Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper: The Behind The Scenes Story with Sonic Boom

pbgr vs sonicboom

Noah Lennox aka Panda Bear (from Animal Collective) has been teasing the follow up album to 2011’s Tomboy for some time now with tour dates spanning the last year featuring almost all new songs, eerie new Danny Perez visuals showcasing a grim reaper figure, rumors from friends/fans, and the cryptic, captivating, and elusive words of Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember, who also produced Tomboy).

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Flashflooder’s Top 50 Music Releases of 2011

And another year has gone by, just like that. Time really does fly.

What initially seemed like a bit of a slow year for music definitely caught its stride midyear and accelerated on to produce numerous quality releases across a variety of genres for your listening pleasure. I thought about writing a little blurb for each release about why I think these albums are worth checking out or even maybe buying (dear god!), but instead I’m just going to list out my top 50 releases from 2011 and let the critics do the talking and you do the listening and deciding.

In case you were wondering how I kept track of all the music I’ve listened to this year, I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet since early January and throwing albums onto it after I’ve listened to them, in approximate ranking position and then editing whenever. If you’re the type of person who does a yearly best of list, you should try it out for yourself! (it’s kind of fun)

And if you’re interested in what some other music critics thought about 2011, check out metacritic’s Music Critic Top 10 Lists for 2011, it’s quite extensive. There’s some great stuff on there and if you’re looking for new things to listen to, that’ll keep you busy for a while.

Anyways, here goes for my list…Honestly all of these releases are really great and I recommend you to check out all of them (and if you look carefully, you might find some download links below heh) regardless of the subjective order I put them in (an order that changed daily btw haha). Enjoy!

Flashflooder’s Top 50 Releases of 2011

50. Feed Me – To The Stars [Mau5trap]

49. Porter Robinson – Spitfire EP [OWSLA]

48. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact [4AD]

47. Neon Indian – Era Extrana [Mom & Pop/Static Tongues]

46. John Maus – We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves [RibbonMusic/Upset the Rhythm]

45. The Field – Looping State of Mind [Kompakt]

44. Burial – Street Halo EP [Hyperdub]

43. The Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 [Capitol]

42. The Roots – Undun [Island]

41. Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise [Circus Company]

40. Childish Gambino – Camp [Glassnote Records]

39. ASAP Rocky – LiveLoveASAP [Self Released]

38. MellowHype – BlackenedWhite [Fat Possum]

37. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra [Self Released]

36. SebastiAn – Total [Ed Banger]

35. DJ Shadow – The Less You Know, The Better [Verve/Island]

34. Washed Out – Within and Without [Sub Pop]

33. SBTRKT – SBTRKT [Young Turks]

32. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo [Matador]

31. Digitalism – I Love You Dude [V2 Records]

30. Wild Beasts – Smother [Domino]

29. Radiohead – King of Limbs [XL]

28. Bon Iver – Bon Iver [Jagjaguwar]

27. Atlas Sound – Parallax [4AD]

26. Justice – Audio, Video, Disco [Ed Banger]

25. Kaskade – Fire & Ice [Ultra Records]

24. The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – Watch The Throne [Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam]

23. Gui Boratto – III [Kompakt]

22. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 [Kranky]

 21. Andy Stott – We Stay Together/ Passed Me By [Modern Love]

20. Young Montana? – Limerence [Alpha Pup]

19. Little Dragon – Ritual Union [Peacefrog Records]

18. Clams Casino – Instrumentals Mixtape/Rainforest EP [Self Released]

17. James Blake – James Blake [A&M/Atlas]

16. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes [LL Recordings]

15. Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine [Carpark]

14. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming [Mute]

13. The Antlers – Burst Apart [Frenchkiss Records]

12. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues [Sub Pop]

11. Balam Acab – Wander / Wonder [Tri Angle]

10. Zomby – Dedication [4AD] / Nothing EP [4AD]

09. The Weeknd – House of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes of Silence [Self Released]

08. Tyler, The Creator – Goblin [XL]

07. Drake – Take Care [Young Money]

06. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy [4AD]

05. Explosions In the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care [Temporary Residence]

04. Panda Bear – Tomboy [Paw Tracks]

03. Destroyer – Kaputt [Merge]

02. Real Estate – Days [Domino]

01. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica [Mexican Summer/Software]

Watch Animal Collective’s Set at Pitchfork Festival 2011

In case you didn’t know, Pitchfork has their annual music festival going on this weekend and (as the nice people they are) their site will be video streaming the festival for everyone online to watch for free. Check out the set times in case there are any bands left you still want to see and head to their site for the live stream.

Animal Collective headlined day one of the festival last night and the video stream of their set has already hit the internets (as well as audio too). As far as I’ve seen, this is probably the best quality live audio/video yet from Animal Collective’s 2011 tour. Check the video out, and feel free to snag the audio files below for your listening pleasure as well. Great stuff.

Animal Collective – Live @ Pitchfork Festival 2011 (Audio Download)

  1. Change
  2. Let Go
  3. Did You See The Words
  4. A Long Time Ago
  5. Take This Weight
  6. Knock You Down
  7. Brother Sport
  8. Mercury
  9. Taste
  10. Frights
  11. We Tigers
  12. Summertime Clothes

Panda Bear makes his TV Debut on Fallon

Animal Collective’s Panda Bear aka Noah Lennox recently made his tv debut as a solo artist recently on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon playing “You Can’t Count On Me” from his 2011 album Tomboy.

Panda Bear was joined onstage by Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom (who helped mix Tomboy) while regular visual collaborator Danny Perez displayed waves of visuals over the entire stage. Check out the video below for yourself. Noah does a really nice rendition and intro of this tune.

[Editors Note: Stupid WordPress apparently doesn’t allow embedding photobucket videos and I can’t find a loophole so far, so for now you will just have to click on the link below to watch. Sorry.]

http://s1089.photobucket.com/albums/i359/dg11469/July%2011%202011%20-%20July%2017%202011/?action=view&current=pandabearfallon_Segment100-00-01-00-04-46.mp4

Also, a while back a new non-Tomboy Panda Bear song “Atiba” was featured in a GH2 Skate video that you should check out below. The song is lushly sweet and the skating is pretty awesome too. See for yourself…

Animal Collective debuts New Songs on 2011 Tour

After a brief break from touring and the release of solo albums by respective members Panda Bear (Tomboy) and Avey Tare (Down Under), Animal Collective are back at it again with a slew of new material to support their 2011 tour dates. With longtime member Deakin rejoining the band after a multi-year hiatus, Animal Collective is back to being a four piece and has since crafted at least ten new songs that are currently being showcased on tour.

I recently caught them live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and as luck will have it, some other kind Animal Collective fan recorded their set there and posted the songs broken up online. I originally found the bootleg from this Collected Animals forum thread, but since them someone has refined that audio recording and re-posted it here (download link below):

Animal Collective – Live in SF @ GAMH (4/13/11)

Their set list  consisted of 14 songs in total, including 10 new songs (indicated by the *) to go along with four nicely reworked classics as listed below:

  1. Change*
  2. Stop Thinking*
  3. Did You See The Words
  4. A Long Time Ago*
  5. Take This Weight*
  6. Knock You Down*
  7. Brother Sport
  8. Mercury*
  9. Your Choice*
  10. Frights*
  11. We Tigers
  12. Summertime Clothes
  13. I’d Rather*
  14. Little Kid*
Also if you hadn’t heard, Animal Collective played Coachella a few days after the SF show and intro’d their set with a ridiculous audio visual light experience thanks mainly to Coachella’s amazing moving main stage. Check out the video below for proof:

That was easily the most epic thing I saw at Coachella in 2011 and it will definitely take a while for something to top that.

