Day 328 – #11. Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam

Animal Colletive - Strawberry Jam Album Review

V IMPORTANT LIFE UPDATE: After a 24 year hiatus, I have now once again accomplished snow. That is all. Carry on. #forever

The lowest point of this project this side of Yeasayer has been Animal Collective’s most recent record, Centipede HZ. For me, that album has almost no redeeming or replay value whatsoever – which is a lot of the reason that I’m thankful for records like their most successful album, 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, and their 2007 breakout hit Strawberry Jam.

On opener “Peacebone,” vocalist David Portner (aka Avey Tare) sings a line that pretty well sums up this bizarre rising/peaking/falling action:

“The other side of takeout is mildew on rice.”

Right, so, it’s lunch! You’ve got some dank ass Chinese food. Maybe a little beef and broccoli, pork fried rice, some egg rolls. All of it’s good, but it’s so much food. It’s an overwhelming wealth of MSG beauty.

But within that MSG goodness is a unique blend of syncopation that stops just short of being too repetitive, because who can stomach all that rice?

Later, you’ll come back for seconds, because you cannot believe how good lunch was. Did lunch even happen? You’re back for some dope sesame chicken, about 10 hundred of those little wonton strips, and this time, some chicken fried rice to round off your avian evening.

Dinner goes amazing. Better than lunch, as if you thought it was even a possibility. How did that happen? Even the poppy sensation that is sesame chicken is over-the-top.

You’re full. You’re stoked on being full, but it almost hurts. The last two meals have filled you up and yeah, maybe raised your expectations for Chinese food more than you had anticipated.

Later, the leftovers from your chicken fried rice will sit in the fridge for a while because you’re officially over Chinese food for a while. You might even develop a religious opposition to Chinese food because of what now rests inside you, lurking in wait.

The next day, you try to eat healthier because of how much you ate. It goes well at lunch with a light salad, and you might even do a juice cleanse the next week because you are embarrassed of how much Chinese food you ate the day before.

Weeks will go by. You’ll forget you ate Chinese food. You’ll forget Chinese food exists, until one day, you are out at happy hour with friends and you decide to walk home because it’s a seasonably warm evening.

You pass by a different Chinese place you hadn’t seen before and remember… holy shit, guys, Chinese food exists.

You’re a little bit drunk off cheap imports so you stop in to the new place to scope out the digs and the grub. Crab rangoons this time, you’ve never tried those. Some beef fried rice. Maybe a little sweet and sour chicken, because it’s really difficult to flub the classics, right? Almost nigh of impossible, right? RIGHT, GUYS?

You bite into the rangoon, and it’s a little… I don’t know, murky (ed’s note: Not a rangoonologist). You decide that perhaps it’s just not for you, because you always had a minor and recessive allergy to fish products anyway. So you decide to take a stab at your beef fried rice, and it’s not too bad, actually. But you know it’s not the main course, so you’ve got to get at that sweet and sour chicken.

It does not go well.

Your sweet and sour chicken is stale. Mushy. Sloppy. The refuse of the bottom of a pan.

Why would they do that to you?

Don’t they know who you are? Don’t they know how much you like Chinese food?

What did you do to deserve this nonsense?

You type out a bad Yelp review of the place, but decide it’s too harsh, instead saving it to your drafts folder. You whip up a quick Photoshop image of the company’s logo with the word “NO.” on it and put it on your blog. You call it a day.

Later, you return to the Chinese food place that never did you wrong in the first place. Because it wouldn’t do that to you. Not you. No, never.

From Strawberry Jam, this is “Fireworks” –

Standout tracks: “Peacebone,” “For Reverend Green,” and “#1”
Weakest track: “Derek”

RIYL: …Chinese food.



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