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Letterman Gets His Indie Wings

Just when I'd taken David Letterman for a complete and utter lame wad, he goes and invites experimental indie rock heroes, Animal Collective, to play on his show. Clearly uncomfortable with their actual music, Letterman describes them in the most generic terms possible as a "critically acclaimed musical group whose latest record is entitled 'Merriweather Post Pavilion.'" I guess Mom's wisdom of 'if you've got nothing nice to say don't say anything at all' can be extended to entertainment too. If you don't know what you're talking about just keep it general and no one will call you on it. He still manages to pull off a joke, though, by latching on to the one thing about them he can understand - their weird-looking, wallpaper-esque album jacket. Bands these days and their silly designs! Despite Dave's uncomfortableness, Animal Collective put on an amazing performance:

What's perhaps most impressive about Animal Collective on Letterman is actually the extra effects. The silent movement artists in the background (unless those were people actually just stuck in their own t-shirts), the glow worm tables in the front and the flashing lights. This might just be the most experimental I've ever seen Letterman get and it's awesome!

I also love that at the end of the performance, Letterman holds up a vinyl LP and says, "here is their new CD" like he'd never seen a vinyl record before. Oh, old people. They get their technology so confused sometimes. You just get them to acknowledge something new and then they can't remember what anything else is called. Like when my mom discovered text messaging and thought that that was the same as "IMing". She still sends me IMs to my telephone! Just wait until Dave Letterman discovers MP3s. They are going to blow his mind!

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  1. Blogger chris | 8:30 AM |  

    As he went over to shake the band's hands, Letterman also said to Paul, "you got any candy for the trick-or-treaters?" as he pointed to the silent movement artists.

    Letterman is hilarious.

    I thought the performance was ridiculously terrible. That new record is so sonically meticulous that I think it might impossible to translate well live. It just sounds like a gobbly goobly mess.

  2. Blogger Brigitte | 10:28 AM |  

    remember when they played on conan last year? eeeeesh....it did not go over well. they picked the one song on their album that was just droning for about 6 minutes. i don't think anyone knew what to think. though, if that was animal collective's intention...maybe it worked?

  3. Blogger qualler | 10:33 AM |  

    I don't think AC really translates very well live in general -- I've seen 'em twice and both times I felt my ears ringing way too loud and in general confused -- two feelings I don't feel at all when I listen to their albums.

    Of course, Brigitte could probably tell you about the time she saw them in Paris on Halloween when they threw candy into the audience...

  4. Blogger Lady Amy | 10:38 AM |  

    Yeah, the lyrics seemed kind of rushed and I actually thought someone was talking during it until I realized that that was part of the song! Ha ha.

  5. Blogger P. Arty | 3:29 PM |  

    Weird. I saw them on Conan and thought they were awesome. I saw them live and thought they were incredible, and I thought this was a really great performance too! Maybe I'm just familiar enough with their recordings?

    This video is helping to tempt me to Lollapalooza at least a day this year!

  6. Blogger qualler | 3:35 PM |  

    No Pat, you're just an IDIOT!

    Just kidding, I heart the AC too.

  7. Blogger Brigitte | 5:25 PM |  

    that AC show i went to in Paris was AWESOME!

  8. Blogger chris | 5:35 PM |  

    Yeah their Triple Rock show back when Feels came out was brilliant. I think they're just completely hit or miss in a live setting, and yeah, I'm sure having listened to Merriweather a bunch definitely made watching that rendition of "Summertime Clothes" completely different.

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