again

I think I can understand why people *really* like this album, it does have a glow. the slight preferencing of treble over bass is an interesting choice and doesn't seem like one that is just based in amateurishness to me

Dan S, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 01:33 (one year ago) link

Is anyone really ready for '00s nostalgia yet?

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 01:42 (one year ago) link

We should start a thread for all the forgotten 00s music

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 02:21 (one year ago) link

^dope song btw

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 02:22 (one year ago) link

some of the writing in that pitchfork article is v bad.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 06:31 (one year ago) link


frame casual (dog latin), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 07:50 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

Nobody cares anymore but the live album that just came out is a perfect era capsule. I think I saw them three times btw Feels and MPP, that moment caught in time is still something special imo.

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Thursday, 5 December 2019 01:06 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I can't believe the bootlegs I was drooling over before MPP came out are now on triple vinyl.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Thursday, 19 December 2019 08:33 (seven months ago) link

The beatless version of Banshee Beat is so great.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Thursday, 19 December 2019 08:34 (seven months ago) link

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