Monday, April 28, 2008

Music Library: Andrew Bird, Andrew Hill, Andy Kim, Andy Partridge, Animal Collective

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha. The best one yet. Thoroughly weird and American and beautiful.

Andrew Bird - "Self-Torture" eMusic single. An outtake from Armchair Apocrypha. Sounds like it.

Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure. Hill's work recalls no one quite as much as Charles Mingus. This is augmented in that all of Hill's sidemen are artists typically associated with Mingus. Except Hill's work is different from Mingus's in a way that I don't have a vocabulary for. Mingus started with Ellington, but Hill is coming at his compositions from another angle, just as resonant. There's very few musicians who could even stand to compare with Mingus, and Hill holds his own.

Andrew Hill - Dusk. This is a late entry in Hill's catalog, but it sounds like the answer to the question of what Mingus would have done if he'd lived longer.

Andy Kim - "Rainbow Ride" and "Tricia, Tell Your Daddy". Bubblegum from a schock-meister. The former is actually fairly rockin', and the latter is lyrically interesting, at least, as Kim asks Tricia Nixon to remind her father that he's everybody's father for now. Groo-vay.

Andy Partridge - "It's Snowing Angels". I really don't like Partridge or XTC. I don't know why they rub me the wrong way. Lots of sharp music geeks dig them, but I don't find them clever or funny or even particularly tuneful. It's a dead space in my ear. I don't like this song.

Animal Collective - Spirit They're Gone Spirit They've Vanished. I love Animal Collective for synthesizing avant-garde compositional works with strange and dark folky songs and an unabashed love of pure pop for fractured people. This is Avey Tare and Panda Bear's first album together and it sounds surprisingly cohesive, considering how weird their journey is to be.

Animal Collective - Danse Manatee. Adding in Deacon and Geologist for the full Animal Collective experience, this album is more offputting than Spirit etc. for its weirder effects and skronkier loops and hooks buried much further than before under blank noise.

Animal Collective - Hollinndagain. Somewhat unfocused early live album. There's some real beauty here, but as many misses as hits.

Next time: More Animal Collective!


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