Full Details of the BIBJ Millennial Playlist Hullabaloo are available here. Today's entry is #57: Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective (2009)
Some time ago, I was telling a friend of my fondness for the song “All These Things That I Have Done.” She asked me if I was planning to see The Killers, who were touring at the time. I responded that I was not, because I don’t really like The Killers. I like that song, and “Mr. Brightside.” Other than that, I find their output mediocre at best.
Of course these dichotomies occur all the time when discussing different elements of art from a unifying source. I love “Boogie Nights," but have developed a healthy dislike for all other Paul Thomas Anderson work. I find Conan O'Brien brilliant, but cannot defend how "The Tonight Show" has been pretty terrible for most of the last three months. I used to think I really liked Weezer, but in actuality, I now wonder if I really only liked their first two albums.
At this point, Animal Collective have put themselves in this category. Which is to say, aside from a couple tracks, they kinda bore the shit out of me. Their set at Pitchfork in 2008 was decently entertaining, but a HUGE component of the appeal of that set was them getting to play after the sun went down, and with a decently entertaining light show accompanying their knob-twiddling. Had that set happened during the day, it would have been quite underwhelming. It would have come off similar to their daytime set at Lollapalooza this year, where from most reports they listlessly dicked around with one 10-minute jam after another, playing only 8 songs in an hour (and not the songs people wanted, at that.) Perhaps this band simply wants to become the indie electronica equivalent to Phish? If so, they’re on their way.
But I come here not to bury this band, since as I said they do have a few stellar tracks. "Summertime Clothes” being a great example. Unlike some of their more meandering compositions, the hooks and melodies are here in abundance, while maintaining the layered loops of their past sound. It also allowed for people in giant bags to dance on the Late Show. The only thing more entertaining than the interpretive dance is the demeanor of Dave afterward, letting you know he hates the song without just coming out and saying it.