• Grizzly Bear / Photo by Barbara Anastacio

    Grizzly Bear, 'Shields,' (Warp)

    Grizzly Bear's 2009 baroque-pop breakout "Two Weeks" was effortlessly effective. Example: At one point, a friend's three-year-old son, upon spotting a Volkswagen anywhere on the streets of Brooklyn, would immediately sing "Ohhhho! Whooaaao! Whooooaaaho! And for better or worse, that effortlessness became the Brooklyn group’s defining characteristic. On their beautiful if vague fourth studio album, Shields, there's no hook as naturally infectious. Though the band’s skill with poised release remains intact. The result is so streamlined that it's more difficult to clutch at its pleasures. First and foremost, they have stripped back those honeyed, choral Beach Boy harmonies the same way a brownstone homeowner might expose the brick walls and original wood floors.

  • FIFTY FOOT HOSE

    A 1960s psychedelic rock band from San Francisco, if by "rock" you mean a band that also counted a theremin, fuzzbox components, a cardboard tube, and a speaker from a WWII bomber among its instrumentation. They covered Billie Holiday's standard "God Bless the Child" as if a UFO were landing inside the song. They released one headfuck of a studio album, 1967's Cauldron, which also threw musique concrète, electronic dread and jazz noise into the mix. They gigged with Chuck Berry and Blue Cheer before disbanding and/or teleporting back to Mars. Avey Tare: That goes back to Brian and I hanging out in our dorm room; wanting to relate musique concrète to rock; hearing that somebody like Syd Barrett got into that stuff through AMM.

  • 'THE HOUR-GLASS SANATORIUM'

    This obscure Polish film from 1973, directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has, is based on the surreal short stories of writer Bruno Scholz (who caught the croc-obsessed Avey Tare's attention with a short story collection called The Street of Crocodiles). A man visits his dying father in a sanatorium, soon eschewing narrative and entering a dream world that changes room by room, creating a hallucinatory mosaic of images and sound that drifts between memory and sensation — as overwhelming and fantastical as the similar realms that Animal Collective actively explores Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Incredible String Band

  • STUDIO GHIBLI

    The famed Japanese animation studio was founded in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata with producer Toshio Suzuki. Taking the Arabic word for "Mediterranean wind" as their name, Ghibli envisioned the company "blowing new wind" through the Japanese film world. Instead, films like Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away revolutionized animation around the world. Many of the studio's protagonists are outsiders (usually young women) navigating fantastical dream realms; and this mixture of childhood innocence and imagination abutting the volatile real world often appears in AnCo's art. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Sublime Frequencies

  • KING TUBBY- 'THE ROOTS OF DUB'

    Born Osbourne Ruddock, Tubby was a Jamaican radio repairman turned sound system technician who then ascended to reggae royalty with his mad scientist use of reverb, echo and delay — ruling the B-side of Jamaican 45s and freaking the dancehalls for decades. In his hands, roots reggae songs on one side would become interplanetary affairs on the flip: All the familiar instruments had their spacetime continuums chopped and screwed. This 1975 album, one of the earliest in his daunting catalog, nimbly chews up the music of the Agrovators. And you can hear him sampled on Centipede Hz's "Mercury Man." Panda Bear: You mentioned watery sounds. I have a tape of my friend Jesse's King Tubby record, The Roots of Dub. And I just wore that tape out. It's all I would listen to. It's still one of my favorite records.

  • TOD DOCKSTADER

    Tod Dockstader is an American electronic music composer who began his career in the 1950s editing Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoingBoing cartoons before applying that same sugar-rush illogic of Saturday morning cartoons to the stuffed shirts of academic music-making. Hallucinatory early electronic albums like 1961's Luna Park and 1964's Quatermass mixed sonic playfulness with dedicated process, taking the sounds of shortwave radio, deflating balloons, Nazi crowds and alley cats and warping them into new shapes, influencing the child's play of Aphex Twin, Matmos and AnCo decades later. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Dust Brothers

  • SUBLIME FREQUENCIES

    A world music record imprint the tradition of Occora, Nonesuch Explorer, and Smithsonian Folkways founded by Sun City Girls members Alan and Rick Bishop alongside Hisham Mayet. Save that, Sublime Frequencies is a world music label in the sense that John Wayne Gacy is a clown. Rather than serve as American ethnomusicologists dryly examining indigenous musics, the label instead waterboards listeners into random radio transmissions, cassette bootlegs and field recordings from foreign soundworlds: Syria, Iraq, Laos, Algeria, North Korea, Myanmar, etc. Or as President Bush would deem its discography: "The Axis of Evil Awesomeness." Deakin: There's just a duality to Sublime Frequencies titles. They're lo-fi recordings but the duality of the instruments they were using was clearly their version of pop music, theatrical music, but at the same time recorded in a lo-fi way.

  • DICK RAAYMAKERS

    Dutch electronic and tape composer who, under the moniker of Kid Baltan, worked with Tom Dissevelt in The Hague to make electropop and acid house madness — only they did it in 1958 without any help from synthesizers. Their 1962 seven-inch "Electronic Movements" could be a long-lost Centipede Hz instrumental. From there, Raaymakers' C.V. veers from abstract pulsations to voice manipulated pieces to music theater to film work to a noise piece involving a nude man being pulled along on a bicycle. Geologist: I used a lot of sample sources from Dutch tape studio stuff [on Centipede]. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians

  • 'PRINCESS NICOTINE: FOLK AND POP MUSIC OF MYANMAR'

    A compilation of Burmese pop music unearthed and compiled by Sun City Girls members Alan and Rick Bishop. Originally released on the Majora label in 1994, it was one of the inaugural releases on the Bishop's weird world music imprint, Sublime Frequencies. Little-heard outside of the junta-repressed country, the album documented some 50 years of music from stars like Mar Mar Aye, Bo Sein, and Tonte Theintan. Not "pop" in the western sense, but full of audacious, brilliant songs. Deakin: I remember the first time I heard the Princess Nicotine compilation. The rhythmic movement seems random, but you know that everybody doing it knows exactly where it's supposed to be. What do I need to do to my brain to make that actually make sense? To me, [it's the same with] that whole world of Balinese stuff…Searching for YouTubes of current groups of Balinese musicians, which is crazy.

  • THE COOLER

    This adventurous, late '90s music venue located in Manhattan's decrepit and industrial Meatpacking District hosted Suicide, Thurston Moore improv nights, Electro-Putas, Oneida, and other collected weirdoes. The Cooler was actually a converted meat locker that retained its dungeon-like feel with stainless steel walls, shitty sound, piss-poor lighting, an unavoidable dank musty smell, and an artsy-if-foreboding clientele. When the cow's blood was finally hosed off of the cobblestones, the neighborhood became fashionista-friendly overnight, and the venue was hassled by police until it finally closed its doors in summer of 2001 to make way for real estate. Avey Tare: Brian and I went to the Cooler and saw Christian Marclay play. I think just in terms of seeing something that like done live? This is crazy.

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