Friday, January 30, 2009

Grizzly Bear update

According to Ed Droste's Twitter, the final mix of the new album is coming next week. Rejoice!

MP3: He Hit Me (from the Friend EP)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andrew Bird on Letterman + my album review

Pretty good performance on the Late Show last night, the sound wasn't the greatest (can't really hear the backing vocals as much as I'd like) but man does this man have a lot of energy.

Secondly, here's my review of "Noble Beast":

Many things in life come and go. Relationships, the weather, the quality of Fox’s “24”: these things are variable and unpredictable. But some things are constant and reliable. A prime example: Andrew Bird. Very few modern musicians have matched his level of consistency in terms of turning out a solid release every time he ventures into the studio. From 2001’s “The Swimming Hour” to 2007’s “Armchair Apocrypha,” Bird has maintained a high level of critical acclaim for each of his releases while resisting the temptation to become more “commercial” and “accessible” as time goes on.

“Noble Beast,” his newest offering, proves his consistency and then some. Not only does it prove he is still capable of releasing albums that are highly acclaimed by both the critics and the public, but it shows that he is still on the upwards arc of his career, rather than descending from an unmatchable high. Is “Noble Beast” his best work yet? That may be debatable, but it cannot be easily argued that any other work is objectively, without question, better.

On “Noble Beast,” Bird displays many of the traits that have gotten him this far: the pizzicato violin lines layered over beds of strings, the whistling, and the imaginative and thesaurus-defying vocabulary, while pushing forward and creating sounds and textures that are new and unfamiliar to even the most rabid of Bird fans. “Oh No” starts off the album as an instant classic, bringing his whistling to the front right off the bat. It is also the catchiest song of the album, making it an obvious selection for the first single. Bird examines the admirable privilege that children have of being able to freely and unabashedly express their emotions out in public, while the more mature of us are forced to stifle any emotions we have until we are alone and in private.

Other highlights include the more conventional rocker “Fitz & Dizzyspells,” the electronic percussion and driving beat of “Not a Robot, But a Ghost,” and the brooding yet joyous “Masterswarm.” But one song stands out from the rest as exceptional, and this is the tenth track, “Anonanimal.” Starting with his trademark pizzicato loops, moving into an odd-meter bridge, and going back into a reverb-drenched finish, the song gives us Bird at his best, mixing clever lyrics with virtuosic playing.

Speaking of lyrics, Bird does not disappoint. He has said in many interviews that he often uses words more for the sound of them, rather than what they mean. Not that the songs are devoid of meaning, but the meaning is found later, after the rhythm and feel of the often multi-syllabic words is processed. Lines like “From proto-Sanskrit Minoans to porto-centric Lisboans” from “Tenuousness” or “I see a sea anenome/The enemy/see a sea anenome” from “Anonanimal” are lines that turn off some people that see Bird as trying too hard to be “literate” and interesting, but it is admirable to see someone take a different approach to writing lyrics. I’d much rather hear lines like those than, say, “Baby, who turned the temperature hotter?/’Cause I’m burnin’ up, burnin’ up for you baby” from a certain brother-led band.

All in all, it is going to take something outstanding to knock this off as an early favorite for 2009’s Album of the Year, especially when paired with “Useless Creatures,” an instrumental album that he released on the same day as “Noble Beast.”

I'm sorry, I'm sorry

I've been really bad at updating this the past few days, but things have been busy. To make it up to you, I present you with a track from Beirut's upcoming release, the double EP release of March of the Zapotec/Realpeople Holland.

This is from Realpeople Holland, the more electronic, bedroom-y album. Apparently this track has been released on a compilation before, but this is the first I've heard it, and I love it. The electronic beat/synths border on 80s cheesiness, but his vocals save the piece, and lift it higher than what I was expecting.

So please accept this with my humble apologies, and I'll try to keep up better.

MP3: My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Radiohead to play the Grammys!

