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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Geologist digs up pop gems

    Indie darling Animal Collective is playing Wednesday at Solar Culture at 9 p.m.
    Indie darling Animal Collective is playing Wednesday at Solar Culture at 9 p.m.

    Even though today’s music scene is filled with imposters, free-riders, fakes and people with just plain bad taste, every once in a while a band can come along and reaffirm our faith in the profession.

    Pop music is not dead, and Animal Collective has shown us why.

    The New York band has been playing music since 1992 and continues to dazzle and surprise its listeners with constant change and innovation album after album. Its seventh album, Feels, is another departure from its eclectic discography, taking a more poppy twist on an experimental theme.

    Feels defies traditional genres and mixes elements of math rock, pagan energy, experimental and pop music to create a complicated and textured sound, using time changes and distorted melodies.

    “”All of our records are pop records,”” said, Brian Weitz, known by the pseudonym Geologist. “”We like pop music. We are going to focus on that or the sound-scape aspect of that.””

    All of the members of Animal Collective have stage names, and they used to perform in costumes onstage to heighten the effect of their “”communal collective”” sound. The idea began as a response to the sarcastic tongue-in-cheek ego rock going on in the New York scene in the ’90s.

    “”We’re not that into it,”” Weitz said. “”We wanted to make music totally void of ego. If we perform in masks, being joyous and silly, it’s divorcing yourself from the fact that I’m this guy Brian with a reputation and an ego.””

    But with the help of the media, the masks became less of a statement and more of a gimmick. Aside from Geologist, who needs the light on his hardhat to illuminate the area around him so he can see what he’s doing, the band dropped the costumes.

    “”If we do it any more, it seems like a weird stage gig. It seems like if you want to be a weird band and get your picture in a magazine, you wear masks,”” Weitz said.

    Now Animal Collective chooses to focus on perfecting its live show and sound and creating a phenomenal listening experience for the audience.

    “”I want it to come through that we’re having a good time while we’re playing,”” Weitz said. “”I don’t want to sound like academic musicians first and people second.””

    The band has called Feels its “”love”” record, because most of the band members were in devoted relationships while they were recording. Lyrical themes of being bummed about going on the road and the ins and outs of marriage and of long-term couplings pervade the record.

    The band said that they wanted to make a record that expresses what is going on in their lives and serves as a document of what’s happening in a specific time.

    But when listening to Animal Collective, one gets the sense that the lyrics aren’t necessarily the most important and prevailing part of the music.

    Animal Collective is catchy reaffirming rock music, but with oddly crafted melodies with constant twists and turns at every corner.

    Listen to them for something different.

    Animal Collective is playing at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., Wednesday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.

    Quick Questions: Brian Weitz

    CD – Their tour guy likes Howard Stern

    Movie – “”The Shining”” and “”Texas Chainsaw Massacre””

    Celeb dream date – Christina Ricci is kinda cute but she doesn’t seem that cool

    Last food eaten – baked ziti

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