Animal Collective: Spaceships and the Ectoplasm of Youth
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, MICACHU & THE SHAPES
Animal Collective's Avey Tare has likened his band's newest record, Centipede Hz, to a spaceship. I'll take it one (small) step further. Listening to Centipede Hz is like waking up disoriented and finding yourself in a spaceship. There are certain parts you recognize—you can tell you're in a spaceship, and you're in motion, but it's difficult to discern exactly what is going on. It's shiny, abstruse, billowy, bewildering, and welcoming all at once, not unlike older Animal Collective albums. In comparison to their last record, Merriweather Post Pavilion, there aren't any terrestrial house-party songs on Centipede Hz, but it's pulsating, bioluminescent, and, with the help of recurring radio-wave motifs, threads together like a modern-day Dark Side of the Moon. (Spaceships can have a pulse? And glow?) Maybe a more knowledgeable music critic could reference far-out genres like Chicha music or mention experimental composers whose names I will never pronounce out loud, and slowly peel back the layers of the spaceship into something resembling a band again. Or you can search for an owner's manual to the spaceship—listen to Tare's lyrics, he's never sounded so alienated before, while also noticing Panda Bear's relative silence—and attempt to steer the spaceship toward meaning. But, as one of your Underage columnists, I have to point out that whether it's Avey Tare singing about applesauce or Panda Bear relating the memories of a childhood dog to raising his first newborn child, Animal Collective's songs are the ectoplasm of youth. (There's a jungle gym on the spaceship? And it's haunted?) They are the melted tapes of your favorite nursery rhymes. They are pep rallies for the stoned solipsist standing in front of the bathroom mirror, muttering to himself and touching his face. Not that you have to be stoned to enjoy it. You can do whatever you want. It's your spaceship. Paramount, 7:30 pm, $27.25 adv/$30.25 DOS.