This reviewer’s a twit, trying to claim that he’s got some bead on what makes music “good.” Animal Collective’s recordings are beautiful and complex, and just because they’re too experimental for this guy, he writes them off. Are the Butthole Surfers good music? How about Steve Reich? But this is typical of the Seattle music aristocracy, who are way too into three minute pop songs and garage rock.
But he’s right about one thing: the show was terrible. I didn’t go to see three guys (one guy was missing, having suffered a sickness or death in the family) twiddle knobs for two hours. It was like a hip hop show, all the way down to how one guy was walking with the mic, and while I can sometimes appreciate hip hop on record, I find most DJ music to be really boring live. I’m old–I want to see people playing instruments, feeding off one another and improvising and communicating. Anyway, the show got better halfway through when they started doing some calypso-type stuff–it almost sounded like The Police on a few hits of acid–but samples are samples. And even if they’re fascinating, well-constructed samples, they’re still samples.
Like so many of today’s indie-rock darlings, I guess Animal Collective’s a studio band.