Sunday, May 20, 2007

Person Pitch

Listening to Panda Bear's Person Pitch is sort of like deciding to go to a far off place, where Charlie Kauffman is hosting a carnival week, and on the carnival's last night in town, the Beach Boys are going to come out and perform some D- or even Z-sides from Pet Sounds. In other words, there's no reason not to go out and get it.
If I'm right, and I am, then this is the summer album of 2007.
I don't even really know what to say about it. The instrumentation is at once meditative and swirling. The lyrics are often indecipherable, but those Beach Boys harmonies are unmistakable, and you might really discover that you're listening to Brian Wilson's nephew - you know, the one who went to culinary school and got kicked out because he kept stealing Crayons to draw pictures of what his sound would look like if he were just able to get the right friendships in order to form his super group. That guy.
I was going to write that "Take Pills" is a journey to what happens when you're underwater with lots of people you love, but that doesn't make sense.
And "Bros," by far the masterpiece of the album, does the most toward wrapping you completely in the same sonic package as "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times."
To be sure, Person Pitch is nowhere near as straighforward as anything the Beach Boys put out. It's given a healthy dose of that 21st century self-referentiality. Maybe this would be a place to talk about irony, but I'm not sure how to, or what it would mean even if I did.
It's almost as if Noah Lennox thought, You know, I'll never be able to get away from a comparison to the Beach Boys, so I might as well go all the way with it. And it's true - this isn't one of those albums where the comparison to another band is questionable. This is deliberate tribute, but without sycophancy. I love it, and I think it'll go down as one of the top ten of 2007.


Tim Horsman said...

"what happens when you're underwater with lots of people you love, but that doesn't make sense."

This may be the best review ever written on ALIEN CORPSE. Succinct, clever, and informative.

Now if I just had any idea what The Beach Boys sounded like...

Jason Heron said...

OhmiGOSH, Tim. Are you going to tell me you don't have Pet Sounds? [Insert that part in High Fidelity where Jack Black freaks out b/c the record store patron doesn't own a copy of Blonde on Blonde here].
Or do "they" not listen to the Beach Boys in Canada?
[Insert land-locked mountee joke here].
Seriously, though, Tim, seriously. Do you have Pet Sounds? I mean, do you? If you don't, I'll mail you a copy, with a firebomb.
I have it in mono and stereo.
[Insert geek pushing his glasses up his nose and talking about the shades of meaning in Brian Wilson's songwriting toward the end of the 60s here].
I hope you have it, or get it, or ask me for it. It's pure pleasure. Pure disaffected youth. Pure frustrated masculinity. Pure nascent sexuality. Pure harmonious adventure. Pure 21 Fascination Street.

jason shrontz said...

j, sounds interesting. was any of their music on the last mix you made me?


Daniel Szombathy said...

You can get "Comfy in Nautica" from the KEXP Song of the Day Podcast, which is a great place to get some free tunes. They've got two killer Peter Bjorn and John tracks, too.

Jason Heron said...

I didn't have Panda Bear when I made you that mix. Sorry. For sure, they'd be on the mix now though. Summer to the maxx.

On a sidenote, would anyone care if I broke form and posted sometime soon again w/my review of the Kings of Leon show? I've got a few things to say, and damn if I'll be silenced.

Alex Hershey said...

I have been a fan of bear music this year. First Grizzly bear and now panda bear. They both rock but are also soft and cuddly. I hope the bear show of music does not stop but continues. If I could have a choice of the next type of bear to make music it would be koala bear.

Jason Heron said...

The Koala Bears are coming to Indiana Beach in August! You can go, but I hear they pee all over their audiences. This is not a problem, however, because Koala piss smells like eucalyptus, which is heavenly and mystical in its own right.

Anonymous said...

Along the some vein, but more on the pop side, check out Handsome Furs...Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and his fiance, Alexei Perry.

Oh, and Frog Eyes and also Swan Lake..oh and Raccoo-oo-oon...and of course Animal Collective...oh, and Terrestrial Tones.

As you can tell, I'm pretty into this genre as of late. LOVE AC, then Wolf Parade....and the rest is modern history.

Panda Bear is just perfect.