Welcome to a new series I'm starting this year for Whiskey Pie, Random Thing. It's an easy and lazy name, I admit, but it's the only one that seems to apply. Basically, there are times when I want to write about something for this blog and it doesn't seem to fit into any of my other series, so...here we are. Random Thing is going to be just that: random things that spark my interest that I want to write about. They'll still usually be music related. Usually.
The video linked above is...well, you can go read the Pitchfork news story for that. I'll wait.
OK, back with me?
I think any hardcore, nerdy music fan eventually becomes fascinated with recording studios, specifically, recording sessions that take place in them. Yet "the studio" as a kind of myth is key to a lot of music nerd-ery, from people writing entire books about recording sessions for famous albums to people buying equipment off of eBay because it was supposedly used by such-and-such band on such-and-such song or record.
It's strange, then, that I've never been all that interested in studio stories. I don't really know what I thought Animal Collective looked like when they recorded because it never occurred to me to wonder about such a thing. Certainly I read up on albums and I enjoy studio stories but they aren't something I actively seek out or fantasize about.
All the same, this video is oddly fascinating to me, mostly because it's kind of shown me that it's somewhat useful to seek out those stories. I never would've thought Animal Collective recorded a lot by playing live in the same room, since their music sounds so precise and exact that I thought it must've been sculpted a sound at a time by one member at a time. This casts new light on Strawberry Jam and makes me reconsider it as a piece of music yet again. This video also helps explain why Animal Collective are such a great live band because recording this record must've been as long and grueling as the practice sessions normal bands go through before heading out on tour.