May 19, 2008

I apologize for the shifting layout; bear with me while I tidy up around here.

For now, check out these dudes:

Peacebone Got Found

January 27, 2008

My stepbrother gave me Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam for Christmas. ‘Twas a moment. One of those seemingly random connections with a piece of art that make you believe in…something. A plan. God. A species-wide human consciousness. The Bills (a theoretical football team used in the study of anti-matter that cannot touch the playoffs without unmaking the universe). Whatever.

The first time I put it on was when I drove from Boston to Albany for Christmas. I listened to it on repeat for the whole three or four hour drive. I told myself I was leaving it in because changing the CD would have been a pain in the ass. I have a thing against bands I hear mentioned often by indie kids. I’m pre-disposed to dis-enjoy them. I force myself to hate them, even if I don’t. Mostly to avoid forcing myself to like them because the kid at the coffeeshop who asked me if I’d heard the new Sera Cahoone did so in a manner that displeased or embarrassed me. I didn’t know there was an old Sera Cahoone. Should I like it now? The new one, I mean. Or the old one? Her old stuff is better, back when she was in Carissa’s Wierd? Why don’t I know who they are? Can’t you just tell me what to like and how to live my life?

My Animal Collective experience was different. Though my stepbrother and I have previously sparred in verbal ju jitsu of the “which one of us is the more foolishly pretentious waste of their time and parents’ money in a failed pursuit of liberal arts-inspired life goals” variety, I see him more positively these days. His politics and worldview are more subtly communicated, his conversations multi-sided. Personal growth, on both ends. And so, in keeping with my recent (growing) good feeling toward my stepbrother, I decided to give his gift a try.

Listen to this album. I know it would be customary to apply a few links here, but Jesus, how lazy are we that we have to have links about articles we read posted in the articles we read? As if google or myspace or were like video stores on the other side of town. “Hmm, let’s see, I’ve got a six-pack at home, I just bought that pre-roasted chicken at Shaw’s so that’s dinner, just checked my e-mail, nothing pressing, and– oh! I would love to just sit back tonight and watch home-edited videos of the 9/11 timeline. But fuck– schlep all the way over to youtube? When that ‘funny cats’ video is right here on my desktop? Count it, dude, decision made.”

I won’t review it here. The album. Strawberry Jam, that is. I can’t. I left it in Buffalo when I was out there for New Year’s. But it’s good. Real good. Buy-it good. Not perfect; some of it is just loopy nonsense. But “Peacebone,” the opener, sounds like what I heard when I used to smoke joints that were far too strong for me in the woods behind my house. It was probably just blood pumping in my ears or early tinnitus symptoms, but the effect, refracted through THC, was quite marvelous. Makes me wonder less about the Mayans or St. John of Patmos. “Peacebone” doesn’t sound exactly like that, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I put the CD on. They have that one on Don’t pull your back out on the way over.