A brief chat we had with these dudes up at ATP suggested spawning a live-performance piece from Animal Collective’s mind-melting “visual album” Oddsac would be a tall order. Said Avey: “It would take a lot of practice. Just ’cause we’ve basically assembled all the music and sounds, kind of a little bit piece by piece, you know, and not really in a live sort of setting. Yeah, it would take a little bit of work. We could do it … for a good occasion. It would take a lot of planning for sure.” An occasion has arisen — the ongoing 50th anniversary celebration of NYC’s Guggenheim Museum, specifically. Because they love museums. But rather than recreate Oddsac, Animal Collective’s once more joined forces with Oddsac director and longtime bro Danny Perez for something fresh: a one-night only (so far) “site-specific performance piece that will transform the museum’s rotunda into a kinetic, psychedelic environment.” You don’t say.

Titled Transverse Temporal Gyrus, the multi-media installation will feature “original recorded music composed specifically for the work along with video projections, costumes, and props, rendering the band members and performers into intense, visual abstractions.” It’s a free-reign event, running over three hours with attendees encouraged to wander the museum and come and go at will. It’s presented in conjunction with Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum and Tino Sehgal, exhibitions which have cleared the rotunda of its usual artworks, paving the way for this mindfuckery. Animal Collective have penned a statement of intent which connects noises of the jungle and urban life, along with my favorite phrase “inside your brain.” Engage:

One of the things that you notice almost immediately in the jungle are the birds; so many different sounds coming from so many different directions. Are they communicating to each other? What are they saying? Does each variation serve a purpose? Why are there repetitions? Is there a pattern or is that just your imagination? If you don’t know the first thing about bird songs, these questions can rack a brain for days. The jungle seems louder than most New York apartments but its symbiosis makes it subtler if not more pleasing to foreign ears. The longer you sit awake in bed listening at night, the more you hear. It brings to mind Jane Goodall hanging out with chimpanzees in Tanzania and how she noticed them reacting to distant or inaudible sounds that at first she couldn’t hear, but as her ears adapted to the environment after months she began to hear them too.

But as the environments around us change quickly, as people encroach more and more on land where only select symbioses occur, we wonder how this will change the sounds around us and how this alters the way we hear things and react to them. As New Yorkers we are all familiar with the everyday noise around us–the car alarms, the subway trains braking, the music in bars–so familiar that sometimes we drown them out. But then do we not realize how these sounds are affecting us? How they make us feel or act? With this in mind we wanted to create an environment where people could take some time to listen to other kinds of sounds and get away from those familiar sounds of the city. Keeping in mind the birds of the jungle, we’ve created an array of sounds with Animal Collective’s music that is seemingly random…or is it? We invite you to come take some time out and sit with us. As time passes it is our hope that you will wonder if you are hearing songs or patterns or maybe simply hearing more. The visual work of Danny Perez has been incorporated to turn the environment of an empty museum into a more mysterious hideaway. The core elements and colors are worked into the piece in order to unite this room of sound with the inside of your brain. We hope you enjoy.

Thanks for joining us.
–Animal Collective, February 8, 2010

The mind-melting will occur Thursday, March 4th. For members, tickets are $25 and on sale Thursday (tomorrow) at 10AM; the rest of us uncultured non-members get a crack Friday at 10AM for $30 a pop. Keep on this link for purchase info.

UPDATE on 2/18 @ 10:17AM: Sold out within 17 minutes, if not less. Damn you, snooze alarm.

Comments (34)
  1. i promised myself years ago i wouldn’t trip out anymore…promises, promises

  2. Greg  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. This shit is just getting stupid.

    • agree  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

      agreed. Enough Animal Collective, we get it you are “cool” and “artsy” we don’t need to go to dumb screenings of your boring footage and listen to drone anymore thank you very much.

      • YouAre  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

        what is wrong with you people? keep following trends…. AC get good press becuase they are awesome

  3. Downright fucking awesome.
    And will you whiners STFU? If you don’t like the band you don’t have to say shit.

  4. Melody Laughter  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

    Bunch of Eno wannabes…

  5. lol  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

    LOL @

    “One of the things that you notice almost immediately in the jungle are the birds; so many different sounds coming from so many different directions. Are they communicating to each other? What are they saying? Does each variation serve a purpose? Why are there repetitions? Is there a pattern or is that just your imagination? If you don’t know the first thing about bird songs, these questions can rack a brain for days. ”

    DEEP AVEY that’s some DEEP SHIT

  6. parco  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

    Really? ODDSAC sucked, why would they continue its mediocrocy by producing a live adaption? I think everyone is getting tired of the whole ANCO fad. MPP was really good fall be kind was very bad(other than whatwouldiwantsky) most of what they did b4 MPP was unremarkable, i hope AC makes its exit as quick as its arrival.

    • Steve  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

      if you didnt like anything befor mpp or fall be kind why would want to go see oddsac. i doubt you’ve even seen it. and animal collectives arival has been anything but quick to anyone who is interested in creative music.

    • My Name Is Jonas Brothers  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

      Exit from what, exactly? Internet music news headlines? Why are you bothered by something existing? Do you lack the self control necessary to avoid clicking on links regarding things that you actively dislike?

      I mean, I can understand the whole “this is some liberal arts hippie college bullshit, like after they find out they don’t get grades at this school and can just get really high” sort of self-indulgent bullshit line of criticism. But wishing that the universe would just take care of things so you don’t have to see links anymore, dude, get some self control! You can’t expect the world to cater to your whims, and that you’d even ask makes you look like a total english fancy lad, like Chris Elliot in the beginning of Cabin Boy.

