The Story of How Animal Collective Signed to Domino, Panda Bear Set a Release Date and Tracklist for New Album, and How Slimer from Ghostbusters Joined the Band

I saw Animal Collective live just about a year ago. My friend asked Geologist (that's the name his parents gave him!) to say "Let's turn up the AC!" I'm pretty sure Avey Tare said it at some point during the show, and ever since then, the collective has been turning up the AC like money growing on hypothetical trees.

AC began this year by signing to U.K.'s Domino Records. As previously reported, a four-track EP, titled People, will be released on FatCat on January 23 in the U.S., while The AC's back catalog will still be released via FatCat, and the new Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox, member of Animal Collective) solo album, Person Pitch, will see release March 20 on the group's own Paw Tracks.

Lennox's new album focuses on his personal life and the topics of fatherhood, marriage, and living in Lisbon. Four of the tracks from Person Pitch will be released on 12-inch vinyl under FatCat, Paw Tracks, and UUAR. Panda Bear is also planning to tour this coming spring and summer. (Oh, by the way, it is insipid to think Lennox likes panda bears just because that is his stage name. Panda bears are the demons of Asia. They steal the souls and cameras from foolish Americans. Lennox is more like a charming Yogi Bear of sorts with harmonizing feel-good vocals and surreal blips and beeps.)

Furthermore, people will most likely be seeing a whole ass-full more of the white-bred animals of Brooklyn with a spring tour, a follow-up to the 2005 critical success Feels, a live box-set, and a movie. Hopefully, the movie will be full of the typical AC explosive behavior we have all come to expect. And by that I mean masks, guns, drums, lasers, and full-frontal nudity. I just hope that it is somewhere along the lines of the Ghostbusters series.

The bottom line and the 'in conclusion' part of this essay is that I could write a 600-page novel worth of Animal Collective news. And if I were you, I would have stopped reading after the title. It's not even funny. What the hell does Slimer have to do with Animal Collective? I could've also made lame attempts at humor on a Shins article or a more obscure artist, but that'd be equally ridiculous. I still like the AC, but you guys are wearing me out. The morals of all this blatant ranting are that (1) sometimes it's okay to turn down the AC, (2) an Animal Collective movie could be interesting, and (3) Slimer was really an encompassing metaphor for the still remaining prejudices between whites and African Americans in contemporary society.

Person Pitch tracklist:

1. Comfy in Nautica
2. Take Pills
3. Bro's
4. I'm Not
5. Good Girl
6. Carrots
7. Search for Delicious
8. Ponytail

AC tourdates:

EMI Re-Considers Stabbing You

Proving that major labels have their fingers on the pulse of a rotten plank of wood that they've mistaken for a discerning music consumer, EMI said this week that it is "evaluating" its CD copy protection technology but is not planning on disposing of it. Although no new CDs have been manufactured with copy protection software for the last few months, EMI must be worried that consumers will begin to smile again and actually purchase its products I guess.

Digital Rights Management technology has been under fire from consumer groups since its introduction, with side-effects driving more consumers to piracy than was inversely intended:

- Doesn't work with iPod
- Infects computer with debilitating virus
- Changes all .jpg files to .bmp
- Changes all .bmp files to desktop-size photos of Gene Shalit
- Sends slightly discourteous e-mail to Grandma
- Wraps thick arm tightly around your waist in front of Grandma
- Derails a train somewhere in the desert

And this was just with the Sony BMG case. Best of luck in your evaluation, EMI. Make that business strategy hurt.

Blonde Redhead Tours, Releases New Album, Documents My Quarter-Life Crisis

After three long, quiet years, Blonde Redhead have announced plans to release a new album. You probably read all about it in an exclusive from these dudes a few days ago. I bet you're pretty smug. Think you got the whole story, huh? Well, you're wrong. Dead wrong. Okay, so you know that the album's set for an April 10 release. You may even know that Europeans will have to wait until April 23 for their Kazu fix. And I'm sure you've heard all about their spring tour. Heck, you may have found out that that they're calling the album 23 (4AD)... but do you know why? Huh? Do you? No, I didn't think so.

