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Animal Collective

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Baltimore, Maryland,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-03-21

Animal Collective is a band formed by four guys who met in school and started recording together in various forms of collaboration from a young age.

Animal Collective grew out of childhood friendships in Baltimore County. Noah Lennox and Josh Dibb met in the second grade at the Park School of Baltimore and became good friends.Lennox went away to a Waldorf high school in Pennsylvania, while Dibb attended The Park School of Baltimore, that David Portner attended since grade school. Brian Weitz moved from Philadelphia to Baltimore County in 1993, attended the same school and became friends with Portner. According to Lennox, they attended "progressive" schools that emphasized creativity, imagination and artistic self-expression as part of "a complete kind of education". Weitz and Portner started playing music together when they were 15 because of their shared love of the band Pavement and horror movies. Their musical range included cover songs by Pavement and The Cure as well as the songs "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe and "Seasons In The Sun" by Terry Jacks.

When both met Dibb later in High School, they started an indie rock band called Automine with schoolmates Brendan Fowler (a.k.a. BARR) and David Shpritz, being the only ones they knew who wrote own songs. “We [once] set up a show with four bands—bands that were different formations of us”, Portner remembered in an Interview with Baltimore City Paper. At that time, the group did not have any contact to the music scene in Baltimore and "was more about the back porch. They are not considered as real music."

In 1995, Automine self-released their first and only record, the 7-inch-single Padington Band. Around that time, they also had their first experiences with psychedelic drugs like LSD and started to improvise while playing music. When Portner was 16, he wrote and performed the song "Penny Dreadfuls" with Automine, which later appeared on the first Animal Collective album Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished.

Abhorring the new life as a student at NYU, Portner, along with Weitz, returned to Maryland every summer to meet Lennox and Dibb and play music together. At that time Portner was also working on a record, which would eventually become Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished. Portner asked Lennox to play drums on the record and they recorded them along with piano and acoustic guitars in the summer of 1999. The rest of the year, Portner returned to Maryland on weekends to record overdubs and finish the mixing. It was finally released in the following summer under the name Avey Tare and Panda Bear. Soccer Star morphed into the Animal label, with the intention of putting out music that came from the four musicians.

After Portner and Lennox had played clubs around New York in twos, Weitz came on board in the end of 2000 and began performing with them. Much of the live material from this time would eventually end up on Danse Manatee (Catsup Plate). Danse Manatee was released in 2001 under the name of Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist. This process of preparing material in the live setting and then recording and often retiring songs would become a hallmark of Animal Collective.

In 2002, Animal Collective also attained notoriety for their appearance on Arto Lindsay's album Invoke (Righteous Babe Records).

After the dense soundscapes of Here Comes the Indian, Portner and Lennox decided to concentrate on more stripped-down material. Each of them began composing material and they performed as a duo usually with just acoustic guitars, a single drum, some effects and their voices. The duo toured the world for the better part of a year with this new material, opening for múm and Four Tet among others, before retreating to Lamar, Colorado to record the material with Rusty Santos, a New York musician and friend. The result was Sung Tongs, released on Fat Cat Records in 2004. Sung Tongs received a great deal of critical acclaim for its strong harmonies, exotic textures, hummable melodies and free-wheeling nature.

In October 2005, Animal Collective released their highly anticipated sixth album. Again the work of all four members of the band, Feels was recorded in Seattle with Climax Golden Twins' Scott Colburn, known for his work with the Sun City Girls. Following the release of Feels, Animal Collective mounted their most extensive tour, which lasted into the Fall of 2006 and saw them visit Australia and New Zealand for the first time in addition to many European festivals and North American dates, including a headline set in the Carling Tent at the Reading and Leeds festival.

In the late fall of 2006, Animal Collective released People in Australia as a 7" on their Australian label Spunk Records, and worldwide as a 12" and CD EP in early 2007 on FatCat Records. It contains three studio songs "People", "Tikwid", and "My Favorite Colors", as well as a live version of "People".

On April 27, 2007 Portner released an album under the Avey Tare moniker, Pullhair Rubeye, with his wife Kría Brekkan, formerly of the Icelandic band múm. The album is noted for the tracks being reversed. It was received very poorly by some critics and fans.On March 12, 2008, Water Curses EP leaked and was released on May 5, 2008. On April 9, the song "Water Curses" was released by itself digitally.

For four years, the band had been working on ODDSAC, a visual record, with Danny Perez, who directed music videos for the band's "Who Could Win a Rabbit" and "Summertime Clothes" singles. The movie featured visuals which were developed and edited simultaneously with the music they recorded for it. Panda Bear stated they would like to "create a movie that would have visuals similar to what somebody would see if they closed their eyes while listening to Animal Collective's music". Weitz further added that "it's the most experimental stuff we've ever done."The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on January 26. ODDSAC was screened in theaters in North America and Europe in spring 2010, followed by a DVD release in August.

Near the end of October 2010, All Tomorrow's Parties announced that Animal Collective would be curating and headlining their UK festival in May 2011. It was confirmed in late November 2010 that Deakin would be rejoining the group for this show as well as the rest of the shows of their new tour. Before starting their first European tour of 2011, all four members of the band had a short tour of California leading up to an appearance at the Coachella Music Festival. At the shows, the band mostly played their newly written songs that were yet to be recorded.

Discography:
Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000)
Danse Manatee (2001)
Campfire Songs (2003)
Here Comes the Indian (2003)
Sung Tongs (2004)
Feels (2005)
Strawberry Jam (2007)
Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
TBA (2012)


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