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Animal Collective are not for the faint of heart. This is especially true regarding the experimental pop groups’ two most recent albums, in which they heavily indulged in some of their most left-field whims. 2016’s Painting With took their multi-layered vocal style to disorientingly elaborate heights, whilst 2018’s Tangerine Reef mellowed in slow and arguably somewhat stiff ambience. Both of these records were received with predictable ambivalence, despite personally holding some fondness for elements of them. However, there’s no doubting that Animal Collective are at their best when they restrain themselves. Or at least, when they’re able to focus their experimental tendencies into crafting great pieces of music. Ten years ago this month, Animal Collective released an album that perfected that approach. An album that followed in the footsteps of other experimental pop legends like the Beatles and (especially) the Beach Boys to produce something as beautiful as it is innovative. That album was Merriweather Post Pavilion.
In their review of A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, the latest album from Manchester pop-rock giants The 1975, NME dubbed it “the millennial answer to OK Computer”. At first, this claim seemed shockingly audacious, if not borderline sacrilege. How dare you equate an album – let alone an album by The 1975 – to arguably the greatest record of the ‘90s? To be fair, my experience with The 1975 had been rather limited. I’d come across their big hits and not thought much of them. Sure, there was a punky attitude that I guess could be appealing, but I couldn’t find much beneath the surface to appreciate. Now, however, they’re being compared to Radiohead and receiving perfect scores left, right and centre. Clearly, it was finally time for me to give them a chance.
We’re pleased to announce Club Rockhaq workshops are coming to Leicester and Leicestershire Libraries. Thanks to Arts Council England, Leicester City Council Braunstone Ward Funding, Paul and Elaine at Leicester City Libraries and Kim at Oadby Library for helping these workshops to take place. Thank you, peeps! 😀
Our Club Rockhaq places are being booked up fast, though. Only a few places are left at The BRITE Centre at the time of publishing, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. No money is needed to reserve.
These are two-hour creative writing workshops. All young people write their own work, using music and media as inspiration.
At the bottom of the bed of sensuous purple that backdrops the cover to Can’s 1973 album Future Days is one of the ancient Chinese ‘I Ching’ symbols. Traditionally used as a way of telling the future, its inclusion is by no means a coincidence. Title aside, the similarities to Can’s discography are prescient.
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