Tag Archives: Panda Bear

Song-A-Day: January 18

The theme for the day is Bros, and thus our Song-A-Day is going to “Bros” by Panda Bear off of Person Pitch. Have a great extended weekend everybody!

Hey, man, what’s your problem?

Don’t you know that I don’t belong to you?
It’s hard and hard enough to keep it up when everything is so new

I’m not trying to forget you
I just like to be alone
Come and give me the space I need
And may you may find that we’re all right

I mean no offense to you
But grow up
Can’t you just grow up?
When are you going to give it your own go?
I know I’m being way too hard
But I know that I’m trying

I know myself
And I know what I want to do
I’m doing my best
And I want to know
Is it good for you?
You give me trouble
You give me everything that you’ve got
I’ll show you that what’s right for me ain’t for you

Don’t look out for me

Who are you to tell me how when you’ve problems of your own?
I do love you and I want to hold on to you for always

The Full Picture: Animal Collective

This is the second edition of a new series of posts here on Airwaves. In The Full Picture we will look over a notable alternative artist’s entire discography and note how the sound evolved from album to album, as well as pointing out each album’s best tracks using the magical powers of hindsight. This edition’s band is a bunch of dads who make extraordinary electronic music: Animal Collective

Animal Collective- Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished
Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000)

The earliest Animal Collective release has the chaotic and experimental features that the band has become known for today with far less production and pleasantness present. Animal Collective does some weird things in their music, it’s a part of their appeal, and on Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished things are pretty close to being at the extreme end of that spectrum. There’s some very ambitious long tracks, and many which are difficult listens, but the project is consistently interesting in laying down the groundwork for the band which at this point was only Panda Bear and Avey Tare.

Track Picks: “Bat You’ll Fly”, “April and the Phantom“, “Penny Dreadfulls

Animal Collective- Danse Manatee
Animal Collective- Danse Manatee (2001)

Geologist joins the band at this point as Danse Manatee takes the band which was near the extreme in weirdness another step closer. This is the sort of album which could spark a dumb debate in a room about ‘what music actually is’ because the tracks are gradual, experimental, and seemingly random and uncategorized. At this point with the band it becomes pretty clear that although the lyrics can be fascinating and mean something that the ultimate meaning of the song has to be something beyond them because of their cryptic nature. The music gets interpreted as a mindset rather than a meaning from my viewpoint, and Danse Manatee can be a difficult viewpoint to adopt.

Track Picks: “Essplode”, “In the Singing Box“, “Bad Crumbs

220px-Campfire_Songs
Animal Collective- Campfire Songs (2003)

Honestly I feel awful doing this in a post, but I don’t know enough about this album to discuss it and it’s not in my iTunes music library. I’ve read that it compares to the other early works are mentioned in this post very much, and that’s discouraged me from prioritizing going back for a listen because I prefer Animal Collective from Sung Tongs onward.

Animal Collective- Here Comes the Indian
Animal Collective- Here Comes the Indian (2003)

Some of the sounds on Here Comes the Indian are downright scary to listen to, like the track “Panic” which gets placed in the middle of the album and features the vocals of a yell being repeated for the first two and a half minutes of the track. The chaos feels dark and potentially threatening on this album leading you to wonder what exactly is it that they are trying to portray to you through their music here. There was a defined fan base for the band at this point who focused upon the band’s strengths: Their energy, their originality, and their freedom to turn whatever they’d like into music, but it’s an incredibly difficult sound for me even as a self-proclaimed fan of the band

Track Picks: “Native Belle”, “Infant Dressing Table“, “Panic

Animal Collective- Sung Tongs (2004)
Animal Collective- Sung Tongs (2004)

A very important album to understand in the context of their discography, Sung Tongs is the first time that you could look at an Animal Collective and it’s importance doesn’t lie in it’s odd and experimental methods. Those qualities didn’t disappear, in fact they still haven’t in the band’s modern releases, but on Sung Tongs the weirdness all of a sudden becomes a pleasant listen and surprisingly understandable. Compare “You Could Win a Rabbit” to any song that came beforehand and the difference is astounding, and “Kids on Holiday” is a track where the focus is actually turned onto the vocals over a dull guitar strum. This is the birthing of a more accessible version of Animal Collective, and this is the album which a lot of people should trace back to when trying to place where their favorite Animal Collective sounds came from.

