mixtape: eat to the beat

Continuing the somewhat culinary theme already established in previous posting, I'd like to offer my first blog mixtape! This one is ever-so-originally entitled "Eat to the Beat"...


Oliver Twist - Food, Glorious Food
Musicals aren't normally my bag (nor are Dickens' novels), but who can resist these charming little street urchins?
Prodigy - Firestarter
Not only a seamless segue (!) but an admission of the fact that you can't cook without a fire.

Blur - Parklife
"I feed the pigeons I sometimes feed the sparrows too, it gives me an enormous sense of wellbeing"
Franz Ferdinand - 40'
What the blazes do these lads have to do with food? Well, silly, Alex Kapranos does (questionable) food writing!
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt.1
Health kicks!

Feist - Mushaboom
John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson - Royale With Cheese (dialogue from Pulp Fiction)
French cuisine cops a beating in this classic dialogue. (Extra bonus track: Krusty Burger)
The B-52's - Rock Lobster
Speaks for itself, really.

Southern Culture on the Skids - Fried Chicken and Gasoline
They actually get fried chicken at their gigs and throw that shit at the crowd and everything.
Mick Jagger (& John Lennon?) - Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup)
The ultimate chef team? Read more here.
Dean Martin - That's Amore
Dude gets away with it because he's Italian himself!

Kelsey Grammar - Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs (Frasier theme)
Grammar cunningly establishes a very metaphysical conceit in the space of a 30 second television sitcom outro! Think about it: once made, these things can't be unmade...


Kelis - Milkshake
Damn right! Actually, this was her horrible crossover into something resembling the mainstream; but as should soon be clear 'quality' isn't so much the object with much of this mix as hammering everything in to fit the theme.

Animal Collective - Peacebone
C'mon, the whole album is about food! It's called Strawberry Jam for goodness sakes!
The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
"Cranberry sauce" or "I buried Paul"? You decide!
Of Montreal - Raspberry Beret (Prince cover)
Kevin gets it right!

(the chocolate suite)
Muscles - Chocolate, Raspberry, Lemon & Lime
Again, very much over this dude, but songs don't get much foodier than this.

Hot Chip - Sexual Chocolate
Not much is sexier than Joe's dancing.
Chef - Chocolate Salty Balls (from South Park)
How terrible, I used to have the cd upon which this came, Chef Aid.
Tay Zonday - Chocolate Rain
**i move away from the mic to breathe in

And something to wash it all down with:
Rupert Holmes - Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
Honestly, has anyone noticed just how much he mentions alcohol in this track? Besides trashing organic food, he's hellbent on ingesting as much booze as he can. In the rain, too.

That's about it for this mix, you should be fairly stuffed by now. If you don't regurgitate from the poor selections and dubious sequencing featured, be sure to keep a look out for the next one!


Strawberry Jam

What a shit year it's shaping up to be for indie stars. Let's see: Our Love to Admire, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (portentous title), Volta, Pocket Symphony, Wincing the Night Away, Icky Thump... I could go on; all poor spectres of former radness, or, failing that, complete fucking failures. So, I sit here, past the half-way mark in the first year in which I get to write an end-of-year wrap-up, completely bummed at bands that I once lauded just dumping such turds on me.

Until now. Thank you, Animal Collective.

A reverence for everything life-sustaining...

Foodstuffs, looped synth pillings and bursts, more or less discernible singing, cyclic samples, drums not where they were in Feels but still there, vocals that shift through Feels-esque accenture and screams to Person Pitching starriness and this newfound legibility, less complete freakouts (such as went down on People), more syncopated (even though AC's versions of syncopation are nothing you'd expect), less miasmic swirling, more structured but still open. It bursts, it goes to certain heights and then comes back down, it blasts through to places hitherto unknown. There's a magic to it, just like every other recording - this time more easy to grasp? Humour, yes, but not in a highly annoying 'ironic' sense and never really intentional. Carnivalesque, I suppose, but not freakish. Like the band processing their own back catalogue? In a sense, but there's an original intent. Some moments go full-throttle (Chores), others don't, rather calculating explosion (Cuckoo Cuckoo). Corporeal, but not like Feels was. These binaries are misleading, though - things can't be parsed out when it comes to Animal Collective.

For Reverend Green - "NOW I [scream it!] think it's alright to feel inhuman", guitar (?) crunched and looped, o oos taken somewhere pastoral, cymbals crash while clicking in time, more screams! Bagpipes? No, couldn't be, not that obvious. There's a point, just after he sings "for one moment" when music, lyric and vocal merge, sublime. "for revrennn grene" - who is this man/substance? Lucky bloke. Who is this band? What is this?

Fireworks - closest to the homeliness of Feels, drum-control, but there's that insistent looping of ... what? Things build up so nicely, so happily! Like watching pyrotechnics! But not really - because although nostalgia might be evoked, it certainly isn't invoked - the past is where it lies, things are moving on.

Paragraphs don't make sense of this - the limits of discourse? Something like that. The limits of music? No, but definitly avant-garde, in the original sense of the phrase: something like cultural definers. The Beatles of our generation? Is such possible? Comparisons are moot. Experimental :: Pop; not a contradiction.

There is no interpretive key to such work, everything is speculation, except for this: I'm not disappointed. I'm ecstatic.

Strawberry Jam, Animal Collective's eighth full-length, is released September 8 through Domino.

Animal Collective - Fireworks