It List: Monday
Merriweather Post Pavilion Listening Party (the Cavern): Looks like the Cavern will be the place to be tonight, weather and all, as Gorilla vs Bear's Chris Cantalini teams up with Radio UTD and Domino Records for a listening party for Animal Collective's latest record, Merriweather Post Pavilion, which will be released this week on vinyl and MP3 download. After reading today's Pitchfork review of the record (9.6) and having heard quite a bit about in the past few weeks (including some empirical research with my own downloaded copy), I just have to wonder aloud what everyone is getting so excited about. Is this a good record? Yes, it's a good record. Is it worth a 9.6 rating? I have no fucking clue. I guess so. I don't know. I don't care. Pitchfork's ratings are maybe 1/10th as important as they used to be, and frankly, their reviews usually make me hate whatever album they're talking about anyway. Just look at this shit from today's review:
"The lyrics focus on the body, basic human connection, the need to take care of oneself, the puzzle of existence. Where the churning electronic sound, with its fizzes and echoes and underwater cast, brings to mind altered states and the confusing gap between the familiar and the strange, the words seem like a running commentary on the essential mystery of being alive."
Really, guy? Are you kidding me? I enjoy writing like a dickhead more than anyone else I know (Other than DL, duh), but let us actually sit here for a second and analyze what the fuck those sentences are supposed to mean. Or let's not. The point is that I could care less what Panda Bear's thoughts are concerning the "running commentary on the essential mystery of being alive," and if that's really what Animal Collective intended this record to be about, then I'll just pretend that they're singing in gibberish or something. Look, Animal Collective is a good band. They're a fairly interesting band. They used to be better but they're still good. I've been reading overblown reviews and blog comments on this record for the past few weeks, many of which involved the authors placing bets on what rating Pitchfork would give it, how many year end lists it would end up on, whether it will be the record of the year or if Grizzly Bear or Arcade Fire will "beat it out" or if Panda Bear will formally release some remix album of all the songs that will actually be better than the album and blah blah blah. This record isn't going to change the world, and honestly, it sounds pretty much like the last Animal Collective and Panda Bear solo records, which, last time I checked, were only "revolutionary" to 16 year olds who hadn't had a chance to discover the group's influences just yet. So love this band all you want, but if I'm supposed to care about the fake blog media storm that Animal Collective's PR agency has created about their above average new album, then I quit.