Animal Collective is perhaps most lauded for their hyper-aggressive commitment to lovingly dismantling and reassembling the definition of freak-pop as they see fit. If there's one theme you can count on as an anchor through the stylistic A.D.D., it's the romanticizing (and sometimes fetishizing) of the natural world as a source of safety and magic. Take this line from their latest, Water Curses: "I want to be like water / and slip into your throat / and make you feel alive and good." Nature trumps what would otherwise be a morbid line and makes it nurturing. This single would make sense as a Feels offshoot, what with bubbly, liquid instrumentation that bypasses the thunder that shows up across Strawberry Jam. One thing is clear: these guys do not rest.
Most telling about Tim Fite, I think, is the heavy presence of The Mountain Goats in the betterPropaganda similars section. It's kind of an odd comparison, considering the two acts don't really share much in the way of vocal quality, chord progressions or, hell, prominent instrumentation (Fite's clean acoustic guitar is the polar opposite of John Darnielle's haggard, messy six-string).
It's the lyrical content that provides the common thread. Each frontman flashes a poetic bent that's reckless and apologetic and proud all at once, sort of an "I'm-fucked-but-you're-fucked-too, welcome-to-humanity" attitude from our narrator. Listen to the crass one-upmanship in Big Mistake - "tell me a dirty joke and I'll laugh it off lightly / if I tell you a dirty joke, you might not like me." I'm almost positive he's flashing that doomed smirk that Darnielle patented.
Sometimes the artist describes their own music better than we ever could, and in these moments it's probably best for us to just gracefully step aside. In this case, Odd Nosdam pinned down his "Forever Heavy" remix in one brilliant word: "shoegangster." It's what it sounds like: downtempo and ghostly, but not without some grimy dark claps and unmistakable (though molasses slow) snare breaks. I'm saving that word for my lexicon. Meanwhile, if you hear anyone cop the style, you can point to this track for coining the term.
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Featured Video: Daedelus & Taz Arnorld - Vote Obama!
Taz Arnord from Sa-Ra and Daedelus have teamed up again for the Vote Obama music video. With cameos from too many folks to mention, this video is a dedication to LA, the mobilization of youth, and of course Obama!!
Yeah, Muxtape is already 100 in internet hype years, but we're hooked on the sheer simplicity and flexibility it offers. As its name implies, Muxtape is an homage to the art of the handcrafted music mix. Create an account (15 second signup), upload 12 songs, give the link to a friend (or several). The interface is gloriously simple: clicking first link is equivalent to pressing play on a classic cassette deck - the rest of your mix will stream all the way through to the end. Purists who romanticize the notion of physical mixtapes as an intimate gift may be put off by the concept of digitalizing the form, but trust us - Muxtape captures the spirit of the mixtape as well as anyone could. I'm obsessed with it - I've made 8 separate muxes for friends in the two months since it's been released.