So if you’re in Southern California and you had tickets for one of the two canceled Animal Collective shows this weekend — canceled due to sickness, so no bad vibes — you are no doubt very bummed. Doubly bummed now that the AC site is encouraging ticket holders to contact the point of purchase for a refund, i.e. the shows aren’t being rescheduled.
Your contributing editor has been elevated to the point of ecstatic laughter at an Animal Collective performance on the Sung Tongs tour, and he has walked out early from a disorienting and rather grating show when they were out pushing Strawberry Jam. It appears as if this current tour was of a quality suggesting the former experience, as in true jam band fashion AC has been taking older songs from their back catalog and re-rubbing their edges to fit into the gloriously swirling forms of the transcendent Merriweather Post Pavilion.
To get a sense of what we Southern Californians missed out on, we direct you toward NYC Taper’s excellent AUD recording of their January 21, 2009 Bowery Ballroom show. Put the “My Girls” house-building anthem video on repeat, mute the audio and let the reel-to-reel roll. (Re: the video. How many granola jam-band credits do you get for rocking a headlamp on stage? Enough to counterbalance the lack of hairy chinspace?)
It was just last year that Arthur pal Zach Cowie, in his 2007 year-end list of favorite things, predicted that “homeboys are about five seconds away from having a tapers section.” Now, a year later, and this is definitely the reality. NYC Taper’s show is the best we’ve heard, but if you find something as good or better here in this Animal Collective dot org archive of live recordings, drop us a line in the comments.
And while we’re at it, Arthur contributor Trinie Dalton — who profiled AC for the cover of Arthur 19 (Nov 2005) — catches up with the band once again for LA Citybeat. Read “The Polka Dot Lives On” here.
Animal Collective will be back for shows all up and down the West Coast — including an already sold-out (DANG) stop at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur — in May.
UPDATE: Read a take on the aforementioned Bowery Ballroom show (written by one of our favorite Deadheads, natch) over at the Village Voice.
(thanks to Raspberry Jones for the AC dot org tip!)