  7. Greg  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

    I love Animal Collective. I just think this shit is getting to be overkill. Or maybe it’s just the way they’re covered. Or the timing with the movie. I don’t know. But fuck it, I mean, I’m sure they won’t have any problem selling tickets.

  8. frames  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2010 0

    ha, why all the hate? i don’t get it. it’s a band for the love of god. people who hate AC shouldn’t CARE what they’re doing. fans should, and do, LOVE this!

  9. I think it’s fair to say that their fans love them more than ever, and their detractors think they’re the biggest hipster douches to ever slip into a pair of skinny jeans. I happen to fall on the latter side of the fence, but regardless, the gap is widening and it’s going to be hard to attract a new audience with such polarizing indie weirdness.

    • do the right thing 3000  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

      i wouldn’t judge you based on whether you like AC or not…but its obvious you dont know anything about the guys because you called them hipsters in skinny jeans.
      you’re way off the mark…they don’t wear skinny jeans or really go for any of the trendy shit that hipster sheep cop. try actually checking something out before pretending to like it or not.

  10. reminds  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

    This reeks of a senior project (or DIV II as they put it) at Hampshire College. I’m a fan of these guys, but this is just getting straight up stupid. Especially that written piece above.

  11. Apple24  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

    I can kinda get why a lot of AnCol fans would be weirded about this – it sure doesn’t sound like something the ‘My Girls’ bandwagon-jumpers would get into.
    It does sound interesting tho, and I’d probably get tickets myself if I didn’t live on the other side of the world.

  12. Shawn Morones  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

    Congrats to a band for remaining as they are – artists.

  13. Congrats to a band for remaining as they are – artists.

  14. It’s times like this that I wish I lived in NY. Sigh.

  15. Graham  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

    They don’t wear skinny jeans.

    Anyone who’s followed their career trajectory and is familiar with their ‘unremarkable’ back catalogue (twat), will be delighted to see them continuing to challenge themselves and attempting to make fresh inventive music.

    I personally hope that the ‘AnCo fad’ is getting tired, as it will reduce the amount of ignorant soapbox commentary which now surrounds the band.

  16. andy  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

    this sounds incredible. i wish i could go. but unfortunately im on the other side of the country. i don’t understand all the hate. i think its funny how so many people have such a narrow perception of what a band can or cannot do. these guys are artists. let them make art. they aren’t doing this to make a bunch of money, so what is the issue here. at least they are doing something for the development of music in general which is more than most can say. people that think they are just hipster douche bags should probably do a little bit more research and also take a look in the mirror because that couldn’t be farther from what they are.

  17. I was under the impression that art is an expression of ones self. I had thought that if a band wanted to make trippy ass or experimental music because thats how they want to express themselves, than they could. If you do not like Animal Collective, ODDSAC, or anything else, than you are entitled to your opinion as are the fans of AC but there is certainly no need for bashing such a band or project but, perhaps, intelligent debate would add to the conversation. On the flip side If your comment is just praising the band because you cherish the ground upon which they walk then you could be just as bad. Use your brains and write something actually meaningful.

    It could just be me but I’m a little tired of the “Down right fucking awesome…” and “Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. This shit is just getting stupid.” comments.
    If you have something intelligent to add, then please do, but save us from the fanboy and hater comments.

  18. bustamove  |   Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 0

    to be fair to ANCO who would really want to turn an offer like this down? and whether or not you like the band, it will probably an interesting experience, regardless how contrived you may think it is.

  19. Lucy  |   Posted on Feb 19th, 2010 0

    Jimi Hendrix made tripping cool
    Animal Collective makes it gay

  20. Chris  |   Posted on Feb 19th, 2010 0

    The Guggenheim site is so slow right now. Hopefully I can get tickets!

  21. lou  |   Posted on Feb 19th, 2010 0

    dude im way excited for this. the more people that hate em the more chances i have to get a ticket.. which i luckily did!

  22. dropkick  |   Posted on Feb 21st, 2010 0

    i think that with the influx of attention to their highly acclaimed recent work, this is an interesting venture back towards their experimental and challenging earlier work. I think that as much as they have garnished wider acceptance from others who dismissed them or didn’t have the patience for their avant-garde tendencies of earlier works, their explorations into the contemporary visual art realm serve as reflection back towards their roots but using a different medium. As with forward thinking groups of past generations, it’s rewarding to see that Animal Collective is more concerned about pushing creativity as always rather than using their expanded exposure to move towards the desires of corporate agendas.

  23. Ren  |   Posted on Feb 21st, 2010 0

    Animal Collective
    Awesome Band, Great Job!

  24. louu eyyy  |   Posted on Feb 21st, 2010 0

    many lolz, ren knows whats up

  25. Complete waste of time and money, it was an obvious venture for the museum/band to overcharge and make profit from the public. In no way was the space utilized to its utmost potential. The band did not make any appearance and did not play any of their music. Rather they played their “composed” hour of bird chirping and sound effects which did not suffice for $30 entrance fee plus extra for drink tickets. Overall, i felt that the installation lacked the music component of the experience which the band should have represented. After all music is art and vice versa. It was lacking visually and misleading. I do not respect the museum or those who were in charge of curating this event. It’s hard to believe that this installation was up for an entire total of 6 hours in one day. Never again!

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