Well, I guess I'll probably be watching this year for once...from Pitchfork:

"They're up for five awards-- including Album of the Year-- at this year's Grammys. Thom Yorke is promoting the show on billboards and TVs near you. And now sources tell us Radiohead are set to perform at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony, taking place February 8 in Los Angeles. While they've already won two golden gramophones (Best Alternative Album for Kid A and OK Computer), this is the first time they're actually playing the show.

Thom and co. join previously announced performers Coldplay, Lil Wayne, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, the Jonas Brothers, and Katy Perry. What we would give to have some sort of spy cam installed in that backstage area. Knowing Grammy's penchant for batshit artist pairings, it seems like that Radiohead/Wayne blowout we hallucinated about last week is closer than ever to reality."

Looking forward: Grizzly Bear

So I've recently fallen in love with Grizzly Bear, and I can't wait for their new album. They played one of the new songs last year on Letterman, enjoy:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Loney Dear "Airport Surroundings"

I saw these guys open for Andrew Bird in London last spring, and now they're back out on the road with him again. This is their new video for "Airport Surroundings" from Dear John, due out 1/24 on Polyvinyl.

01/29 - Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
01/30 - Boston, MA @ The Orpheum *
02/02 - Richmond, VA @ The National *
02/03 - Washington, DC @ The 930 Club *
02/04 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse *
02/06 - Orlando, FL @ The Plaza *
02/07 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues *
02/09 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
02/10 - Houston, TX @ Rudyard's British Pub
02/11 - Denton, TX @ Hailey's
02/12 - Austin, TX @ The Paramount Theater *
02/13 - Albuquerque, NM @ The El Rey *
02/14 - Tucson, AZ @ The Rialto *
02/15 - San Diego, CA @ Soma San Diego *
02/17 - Visalia, CA @ Howie and Son's Pizza
02/18 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Orpheum *
02/19 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *
02/20 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *
02/21 - Portland, OR @ Roseland *
02/23 - Seattle, WA @ The Moore *
02/24 - Boise, ID @ The Knitting Factory *
02/25 - Murray, UT @ The Murray *
02/26 - Denver, CO @ The Ogden *
02/27 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown *
03/01 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas
03/18 - 03/21 Austin, TX @ SXSW

* = w/ Andrew Bird

New Sufjan song (!!!)

So this "Dark Was the Night" compilation is turning out to be one of the greatest things...ever. I just got Sufjan Stevens' song on the disc, and it is nothing like the Sufjan I thought I knew. It's like he started listening to a lot of Radiohead, a little bit of Bon Iver, and...Chopin? I knew he had an electro side to him, but this is a perfect mix of his Illinoise-folk and his techno side.

Check it out (it clocks in at 10:14, it's a long one):

MP3: "You Are the Blood"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Animal Collective announce tour, Milwaukee date

Coming off their release (today!) of Merriweather Post Pavilion, which has been growing on me lately, Animal Collective announce additions to their world tour, including a stop at the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee.


01-20 New York, NY - Grand Ballroom
01-21 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
01-22 Chicago, IL - Metro
01-23 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
01-24 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
03-04 Oslo, Norway - Rockerfeller
03-05 Lund, Sweden - Mejeriet
03-06 Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio
03-08 Cologne, Germany - Gloria
03-09 Heidelberg, Germany - Karistorbahnof
03-10 Fribourg, Switzerland - Fri-Son
03-11 Luzern, Switzerland - Konzerthaus Schurr
03-12 Florence, Italy - Viper Room
03-13 Rome, Italy - Teatro Studio
03-14 Milan, Italy - Rolling Stone
03-16 Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
03-17 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
03-18 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
03-19 Lille, France - Aeronef
03-20 Nantes, France - L'Olympic
03-22 Bristol, England - Trinity Centre
03-23 Nottingham, England - Rescue Rooms
03-24 London, England - The Forum
03-25 Leeds, England - TJ’s Woodhouse Club
03-26 Liverpool, England - Static Gallery
03-27 Dublin, Ireland - Tripod
03-28 Belfast, Ireland - Stiff Kitten
05-11 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
05-12 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
05-13 New York, NY - Terminal 5
05-14 Boston, MA - House of Blues
05-15 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
05-16 Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy
05-18 Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Hall
05-19 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
05-20 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
05-24 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
05-25 Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
05-26 Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
05-27 Big Sur, CA - Henry Miller Memorial Library
05-29 Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern
05-30 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
05-31 Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater
06-01 Albuquerque, MN - Sunshine Theater
06-02 Boulder, CO - Boulder Theatre
06-04 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
06-05 Austin, TX - Stubbs
06-06 Oxford, MS - The Library
06-08 St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre
06-09 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
06-10 Orlando, FL - Club Firestone
09-12 Monticello, NY - All Tomorrow's Parties

