Monday, January 01, 2007

Neverending Mixtape #5

Panda Bear - "Bro's"

Free download here.

For any reader unfamiliar with the name "Panda Bear" (a.k.a Noah Lennox), here's the short story: he founded Animal Collective with Avey Tare (Dave Porter) and serves as said band's drummer, vocalist, etc. For those of you familiar with Panda Bear, you may recall 2004's Young Prayer - a eulogy of sorts for his, then, recently departed father. That album worked well for what it was: a hushed lament for a lost parent. "Bro's" is the joyous flipside to Young Prayer and easily ranks as one of his greatest recorded accomplishments (AC output included). Melodically and structurally, "Bro's" sounds like classic pop (i.e. Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Beach Boys, etc.), but its production creates the feeling that the song is being transmitted from deep space or an underwater trench. Yes, that is a terribly trite statement, but listen to this song and find me a better analogy. To my ears, Noah's voice sounds very reminiscent of a young Paul Simon. His vocals, buried a bit in the mix, yearn passionately over the careening melody and galloping percussion. At 12 and a half minutes, the track does get a bit epic, but it rushes by with such celebratory glee that it hardly feels its actual length.

The above link is for a free download of an edited 5 minute version of "Bro's."

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ben's Top 20 Albums of 2006

Here is my list without any embellishment.

1) TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
2) Joanna Newsom - Ys
3) Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
4) Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
5) Bob Dylan - Modern Times
6) Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
7) The Knife - Silent Shout
8) Liars - Drum's Not Dead
9) Built To Spill - You In Reverse
10) Swan Lake - Beast Moans
11) Ghostface - Fishscale
12) Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Letting Go
13) Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
14) Tom Verlaine - Songs & Other Things
15) Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
16) Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
17) The Black Keys - Magic Potion
18) Thom Yorke - The Eraser
19) Cat Power - The Greatest
20) Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways