Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Unbearable Beach Boys

I detest the Beach Boys. I hate their vocal harmonies, I hate their icky bahamania vibe, i hate how hipsters faun over Pet Sounds, and mostly, i can never forgive them with making such god awful surf music that had very little to do with either surfing or music. i grew up a surfer (a class only slightly less snobby than music geeks)(of which I am one), and I was bludgeoned with the beach boys my whole life. "Surfin' Safari" is a dubious song at best, but on the 1,000,000th listen, it becomes unbearable. Add to this the fact that the beach boys WEREN'T SURFERS, and that their music has about as much to do with surfing as Vanilla Ice had to do with being a gangsta. Surfers don't even listen to the Beach Boys (although, to be fair, surfers have pretty crummy taste in music as a rule. They tend to like stuff like TSOL and Jack Johnson, neither of whom are a tremendous improvement from Pet Sounds).

So i can't stand the beach boys, i'm sick of them being the unofficial soundtrack to my state, and i hate that so many indie bands emulate their vocal harmonies and melodies. And yet i actually kind of like Panda Bear's Person Pitch, which in many ways riffs off of those very Beach Boy formulas. Panda Bear is one part of the Animal Collective, who as a group do their own fair share of Beach Boys worship. I haven't really listened to them, and it's only by chance that i came to check this out. the fact that pitchfork fawned over it shamelessly intrigued me a bit. It is a big, spacey album, full of vague lyrics and vague melodies. two of the songs sprawl over the 12 minute mark, and they are mostly drones, repeating the same hypnotic rhythms and melodies. It's "interesting" as well as enjoyable, which is a good thing. It's even made me want to put aside some of my hatred of the beach boys, although not enough to give Pet Sounds another spin.

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