Tickets for Milwaukee go on pre-sale this Friday...I'll be there for sure.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Andrew Bird Day!

Rejoice, rejoice! For Andrew Bird's double release of Noble Beast and Useless Creatures comes out today. I haven't heard anything but "Oh No" yet, so this better be in my mailbox today as it is supposed to be. The wonderful AV Club just posted a great interview with the master himself, check it out:

AV Club: Andrew Bird

Neko Case tour date announced

I can't find any other dates, but I know she's coming to Milwaukee on April 24th, to the Pabst Theater. Presale starts this Wednesday. Her new album "Middle Cyclone," which I think I posted about earlier, comes out March 3rd.

Finally: Fleet Foxes SNL videos

Here they are, from last Saturday night:


"Blue Ridge Mountains"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Bon Iver song - "Brackett WI"

Following up on my post yesterday about the "Dark Was the Night" compilation - today the Bon Iver song is streaming on their myspace. Check it out today before it gets taken down.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dark Was the Night (whoa)

This looks amazing. Most of the songs, at least the Bon Iver & Andrew Bird ones (the ones I'm most looking forward to) are new compositions, it looks like:

DARK WAS THE NIGHT - (A Red Hot compilation)

On the occasion of WORLD AIDS DAY today, December 1st, we are very pleased to announce the official release date, complete list of participating artists and cover art for the upcoming 4AD release DARK WAS THE NIGHT.

Dark Was The Night will be released on February 17th, 2009. Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National produced the album, and John Carlin, the founder of the Red Hot Organization was the executive producer. A total of 32 exclusive tracks have been recorded for the compilation. It will be available as a double cd/triple vinyl/download and will benefit the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Red Hot was founded on the premise that even without a cure, AIDS remains a preventable disease - and music is a great vehicle to raise money and awareness for it. This is the 20th year of Red Hot, and this is the 20th release!

The Tracklisting in Full:

Disc One:
1. “Knotty Pine” by Dirty Projectors & David Byrne
2. “Cello Song” by The Books feat. Jose Gonzales
3. “Train Song” by Feist & Ben Gibbard
4. “Brackett, WI” by Bon Iver
5. “Deep Blue Sea” by Grizzly Bear
6. “So Far Around the Bend” by The National
7. “Tightrope” by Yeasayer
8. “Feeling Good” by My Brightest Diamond
9. “Dark Was the Night” by Kronos Quartet
10. “I Was Young When I Left Home” by Antony & Bryce Dessner
11. “Big Red Machine” by Bon Iver & Aaron Dessner
12. “Sleepless” by The Decemberists
13. “Die” by Iron and Wine
14. “Service Bell” by Grizzly Bear & Feist
15. “Blood” by Sufjan Stevens