You see, kids, the album is about me. If this sounds strange to you, crawl out from under that rock. I'm pretty famous, and my life is interesting to lots of people. No small number of cultural luminaries consider me a muse. Rumor has it that [?Dave Eggers] and [?Jonathan Lethem] are currently feuding over the right to document my high school years. [?Damien Hirst] recently pickled a goat and titled the work Judy Ain't No Punk, Age 6 1/2 (it's a compliment, trust me). And now Blonde Redhead have recorded an album inspired by and released to coincide with my 23rd year on this here Earth.

The album will explore the depths of passionate, dramatic pathos that I colloquially refer to as "my quarter-life crisis." While "Silently" describes the existential angst that stalks me on my daily commute to work, "Publisher" delves into the occasional suicidal thoughts I experience while staring deep into manuscripts and wondering whether my job title will always include the words "Assistant to." "Heroine" serves as a sort of testimony to my vital presence in the universe.

Now, aren't you glad I set the record straight?

Like sands through the hourglass, so is the tracklist of my life:

Islands Return To The Studio; Remember The Unicorns?

On New Year's Eve, I made a resolution to try and do one thing worth remembering each and every day of this year. The point of the resolution is to have something to say to people who ceaselessly ask, "What have you been doing lately?" when all you seem to remember of the last three months is the distinctly chewy texture of slightly-stale chocolate Teddy Grahams. Last year I attempted this, and though I spent January 1 at a store called Hobo, purchasing a plush horse-head on a stick, I recall nothing of the next 12 months. This year got me a little further, but before I knew it, it was 4 A.M. on January 3 and The Mighty Ducks was blaring in the other room. I am a failure.

Islands, on the other hand, are ready for 2007 in a way that few are. They've been readying new material for their follow-up to last year's Return To The Sea (TMT Review) and are entering the studio in February to crank out tha tunez. While I was buying a gumball from the machine outside of Meijer, Nick Thorburn and his friends were making songs "10 minutes long with innumerable key & tempo changes, modulation, genre-meddling bombastic progressive rock existential death-defying dangerousness." And I'm cool with that.

"Hey!" you might say. "Did you just write Nick Thorburn?? Don'tcha mean Nick Diamonds???" I hope you might say that. Hell, I hope that someone, somewhere is reading this. Regardless, your lukewarm potential concern is touching. Yes, Nick Diamonds has indeed cast off his flashy alias and reverted to his real name, though Thornburn sounds pretty badass if you think about it. I've had a lot of time to think about it in between swigs of Mountain Dew.

Apparently the group has been so productive that it has a slew of shorter, "more subdued" pop songs on hand that they might try to do something with, if they have time. Which they will. Album title and tracklisting are forthcoming (slackers!!), but chances are they'll release that information before I get home from Blockbuster.

Berg Sans Nipple Expose New Record To January Cold; Likely to Be Hard And Small And Purple And Sensitive

Franco-American duo The Berg Sans Nipple will be releasing a new long player in North America January 23 on Team Love Records. It's called Along the Quai. These two fellas (Lori Sean Berg and Shane Aspegren) both used to be drummers once upon a time, but now team up to record great electro-funk, toy-pop, afro-looped goodness. I once saw them fill in for a guy named Pierre and almost upstage Animal Collective. They are both really nice, even when you try to speak to them in nervous French. Plus, their name is ridiculous. AND THIS IS THEIR FIRST LP SINCE 2003's TRES TRES TRES BIEN Form Of (on Prohibited Records)!!!!! I AM TRES HAPPY ABOUT THIS! TRES TRES HAPPY! Look at zee traque liste! Or go listen to some of zee tracks!!! Baguette wee wee haha.

Along the Quai tracklist:

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