Marfa Dialogues

Animal Collective

Animal Collective, Sir Richard Bishop

25 May 2007

May 25, 2007
Live at Liberty Hall

The latest in our award-winning 2007 music series, BALLROOM MARFA welcomes Animal Collective and Sir Richard Bishop to Liberty Hall for an evening at the experimental bounds of pop music.

Their first official release as Animal Collective was 2003’s Here Comes the Indian, but this Brooklyn group’s pseudonymous members — Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deaken — have been playing and creating music together since the late ’90s. From their earliest pre-Animal Collective release (2000’s Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished) to their most recent Feels, a collaborative spirit and the ideal of absolute artistic control have guided their profusion of group projects, solo and side releases, live recordings, remixes, and film soundtracks.

It can be fairly said of Animal Collective that their musical soul lies in their playfulness and creativity. Fixing an easy category upon them is impossible, though. The noisy, ragged psychedelia of Here Comes the Indian, the rustic folk of 2004’s Sung Tongs, the melodic magic of Feels: each succeeding Animal Collective release has managed to be a radical departure from the last. There are common strains throughout the Animal Collective catalog, too, but for every falsetto harmony and droning guitar there’s an unexpected turn on the autoharp or Indian tabla drum. Live, too, Animal Collective are characteristically inventive. Moving from delicate to deliberately primitive and back again in the course of a single composition, the group’s members disappear and reappear from stage, whooping and chanting in what have become legendarily spontaneous performances.

Joining Animal Collective at Liberty Hall is kindred spirit Sir Richard Bishop, guitarist and founding member of iconoclasts the Sun City Girls. Since the early ’80s, Bishop’s guitar playing has defined the Sun City Girls’ mash of Indian, North African, and flamenco instrumentation, surf guitar and avant-garde improvisation. Such pan-cultural influences, as well as the momentarily summoned ghosts of Django Reinhardt and John Fahey, will likely seep into this virtuosic and spellbinding guitarist’s solo engagement on the 25th.

This special BALLROOM MARFA evening with Animal Collective and Sir Richard Bishop is certain to be one of our most experimental and memorable showcases to date. We hope you’ll join us.