Disc Two:
16. “Well-Alright” by Spoon
17. “Lenin” by Arcade Fire
18. “Mimizan” by Beirut
19. “El Caporal” by My Morning Jacket
20. “Inspiration Information” by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
21. “With A Girl Like You” by Dave Sitek
22. “Blood Pt. 2″ by Buck 65 Remix (feat. Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
23. “Hey, Snow White” by The New Pornographers
24. “Gentle Hour” by Yo La Tengo
25. “Another Saturday Night” by Stuart Murdoch
26. “Happiness” by Riceboy Sleeps
27. “Amazing Grace” by Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues
28. “The Giant of Illinois” by Andrew Bird
29. “Lua” by Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch
30. “When The Road Runs Out” by Blonde Redhead & Devastations
31. “Love vs. Porn” by Kevin Drew

Check out the myspace (today it's streaming the Ben Gibbard/Feist song)

Watchmen = ON

LinkRejoice! They finally cleared up all the legal nonsense surrounding the release of the Watchmen movie, and it is on, to be released March 6th, as planned.

"Warners, Fox, settle over Watchmen"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Decemberists release new track

From their upcoming album, The Hazards of Love, due out March 23rd, you can go to their official website for a free download of "The Rake's Song." It's quite nice, pretty classic Decemberists, a little more rocking than their stuff as of late.

Dan Deacon - Snookered

Check out this video (from, amazing stuff.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vetiver : "Everyday"

From IGIF, I found this track from Vetiver, a band from San Fransisco that I had heard of but never really listened to. This is off their upcoming album, Tight Knit, due out February 17th on Sub Pop.

MP3: Everyday (Stream on Myspace)

New Neko Case track

From her upcoming album (awesome album artwork) "Middle Cyclone", out in stores 03/03.

Stream "People Got A Lotta Nerve" at her Myspace.

Stream M Ward's new album

NPR is streaming M Ward's new album, better known as the 'Him' in She & Him. I saw him in Green Bay a couple months ago, and was pretty impressed, so I'm about to give this a listen.

Go here to listen.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New of Montreal video

My favorite song from one of my favorite albums of 2008.

"An Eluardian Instance"

Of Montreal ~ An Eluardian Instance (2008) Dir: Jesse Ewles from jesse ewles on Vimeo.

Oh God (Microsoft Songsmith)

This looks like one of the worst products ever. You sing into the computer, and the computer makes up music to go along with what you're singing. The worst part is, this commercial would be funny if it were a skit on SNL (check that, no it wouldn't), but they are TOTALLY SERIOUS with this. I would give anything if this were done in irony or anything other than what it was. Worst commercial ever.

Radiohead helps the homeless

Radiohead's "MK 1" from the bonus disc to In Rainbows is in a commercial for the National Coalition for the Homeless:

Band to Know: The Scarring Party

MP3: After the War

(This is my review of the Scarring Party show at Lawrence University last weekend, to be printed in The Lawrentian newspaper)

Imagine you are in some nondescript Western town, back in the 1920s. You’re just hanging out down the street, the same old thing that you did last week. All of a sudden a man with black suspenders and a candy cane hat steps off the train with a big briefcase, and looks around mischievously. “Gather ‘round, gather ‘round!” he says with a wink. “I’ve been all over this fine world, and I’m a-gonna sing you some songs.”

This is where the Scarring Party comes in. Hailing from Milwaukee, they describe themselves as a quintet that performs “tuba, accordion and banjo driven end time music that draws on the influence of 20's and 30's music hall, Lomax folkways recordings and 70's punk.”
The group played in the Coffeehouse last Saturday night to a wide-eyed crowd that started off confused but quickly warmed to the band’s music. The instrumentation of the Scarring Party is the first thing that turns heads. Daniel Bullock, the lead singer, had an accordion as his instrument of choice, and he was backed by a banjo, non-traditional percussion including a huge cast iron bell, and hey, who needs a bassist when you can have a tuba instead?

