Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Series Resumes? Merriweather Post Something

Dear God,

There I was sitting watching the Game 5 of the World Series wearing my Motel Motel t-shirt (don't tell, don't tell) and I noticed a few rain drops falling on the beautiful skylight of my sick apartment. I looked on the TV and it was raining too on the Game 5 of the World Series. The Phillies and I had been waiting 28 years for a title (I recently turned 28). However on the eve of us winning and draping the World Championship over our shoulder, you intervened with the first rainout in the history of the World Series. I thought all those years of feeling guilty and eating little thin pieces of bread would've done me some good in your eyes, assuming that you have a face and aren't just a cloud - I mean you could just be some guy on a throne with a big white puffy beard. Either way, it is two days later and I'm a little bit older and a little bird wiser. So I'll keep my feathers a little further from the screen and keep from squawking a little too loud about those balls and strikes. I'll keep my beak in my Busch beer and hope for the best.

I never met you, but I love you.



On a sidenote. I attended the Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion album listening party last night.

I would like to offer up my first impressions...but I left my notebook there. No just kidding, I can do it half-assed from memory.

1. "In the Flowers"

Now I knew this song as "Dancer" or "Dancer with Flowers in her Hair," but when I saw this track name I was floored, literally, whatever that means. What a shocker, its not really about a dancer at all. As for the music itself, there hasn't been a first track this good since "The White Album" on "The White Album" by The Beatles. It starts mysteriously enough with a quietly picked guitar that suggests the annoyance of a mid-seventies Pink Floyd track, but that's is what Animal Collective is good at, showing you a little bit of something they surely enjoyed, as we all did, listening to at some point and then turning it on its head in an innovative way that usually only someone young and filled with history can do - in this case and in this album, three people. When Avery Tare's echoey vocals (they all are on this album Phil Spector, Phil Schmector, Dion, George Harrison, Beach Boys "Petty Sounds") get in the middle of a chorus whose words I couldn't quite make out, take it from me that it is inspiring, once we find out the lyrics I think it will be even moreso. Plus there is the very good and very Avey Tare vocal hook of "flowwweerrrss in heerrrr haaaairrr!"

2. "My Girls"

What?! "House" is called "My Girls". What?! The guy from "House" isn't American? Seriously, though, listening to this song and looking out at the Hudson River, listening to the booming handclaps they added to the already simple and, to be quite frank, nearly perfect lyrics, this song should cause World Peace no matter who the President is.

3. "Also Frightened"

Fitting for a listening party on the edge of Halloween. This song is one where you can hear Avey's voice moving to the front, only to be balanced out by Panda Bear. Which you slowly realize is the idea behind this whole album. I'll give the Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear all the credit in the world for bringing group singing back to the forefront, but when you hear these two singing together, its really something else. A song about not being called "the dreamer." Trick or treat.

4. "Summertime Clothes"

An Avey Tare song with the simple lyrics and chorus of Panda. This may be the best song on the album. A chorus of "I want to walk around with you" and a verse lyric sounding like "I call you up and hope you're there." Mix that with the already hyped up low end beat (successful on all songs) meets high end vocal (double check, check too to Pitchfork's comparison to S & G) and we may have one of the best love songs on hand when we find out the lyrics, but if not, who cares to me that chorus says it all.

5. "Daily Routine"

A great song live which did make me slightly fear for an overly spaced out album when hearing it, at that time I felt it contained some of the more irritating aspects of Person Pitch aka lack of self-editing. But this time around, it starts off with a great sense of humor tinkling the sample or, who knows, the real keyboards that make this song go. The vocal hook is undeniable and may be Panda's best besides that crowd favorite "Comfy in Nautica." The slow down in the middle actually feels right on the album. We'll see how it holds up.

6. "Bluish"

This emerges from "Daily Routine" with a hook in it that seems very familiar. My description for this song may seem somewhat vague. It definitely has a very 60's vibe to it. It was this song that originally made me think of how great Panda and Avey's singing together was. When asked by my friend what it sounds like, I think this album is Sung Tongs filtered through Person Pitch. This track, in my mind now, exemplifies that.

7. "Guys Eyes"

Songs 5-7 have a definite smooth and underwater feel to them. This one however stands out with the melodic switch in the end and the chanting of "Do what I want to do" that always struck me as completely catchy on the live versions.

8. "Taste"

Ok, like George Harrison thinking about the Beatles playing Shea Stadium for the second time, I just can't remember this one.

9. "Lion in a Coma"

This is the song that I thought would be the rocker of the album. However, they turned it into a completely smooth song with an undeniable chorus on the album, where it was abrasive live. The African vibe with the digerdoo ups the ante on Graceland and even rivals that album's playful spirit. "The best pop song on the album." - Pitchfork, October 29, 2008.

10. "No More Runnin'"

I was concerned about this song at first. I knew the album was coming to an end and off of the momentum from Lion in a Coma, this song seemed like a strange fit. However the drawn out feel of the song, especially the refrain of "No More Runnin'" fits. And if this album does have a theme upon further inspection and official release, let's hope its somewhat profound title speaks to it, as it is sandwiched between the two songs on the album that seem to be bedfellows.

11. "Brothersport"

Everyone's favorite live track. The African vibe gets upped to a completely different and giddy level. This is one to leave them dancing in the aisles and if you don't dance to this song, then you are just crazy or have a different and completely viable taste from mine. There are two music listeners: those who like to end dancing in the aisles and those who like to end disturbed and completely affected.

After listening to this album, I could already see the criticism: too samey, no highs and lows of Strawberry Jam, "this album is missing its Reverend Green or Cuckoo Cuckoo". I think this album has all the ass in the world, but it does lack the "balls," the existential and visceral appeal that "Reverend Green" and "Cuckoo, Cuckoo" do have, in my opinion. But after one listen who knows if that matters. And after many more, it may not at all.

And after all that, the Phillies are your 2008 World Series Champions.

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