Sending the intern to the Avey Tare listening party

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avey tare down there

I think I deserve some sort of badge or minor recognition for all the attempts I've made to care about anything related to Animal Collective since around 2005 (save for Person Pitch, which was brilliant). What do I get? Nothing. All that trying has left me frustrated, and with a good imitation of an A.C. related song: Thump, thump, sizzzz, sizzz *washed out vocals about nonsensical crap,” thump, thump, waaaaah, waaaaah, repeat till end.

The whole thing has left me wondering if it's them or if it's me? Am I just a jaded prick, or has Animal Collective put out the same album time after time, with the exception of a different knob tweak here or there?

But I keep trying; it's like a failed relationship with these guys, and I'm the hapless partner who keeps giving it another try. I am hoping that at least one of the forthcoming solo albums that is in the pipeline by various members of the collective, will be good. That is why I was curious to make it out to a listening party a for Avey Tare's upcoming Down There. But sadly, since I have responsibilities and whatnot, I was unable to make it out. Instead, I ended up getting my Jewcy intern to go and take notes on what he thought — since he was leaving for the day anyway. I wanted him to tell me something good, because I still really want to make whole thing work, but I think I'm finally starting to see the light.

  • I sat in a movie theater with a bunch
    of people. Small crowd – maybe 30 people in 100 seats. After
    about five minutes, Avey Tare came to the front of the theater, by
    the stage. He thanked us for coming and asked us to tell him what we
    thought. He asked us not to record it; he was worried about the
    sound quality of any amateur reproductions. He was wearing a hat and
    a raincoat, and I imagine that he wasn't sticking around.
  • The lights dimmed, we heard a few
    reverb- and distortion-laden notes, and the lights came back up.
    “Pretty good,” one person said. Those in his immediate vicinity
  • Then the lights dimmed again, and the
    music proper began.
  • Less than a minute in, and it was
    perfectly clear that whoever this artist was, he had spent a lot of
    time listening to Animal Collective.
  • Enter the Animal Collective beat. You
    know what I mean. An eighth-note triplet and down heavy on beat 4.
    Embellish with the odd pair of 16th notes.
  • On top of the beat, he played the
    guitar a little bit, which he transformed into a lot of sound with
    the use of reverb-beyond-recognizably and he sang something
  • This was approximately the first 15 or
    20 minutes. Then, there were some slower, quieter songs, and I fell
    asleep. But I woke up when the beat came back for the last ten
    minutes or so.
  • Animal Collective records underwater,
    and Avey Tare apparently recorded deep underwater. So deep that I
    couldn't make out a single word that he said.
  • So, basically, the album played like a collection of Merriweather Post Pavilion B-sides. Eh.
  • The lights rose, there was some
    hesitant applause, and we left. The crowd was quiet, except for one
    person who found that it wasn't what he had expected.