NYC's Animal Collective Plays Set of Psychedelic Perfection

New York-based Animal Collective sweated through a practically sold out two-hour set in Quinta Normal's Espacio Industrial on Thursday, November 6, 2008. The four-man band got the crowd dancing and entranced, as it always does.

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Like any artist that achieves wonderfully fluid chaos, Animal Collective's brand of music clearly comes from a place of deep understanding. The experimental rockers played a ten-minute version of "Who Could Win a Rabbit," reminding us city dwellers to take the time to calm down and be in the present with the words, "Where's your relaxation? Where's the time required for your health?"

(animal-02.jpg Photo courtesy Felipe Fontecilla (

Animal Collective consists of four friends who grew up playing and recording together in Baltimore County, Maryland. The group officially became a band in 2000, when the members each adopted new names: Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb) and Geologist (Brian Weitz). Since then they have released seven records, various EPs and solo projects. The band's concept began as a sound experiment and now flourishes as a musical force that has come to characterize today's Brooklyn pop.

They are psychedelic, but not too much. They are pop, without the washed out, modern day, synthesizer-only obsession. They are electric dance musicians who don’t lack all things natural and use, for example, samples of waterfalls crashing and children laughing. They are the best band to come from Brooklyn since the Magnetic Fields--or, hey, the best band to blast while making out, riding a bike or taking a ridiculously long road trip.

(animal-03.jpg Photo courtesy Felipe Fontecilla (

Animal Collective makes organic sounds that all seem to happen the very moment they are playing. It's sort of like throwing ten of your favorite foods into a pot with some chemicals and being totally surprised by the gastronomical reactions. Animal Collective does this with instruments and technology, and there is just enough overarching composition so you don't feel totally lost in its map of jams.

With South African beats alongside Daft Punk-style rhythm and Panda Bear's smooth-flowing lyrics, this is a group to not be missed.

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