Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Date at the Merriweather Post Pavillion

Two years ago I decided to go on a blind date with the Animal Collective. The date consisted of 2 hours with them in a small, crowded club/bar in the middle of a hot summer night. It might have been a Hot August Night, though I am not real sure. But you know what, it was a good first date. One where you are sort of anxious to hear their response when you do the ol' next day follow-up call.

Thats where the relationship started to get a little rocky. Feels didn't quite recreate the magic of the first date. "Maybe I'll try another," I optimistically thought. Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished was more of the same crappy second date. We just weren't clicking like we were the first night. Sung Tongs was my last attempt. I knew people who swore by it, kind of like that cheap chinese food place that everybody goes to when they need a quick, "I'm cool cause I like cool hole in the wall places and I hope it impresses you" date. But that was it. She wasn't into Chinese food.

Needless to say I took a pass on Strawberry Jam when it came out showered with fanfare and praise. Time passed and I rarely ventured back into the Animal Collective. We would say "hi" on the street, real cordial like, but I couldn't muster up the effort to make it work much more than that. But you know how sometimes you can see the same girl in a new setting, or hear someone talk about how great she is and all of the sudden there is a new attraction? Well Merriweather Post Pavillion has done just that. I am willing to do a mid-week, buy your own lunch, catch up on "old times" date with Animal Collective again.

Here is how it went.

There she is. I wanted to get here first. Can I believe the hype?

3:52 into track 1: Is this song a remix of something? Have I heard this story before?

4:40 into track 2: Is this a G rated DIY hip-hop song made on GarageBand?

0:40 into Summertime Clothes: This is kinda cool. Some syncopated synth. I do remember a little now why I was so into her that first night.

4:46 into track 5: This is turning into annoying background noise. Why is this album any different than another Animal Collective album?

1:00 into track 8: Powering through this now. Gotta get a refill on my soda. Some nice harmonies and all, but I think if she wore a little less eye make-up it would be to her benefit.

1:41 into the last song: Why is this any better or worse than our last three attempts at making it work? Someone please help me. I am floundering. I need a good excuse to leave. Wait. Maybe I'll stay. I am kind of digging this. Maybe I am starting to see why I liked her again.

I left with just enough to listen again.
Enough for a trip to that burrito place next time you are free, my treat.

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