There are a lot of things about Animal Collective that I just don't get. First of all, I don't really get their music. I once said that they were one of the most overrated bands of 2007. After seeing/suffering through them at All Points West, I still don't really understand how anyone could like them. This excerpt from an interview with NPR pretty much sums it up:
In an online statement to fans, Animal Collective says, "Don't be surprised if you come to see us and it's not what you thought it would be, and try not to get too upset." The group adds that it hopes its music is "at times totally pleasing and at others completely scary and confusing, but most importantly is refreshing in this crazy, crazy world."
If by refreshing, you mean painful, then yes. Yes, it is refreshing. When Animal Collective was performing, I was sitting on the ground, in utter pain. Let's just say I was lucky to have my in-ear headphones at the time. I thought to myself, "This is what hell must feel like. Animal Collective live." An AC fan told me that the APW people had screwed up their sound check. Another fan said that AC had become far, far worse. I think it's safe to say that this is how they have always sounded live.
Now, if you're an Animal Collective fan, I don't mean to offend you, although there are times when I've said that AC is for people with hearing difficulties. I just don't understand who anyone could rock out to all of their music. Don't get me wrong, I like Panda Bear, but Animal Collective is pretty much unlistenable.
So, why am I writing about Animal Collective? If you know me personally, or read my blog, you probably got that I don't like to bash music. A snide comment here and there, fine. But, I don't go out of my way to talk about how much I hate the band.
That's the thing. I've stopped hating Animal Collective, or at least one AC song, and I'm even more confused by the fact. On top of all the things I couldn't conceive before, now I don't get why I can't get Animal Collective out of my head.
Out of the entire APW set, I chose to remember two songs (I blocked out the rest from my memory). These two were "House" and "Brother Sport." At first listen, "Brother Sport" may not sound so pleasant. A friend of mine described the music pretty eloquently. Since I don't remember exactly what he said, I'm going to put words into his mouth and say that it's pretty much pop gone wrong. Music that could have been good, but took a sudden turn into a dark, dark place where bad music lives and breeds.
Then, it came to me. I'm entertained by "Brother Sport," because I think it's funny. Listen to the song. If the singing doesn't make you laugh, doesn't the yelping do it for you? Every time I listen to this song, I end up chuckling or, at the very least, smiling like a fool. No smiles yet? Scroll up during the yelping part and actually look at the face of the guy who is yelping. Hilarious. Also, I like how the yelping loses its intensity as time goes on. I guess yelping over and over (no loops) is tiring.
So, is it okay to like Animal Collective if it makes me laugh? I say yes, even though I may not be appreciating the music for its purpose (I think AC and their fans think this is pretty serious stuff). Maybe if I have this attitude towards all of their music, I'll like it all...okay, no. I just tried listening to "Fireworks" and couldn't get through it.
Brother Sport (Live on NPR) - Animal Collective