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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Animal-Collective-Sung-Tongs-455422

ALBUM – Sung Tongs

ARTIST – Animal Collective

YEAR – 2004

I remember, recently, my sister saying something about there being all these “collective” efforts out there at the moment, and how she’d seen lots of acts – mostly shitty – all aboard the bandwagon.  So, as silly as it may seem, as I was rummaging through my iTunes library looking for something to listen to, it dawned on me, the “something” my sister said; and then, as the connection was made, I hit play on “Winter’s Love”, my favourite track from Animal Collective‘s Sung Tongs.

As an album, as a band, I really can’t put my finger on these guys.  I’ve been reading up on their history and tendencies and influences and…  Nothing.  I listen to the album, over and over again, enjoy it, but can’t really come up with something to say.  What I mean is that unlike Led Zeppelin, a band you can say a million things about, with reasonable certainty about what you’re talking about, this arrangement of players leaves me a blank.

Fill in the gaps, if you please.  I like the band, I really enjoy their music.  It’s so different and out there – FAROUT, DUDE (yes, a reference to the Dude, from The Big Lebowski).  It actually feels like his dream sequence – crazy and very, very trippy.  It’s at times light and fluffy, like on “Sweet Road” and sometimes a bit dense, but never heavy handed.  Always a delight.  But also always very peculiar.  You really need to check this out.

Right, then.  Some songs come to mind, two already mentioned.  I’ll start with “Sweet Road” and say that, even though it’s got just over a minute of playtime, it’s a gem.  It feels like a warm, green, bright, humid, cozy, suburban (american-style), summer day.  Seriously, try it on for size.  It’s a happy, happy song.  The other mentioned track, “Winters Love” is also pretty happy, but it’s got a different feel.  Sounds like a big chorus or a whole lot of people got together to bang on things and sing and make a very sweet song.  Again, very trippy, but great, nonetheless.  There’s an abrupt break at around 1:51 into it, which is what I love about the song.  It’s hectic and melodic, great and captivating.  So cool.

I reckon most will have trouble with this – I actually hope people will, so I can at least feel as if I’m on the same page as you, my readers (the three of you).  Regardless, I recommend a listen.  Press play and let go.  Leave it be, from start to finish.  I guarantee you’ll have a good time.  It’ll feel weird at times, but get over it and try to finish up the album.  Then, and only then, make up your mind.  Also, maybe a second or third or fourth listen is necessary to “get” this album.  Cheers…

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ALBUM – Presidents of the United States of America

ARTIST – Presidents of the United States of America

YEAR – 1995

Yes, here I am.  Right, to it, then.

Beautiful album.  All tracks, from one to last are brilliant.  You get it all with this album, a little bit of acoustic, rock, country, bluegrass, covers and lost of awesome music.  Pretty lame that last comment?  Well, piss off.  This is a truly unique album.  Every once in a while I’ll get back to this.  Just as I have in the past month or so.

It’s always a pleasure to hear Chris Ballew belching out “Kick out the Jams”.  Seriously superior track.  Great stuff.  Great fun.  That’s sort of the album’s mood, fun, happy and feel good.  Something I really love about this band, particularly in this album, is that somewhat “sloppy” sound they have, as well.  Pay close attention to the drums, it’s got a whole lot of snare caressing, slinky guitars and high-hat beatings.  It makes it that much more peculiar and of a higher quality.

Now, I know everyone remembers when these guys first appeared on MTV, with their  “Lump” and “Peaches” videos.  Great songs, great videos.  But I relate more to a couple of other tracks.  One reason being that I like MC5 and they cover they’re most famous track “Kick out the Jams”.  Another song I cherish is Back Porch, it’s so cool and slinky and fun.  My favourite.

What else?  Let me think.  Right, the album came to me at a pleasant moment in time.  I was young, a teen, and really into alternative music.  It was nice having this album around ’cause all there was at the time were along the lines of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and the likes.  Not that these bands are bad, those were the times.  And then this album comes along, very different from all that.  It was, indeed, a relief.  Something lighter and more enjoyable.

So, I hope you check it out.  Start out with “Back Porch”, then just hit random and see what you think.  You’ll come across two most played songs, “Peaches” and “Lump”, which are good, but you’ll come across a whole lot more.  “Dune Buggy” is also as slinky as hell, really cool.  “Body” is so swampy and marsh-like it’ make you feel the humidity as if you were in the middle of a tropical forest.  That’s why I love the feel of this album.  Finish off with “We’re not Gonna Make It”; they recorded a “false start” which is pretty cool.  And, as I have forgotten, don’t make the same mistake, and listen to their cover of “Kick Out the Jams“.

Glad to be back, and cheers…