Track Picks: “Kids on Holiday”, “Who Could Win A Rabbit“, “Sweet Road


Continue reading The Full Picture: Animal Collective

Kyle’s Favorite 100 Songs: 80-71

Here are numbers 80-71 on my countdown of my 100 favorite songs.

80. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues

What good is it to sing helplessness blues?/ Why should I wait for anyone else?

The opening message of this song is really true for me too. As I grew up all that people talked to me about how we’re all unique and will have individual lives, but I didn’t really see it like that. I could buy that we were all different, but I always worked towards a goal that benefits the whole anyway. I believe in uniqueness but I don’t feel like that’s overly important. The bad part is that once you take on that line of thinking, there are ways where you’re expected to act which can sometimes be a struggle to actually fulfill. It’s scary, but that feeling is what the entire track and album is about because of how common the feeling is for us but also necessary to state.

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79. Bon Iver- Skinny Love

“And now all your love is wasted/ And then who the hell was I?

I make fun of Bon Iver now for really no fair reason. It’s not his fault that people anoint him as the premier folk artist of the moment, and it’s not his fault that he grew to be an example/joke for the artists that are large in the alternative music scene but unheard of outside it. “Skinny Love” is a track which justifies a lot of For Emma, Forever Ago because it becomes clear that when this girl left Justin Vernon he was still madly in love with her. It was nonsensical to him because he loved her wholeheartedly and she still just decided to leave. Harsh.

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78. Death Cab For Cutie- A Lack of Color

“And when I see you/ I really see you upside down.”

There are some songs where the guitar in itself sounds like it’s singing to you. In “A Lack of Color” it sounds as if it harmonizes with Gibbard as they both present a depressingly sad story of loss in a light and pretty way. I end up finding lines like the one above and the later mentioned “And all the girls in every girly magazine can’t make feel/ Any less alone…” gorgeous but I feel awful because of how it hurt the singer to go through it. It’s a weird counterbalance that defines the song for me.
Continue reading Kyle’s Favorite 100 Songs: 80-71

2011: The Year of Escapism

Conjuring up motifs and noises of the past, these ten artists have put their spin on nostalgia and have created a sound unique to each of them.  Music as always is a testament of the times, somehow it seems we’re being catapulted backwards. In some cases the artist deals head on with the current turmoil lyrically, but even when the content is irrelevant we’re sucked into a simpler time. Although it’s hard to remain hopeful when the skies look so dark and gloomy, there’s always “Watch The Thrown.”
Continue reading 2011: The Year of Escapism

Panda Bear at Governor’s Island

On September 11th around 8pm I headed over to Governor’s Island to take in some of the most unique music I’ve heard in a while in a powerful environment. Getting off the water taxi, I had a clear view of the Sept. 11th memorial lights shining from Ground Zero. The ambiance surrounding that made for a really memorable concert. Nothing I can say here can give justice to the full experience but here are some of my (incoherent at times) thoughts:

Teengirl Fantasy was one of the openers for Panda Bear. Reigning from my roommate’s hometown in New Jersey, they delivered what any concert-goer would want to hear from an opener. Heavy beats and dub-house cuts got the crowd energized. My only qualm is that they were followed by co-opener Gala Drop from Portugal. The first few tracks from Gala Drop were interesting and kept the crowd wanting more but as their set progressed the music and the crowd’s attention span digressed. Everyone got a little antsy waiting through their set and yelling/booing ensued.

Panda Bear finally took the stage around 11pm. Coming out in a gray sweatshirt it was all about the music from the beginning. He opened with “Drone” which slowly faded into “Daily Routine”. Teasing the audience, Panda Bear would play chunks of “Daily Routine” he knew the crowd would know and then quickly revert back into newer material. All of his new stuff was some of the most original and enjoyable music I’ve heard in at least the past year. The lighting (especially in “Comfy in Nautica”), extreme amounts of fog, and the video piece added to the phycidelic feel. One of my favorite pieces live was “Ponytail” which exemplified Panda Bear’s art of mixing textures with captivating harmony.

Setlist:
Drone
Daily Routine
Tomboy
Guys Eyes
Surfer’s Hymn
Ponytail
Comfy In Nautica
Slow Motion
Last Night At The Jetty
Benfica
Bullseye
You Can Count on me

Encore:
Alsatian Darn
I Think I Can/Chores