The next thing that sets you back is Bullock’s vocals. Using a special condenser microphone, he drawls and spits out vocals with a thin sound that resembles an old Victrola, a voice meant to be listened to on an old, crackly record player. The group opened with “After the War,” which showcased their vaudeville lyrics right off the bat, with such lines as “With a switch knife he cut his lip/And gave me a rubella red kiss.” They played heavily from their latest album, 2008’s “Come Away From the Light.” Another highlight came with “Leslie Ann Merrimac,” as Bullock crooned about an abusive, loveless marriage – “Leslie Ann Merrimac had bruises all around her neck/ And a silver trail of latch-hooks down her back."

Most of the songs are character studies, filled with violence, hopelessness, and despair, but delivered with a cunning grin and wink that lets you know it’s all just a laugh. The stories that Bullock told between songs were worth the attendance alone, as he talked about dog-boys, vampires, and other oddities. The most memorable introduction went something like this: “This song is about your life. And a little bit about mine. Also it’s about necrophilia…and the downside to it.”

The Scarring Party has shared the stages with some well-known bands, like Margot & the Nuclear So-and-So’s, Tilly and the Wall, Why?, and Daniel Johnston. Last weekend they were introduced by Lawrence’s own Sturdy Beggars, who played a solid opening set. Making it through a few technical difficulties, they showcased their own unique style while playing several songs from their new album “The Saint.”

Even if you don’t like the Scarring Party, and I expect there may be some people out there that don’t, you have to admit that they are original. And in the current music state of everyone striving to sound the same in order to fit in, it is refreshing to hear a group that tosses off expectations and creates their own unique sound. “Come Away From the Light” is for sale on their website (

Blitzen Trapper go on tour

I really like this band, and so should you. They are on tour soon, stopping by Chicago on Feb. 19th.

From Pitchfork:

01-25 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom !
02-18 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Centre *
02-19 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *
02-20 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
02-21 Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern *
02-22 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rosa *
02-24 Rochester, NY - Bug Jar *
02-25 Northampton, MA - Pearl Street *
02-26 Boston, MA - Paradise *
02-27 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *#
02-28 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *#
03-01 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
03-02 Washington, DC - Black Cat *
03-04 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club *
03-05 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel *
03-06 NashLinkville, TN - Mercy Lounge *
03-07 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree *
03-08 Memphis, TN - High-Tone *
03-09 Norman, OK - The Opolis *
03-10 Lawrence, KA - Jackpot Saloon *
03-12 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive *
03-13 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court *

! with Blue Giant
* with Alela Diane
# with Plants & Animals

MP3: Furr

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fleet Foxes to play SNL

The crew behind my favorite album of the year will be appearing on Saturday Night Live on January 17th, and they are planning on playing "Blue Ridge Mountains" and "Mykonos." "Blue Ridge Mountains" will be worth watching the whole show, I promise you. Rosario Dawson, from the movie "Seven Pounds" will be the host. Fleet Foxes joins the short list of independent-label bands that have appeared on the show, but this is not surprising news, after they have played almost everywhere possible and appeared on many best-of lists in 2008. Tune in!

MP3: Blue Ridge Mountains

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jeff Tweedy + co. "Fake Plastic Trees" "Bodysnatchers"

Well, I thought the Phil Selway video was great, and then I found more videos from the 7 Worlds Collide project. As close to my version of an "all-star band" as I've seen - Jeff Tweedy, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway, John Stirrat, and Johnny Marr playing two Radiohead songs. The Bodysnatchers seems a little rough, but FPT is beautiful.

"Fake Plastic Trees"


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bon Iver in the New Yorker

Great article about Wisconsin's own in the New Yorker - check it out.

Into the Woods

Phil Selway sings

I found this video at Stereogum, it is from last night, and it showcases Radiohead's Phil Selway on guitar and vocals as part of the 7 Worlds Collide project. I'd never heard him speak, much less sing before, so this is neat.

A Band to Know: Collections Of Colonies Of Bees

Collections Of Colonies Of Bees is a well-established band from Milwaukee. They have yet to be mentioned much in the mainstream press, even after Justin Vernon of Bon Iver gushed about them in his interview with Pitchfork, but those that know them know that the respect is well deserved.

