Animal Collective has seven studio albums and one live album. That comprises quite a lot of songs. However, out of thirteen (or fifteen, depending on how you count them) songs they played to a very young crowd in their only (indoors) east coast show of their 2008, only five of them have seen the light on a CD or vinyl. The other eight are some of the songs they are rightfully creating right now for some to be part of another future masterpiece.
This show had a "special show" sign all over the place. Seriously, it was ridiculous. First, as a Collective, these Animals surprised us all by playing an edited version of the beautiful Pandar Bear's Comfy in Nautica as their second song into the set. Second, they showed all the kids in the audience why Leaf House is remembered (and will be) by many older ones as one of the best songs ever. Third, these geniuses smoothly mixed a reinterpretation of Essplode in the middle of Fireworks, giving a lot of sense to both song titles, and Fourth, and my personal favorite during the night, they finally played Grass again!
I am not a single kind of guy but after downloading one day Leaf House and Grass some three years ago I had to go out to the store to buy a couple of, nowadays, my favorite records of this decade, Sung Tongs and Feels. I've got to hear Leaf House live several times now, but it was a quite a treat to finally hear Grass as the last song in their encore. Avey was turning 29 years old that same night and instead of getting a gift from us I think he gave us one. Thanks.
Strawberry Jam came out last year, topped my two favorite AC albums, but after the last three times I have had the pleasure of seeing this band live, it is clear that the Jam is now part of an old past. All those four moments I mentioned above happened in between eight new songs, eight excellent new songs from which some will make it to thenew album, which I hope comes out sooner than expected. I can confidently say that at least on my books, and I am usually not too wrong about predictions, that album is gonna be their best one yet.
I recognized six of those eight songs and they have found their way to the internet, as a video or an MP3. Man, they are so fresh and genuine to me that whoever is still reading this really needs to spend some more time listening to them, the future: Bearhug (or Walk Around), House (or Material Things), Song For Ariel (via Funeral Pudding), Daily Routine (Via Funeral Pudding), Brother Sport and Grace.
Animal Collective is not only writing the present but making scratches of the future too. Go out and see them, go out and see one of (my) the best bands of this decade. [photos of the show]
Were you at the show? How did you like it?
Animal Collective Links: Stream Water Curses EP, Stream Strawberry Jam, Stream/Download this show (10/01/07), Stream Animal Collective in Concert (Washington D.C.), Stream Feels, MySpace, Domino Records, YouTube, Pitchfork interviews the Collective.