20 March 2008
Spiderman of the Rings
Boardroom, Maxwell House, midnight, 14 February 2007:
Geologist, Panda Bear, Avey Tare and Deakin are trapped on the boardroom table in large purple-glazed vases, just their heads and shoulders visible. Davis Bradley CEO, Roger (not that one) Daltrey and Erol Alkaloid are discussing the latest Animal Collective album. It can be heard from a stereo in the corner of the room.
Daltrey "I dunno... I just get this feeling that there's something, well, evil about this..."
Erol Alkaloid gives out a long audile sigh (later recorded and packaged by Touch records in a triple CD with fold out sleeve) "It's hardly a giant centipede, Rog..." He glances over to Davis, who has remained, eyes closed, in a meditation posture for the last seventeen minutes.
"I know, I know... but it's still a little spiky..."
"This coming from the guy who didn't even hear the first two albums"
Panda and Avey blink in sync. Deakin flexes his shoulders. He thinks he can detect a slight weakness.
Daltrey smiles, holds his hands up in the Masonic sign of distress that he only recently learned (cf Daltrey Does Diptheria). "I'm just saying that my guy might put up more of a fight. These guys, " he indicates the captured Collective "can come along if they wish... I like the chanting and the kids, kids are pretty zeitgeisty..."
"There's no children on-" begins Panda Bear before being silenced with a withering stare from Erol.
"Your guy? You mean Mr Deacon?"
"Dan, yeah. Has the same sort of Sesame Street vibe but, I dunno, smoother edges..."
Erol's head sneers so hard his neck almost snaps. "You're going to mention Kraftwerk again aren't you?"
"Kraftwerk, Cluster... yeah, why not? That 80s sound is very now."
The Animal Collective open and close their mouths like guppies.
Erol smiles. "Zeitgeisty."
Daltrey senses atipathy like bees sense hairspray. "Ok, how about Chris Carter, that track on TGs Third and Final report, AB/7A. Would you be happier with that reference?"
"You know I would," Any mention of Throbbing Gristle always sends Erol into minor paroxyms. He kissed his first living girl at a Throbbing Gristle gig and got no bite-backs whatsoever. "But I don't see how you think 12 minute songs are going to-"
Davis Bradley stands up, thumping his fist on the table (later, he'll recoil from this blow with coriander poultice and goat's milk enema but not now, not now.), "The figures coming in say the kids'll pay up for 12 mins quicker than they will for 3. Same price, quadruple the value... Download only. We're thinking of putting every song we do into this kind of format. Blow the competition out the water. Think of the market, gentlemen. Forces, gentlemen, forces."
Davis sits back down, resumes his meditation.
Roger senses there's an initiative to grab. "That's just it...song-cycles. Wham City is really three songs, ebbing and flowing, chasing each other's tails..."
Erol sits back. "We could give it a go, I suppose. Don't get me wrong, I like Mr Deacon it's just... well you don't think he could come up with a, mmm, groovier name?"
"His Mum won't be happy. Have you met her? Fierce lady. Nought to a hundred in three seconds."
Erol laughs, glances up at the Animal Collective boys. "What do you reckon guys? Fancy a sing along on this guys record?"
"We just want to go home."
"That's settled then. Roger, can you make the necessaries? I'll cancel the Tuvans. I want these two records coming out simultaneously, rough twins, like two drawing pins..."
Amanda Barrie, PA to Bradley emerges from under the table, still scribbling in shorthand. "Sorry, I've forgotten how to do vowels again. Could you repeat that last bit?"
"Starting from," she flicks through her notepad, "Ah yes 'hardly a giant centipede'"
Listen to Dan Deacon here or here or here or here or anywhere here
Wham City on the latest album is my favourite track of the moment; if I was young enough I'd giggle and wriggle but nowadays I just raise a single eyebrow in appreciation, close the curtains and try to remember how to do a headspin.