20 April 2011

[show review & interview] Animal Collective/Sun Araw in Redway, CA

The drive through the Redwood Mountains is pretty spectacular. The air is so clean and the breezes never seem to end. After traveling 3 hours north of San Francisco on Hwy 101, you arrive in Redway. Driving through the forest is unreal, seeing local homes hanging off the sides of hills and at the mouths of valleys. The mountain ranges are gorgeous, just the kind of place I could see Animal Collective and Sun Araw performing. The venue was an auditorium in the Mateel Community Center. Definitely small and suiting for a personnel performance.

Sun Araw

Smoked-up jams and electronic grooviness are key when Cameron Stallones aka Sun Araw sits down to write tracks. Stallones, originally from Austin, but now calls California his home, favors guitar riffs and back noises that build on drone and blurriness. Lo-fi aspects give it the tranced out effect of tribal music. Last years On Patrol is a psych journey through what feels like space and time, slowed down. Vocals, when present, are mangled and usually serve as another layer of the sound. A good bit of his material is released in LP's and cassettes through Not Not Fun(Pocahaunted, Psychic Reality), and various other small labels. Stallones tunes transfer over great live, with a full(3 pc.) band killing it with intros/outros that seam together quite nicely. I heard recognizable tracks from On Patrol, as well as new material. There was a lot of improv and vibing. They played for a solid hour which felt like much longer. The lights gave that psychedelic visions feel with a glowing projector to boot.

Cameron Stallones

Sun Araw

This was my 3rd time seeing Animal Collective. The collaboration of these artists together is just really great to see. I never know what to expect, what the setlist might be like, or what they are wanting you to hear on that particular date. As a group of artists, they have always gradually matured in sound. From humble beginnings in Baltimore and NYC, shortened lineups, and a nice catalog of music, they are still playing exactly what they want.

Animal Collective

With the recent release of a cassette tape that contains one original track by each member of the band, a new full length is just around the corner. They started out playing an opener with samples and the usual drone and rolled into 8 brand new songs and remixed/revamped versions of Did You See the Words, Brothersport, Summertime Clothes, and We Tigers. Each succeeding one another back to back with very little pausing or words and more instrument tuning and tweaking. Noah was on full drums and various percussion the entire time, the screen behind him flickering with colors and flashing lights. The mannerisms portrayed by the members reveal strong musical bonds and the way they feed off each other with cues makes you wonder how much they actually improvise on their material.

Avey Tare

More than a few of the new songs are catchy, and almost cheerful, sometimes sounding like a practice session where they are just brainstorming as they perform. The set lasted well over and hour, with the encore, of course, being two additional brand new songs. I talked to Lennox and Deakin for a bit before the show about life and the music they create.

a/o: Hey, i'm looking forward to the show a good deal.

Lennox: Thank you so much, that's good to hear, thanks for coming out, I hope it will be worth the ride.

a/o: No problem, so what have you guys been up to? And what can I expect from you tonight?

Lennox: We've been working hard writing and making new material. You're going to hear a lot of that tonight.

a/o: That's great, what is your favorite venue, personally or as a band?

Lennox: I'd have to say the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.

a/o: What's after this small California tour and Coachella?

Lennox: After this, we're heading to Minehead for our curation of the ATP festival and then a European tour, followed by more US dates.

a/o: I'm really enjoying the Tomboy LP, how many 7" singles were released for that?

Lennox: I believe there were four released.

a/o: Awesome, what are your thoughts on the recent cassette tape release included with your shoes?

Lennox: I really enjoyed working on that, it was for a great cause and they came out good. I felt like it was the first time we released music where each band member had their own singular vision. And I like deakin's shoe design the best. i'll be wearing those the most (chuckles).

a/o: That's really interesting, you have several kids right?

Lennox: Yes, correct, I have two.

a/o: Is there anything in particular you can share that you've been listening to in the past months?

Deakin: To tell you the truth, not really. We have just been practicing all of our material and perfecting it. We haven't really been listening to anything.

a/o: Well thank you for chatting with me.

Lennox: No problem, thanks so much for coming out.

Noah Lennox and Deakin
Composed by: Justin Braud
Photos by: Justin Braud
Interview by: Justin Braud

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best show of the tour! Santa Cruz was sick!