Their latest album, Birds came out last year, and was very well received. Consisting of only four tracks (Flocks I, Flocks II, Flocks III, and Flocks IV) the album is a fine example of post-rock experimentalism, while keeping a foot in conventional instrumentation. Pitchfork (hey, why not reference them when they're right for once?!) gave the album a 7.8, saying "Organic and intricate as their compositions can be, the Bees clearly appreciate the emotional power of simple, thoughtfully tiered rhythms, as the opening movement "Flocks I" attests."

Usually I get bored easily by instrumental albums - nothing against them, I'm just big on vocals. But this collection (pun! right?...) of songs keeps my interest, as the rhythms and repetitive figures mold together to create a pulsing, driving atmosphere of sound. It's not ambient music by any means, think of it as if Sigur Ros moved to Wisconsin and lost all of their reverb on the way over.

MP3: Flocks I

The band is touring Japan in February according to their Myspace, but hopefully they find their way back home to play some more shows in the Midwest.

Phish reunion tour?

It is inevitable, and it looks like it might happen this summer. From Billboard:

" Although an official announcement is pending, Phish's first tour in five years is beginning to take shape. is listing a Jan. 30 on-sale date for a Phish show on June 18 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion outside Pittsburgh, which lines up nicely alongside rumors of an appearance at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tenn., the previous weekend. For now, the only confirmed Phish shows are March 6-8 at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va., the band's first since August 2004."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Dan Deacon track

This track has just surfaced on the internet, from Dan Deacon's upcoming release, "Bromst." I honestly haven't listened to him much before this, but I really dig this tune. It's a burst of energy from the start, mixing electronic blips with digitized vocals midway through the song. Deacon is known for his live shows, where he doesn't use the main stage, instead setting up his equipment among the crowd. Take a listen to this tune, and you'll probably be as excited as I am for the new album. "Bromst" is due out March 24th.

MP3: Get Older

Monday, January 5, 2009

Looking forward: Menomena

One of my most highly-anticipated records to come in 2009 is the newest from Menomena. 2007's Friend and Foe is one of my favorite records lately, and I can't wait for the new one.

The production of Friend and Foe is just outstanding, especially since the band recorded and mixed on their own. The drums stand out from everything else, which usually isn't a good thing, but Danny Seim is an exceptional drummer, always shying away from convention while keeping the groove steady. It's just one of the better-sounding records I've been listening to lately.

Not much info is out there about the new record, this is from Wikipedia:

"Danny Seim stated in a recent interview [26] that a new Menomena album is presumably expected in the beginning of 2009. "In a perfect world, we would have been done with a new record. Fall ’08 would have been great. But then that’s moved to January ’09 … we hadn’t seen one another in awhile and we’re seeing each other for some European dates, and a festival date here and there. We’re moving on a U2 time frame......... We have a ton of material to use and we have to structure the stuff, pick up instruments and find songs. I’d love to say January ’09 but maybe I just like the way those words sound."

MP3: Muscle N' Flo (from Friend and Foe)

Video for "Wet and Rusting" -- amazing video, keep watching past the first 30 seconds, which is not as promising as the rest:

Pitchfork loves Animal Collective (surprise!)

Pitchfork gave the new Animal Collective record a 9.6 rating today, confirming their love for all things AC. Merriweather Post Pavilion is the newest release from the freak-folkers, as they create layer upon layer of sound. This album is distinguished from the others by its dance focus, keeping the ambient layers of sound that they are most noted for, but adding some undeniably catchy beats, and giving us more straightforward vocals and song structures.

Pitchfork's rating gives Animal Collective a clear lead for the 2009 Album Of the Year. You know what I say to that? Just wait for Andrew Bird, people. (And Wilco)

MP3: My Girls

Music video for "Fireworks", from 2007's Strawberry Jam.