Panda Bear Live at Primavera Sound

Recently Animal Collective’s Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox) has been giving the public a little insight into his ridiculously anticipated upcoming album Tomboy (which we spoke about before here) with a number of live shows, the most recent of which coming at this year’s Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Luckily for us, someone at the sound board was recording the show, resulting in the best quality live Tomboy audio to date. Ola’s Kool Kitchen of Radio 23 broke the podcast onto the internets and well, let’s just say it didn’t take very long for everyone else to catch word of it.

Panda Bear’s set consisted on nine new songs (see tracklist below) and all but one of them seem to now be known by their proper title. Aside from the currently untitled King Tubby sample song, at this point we only know of one other new potential Tomboy track called “The Preakness”. Some months back Noah posted a setlist for his mini European tour on his myspace blog page showing the title in his planned encore, but apparently only one of those three shows were even graced by an encore, and that show’s encore only featured Ponytail.

Alas, Panda fans have dug deep and now think that a song he played a few times live that was going by “A Day Ago” is the aforementioned “The Preakness”. The best live example of the song in question comes from the 01/17/10 show in De Kreun, Kortjik, and you can check out a bootleg of the show for yourself here and form your own opinion. Either way, I like this “A Day Ago” live track and if it doesn’t turn out to be “The Preakness” I’ll be that much more happy because it’ll just mean that there’s one more new Panda Bear track for me to hear in the future.

Anyways, for those who like long audio files in their entirety, you can download the podcast of the Primavera Sound show here; but, if you’re like me and want a version with individual tracks and titles (I blame you last.fm) there is also a broken up version that you can download here:

Panda Bear – Live @ Primavera Sound 2010

  1. Drone
  2. Tomboy
  3. Untitled “King Tubby” Sample Song
  4. Surfer’s Hymn
  5. Ponytail
  6. Last Night At The Jetty
  7. Benfica
  8. Slow Motion
  9. Bullseye
  10. You Can Count On Me

There are also some pretty decent quality videos I found from the Primavera Sound show which I’ve posted below; however, (as Noah mentions) the visuals didn’t end up working for this show so if you’re trying to catch a sneak peak at the wild concoction of images he’s been known to throw behind himself while he plays…well, you’re going have to look elsewhere or catch him on one of his remaining tour dates (Fox Theater, I’m looking at you!).

Oh yeah, and Panda Bear just today released the first 7″ of the Tomboy series featuring the title track “Tomboy” and my current personal favorite “Slow Motion” which you can buy now at the Paw Tracks online store. And if you didn’t get the chance to hear the (low quality) vinyl rips of these songs before they got yanked off Soundcloud trust me, they’re out there to find and are pretty darn good as well (and if you don’t believe me, learn to click on a link buddy).

Panda Bear Unveils New Tomboy Material Live

Animal Collective’s Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox) has recently finished up a short European tour on which he played almost entirely new/unreleased songs, which are thought to be from his next upcoming solo record (that is rumored to be titled Tomboy, there were also shirts sold at his shows with the aforementioned title and “Panda Bear” on them as well).

Recently on 1/15/2010 at Hebbel Am Ufer in Berlin, Panda Bear’s entire set was recorded and has found its way onto the internet for your listening pleasure (see link below). The quality is not great, but it’s enough to give you a feel of how his new songs are sounding and what direction Panda is heading into for the future.

Panda Bear Live Set at Hebbel Am Ufer 01-15-2010

In addition, videos for two of the new songs and a rendition of “Daily Routine” (see below) have found their way to youtube, which show Panda Bear with a guitar strapped on his shoulder in addition to his usual setup of samplers and background visuals that we have come to know and love.

The new material sounds quite different from that of his highly acclaimed solo album Person Pitch; however, if you’ve been following him for a while, you’ll remember he played those songs (in similar short european tours) a couple years in advance of the actual album release so it’s hard to tell where the new songs are in the evolutionary process. In all likelihood they will sound much different whenever they are actually released; but until then, one can only wonder.