Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam

Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam

What is it that we want from musicians nowadays? We mutter insults like armchair critics if we find them too self-indulgent, too precious, too affected, too whatever. What? You want real people? Dudes you can go get a beer with and complain to about hating your job and your girlfriend being a whore? Question: Why would you possibly want someone who by definition should be larger than life to be merely life-sized?

I don’t want to sing karaoke with David Bowie. I couldn’t eat a sandwich with Morrissey. How would it work out to go on a (platonic) road trip with Rob Halford? Why would you want to do any of that? I want these guys to remain safely outside the realm of my personal reality. I want to imagine them as Olympians, living on high in opulent hotel suites. I want to maintain a safe buffer zone of un-reality. Why? Because we need them there. They need us to believe in them, just as we need someone to believe in. I want demigods.

So to all the musicians out there that have been labeled with the aforementioned pejorative terms, I say this: Do it for the rest of us. Be grand birds of paradise for all of us who can’t. Relish in it. Make someone remove all the brown M&Ms from the bowl; have them bring you a dozen seventeen-year-old Catholic schoolgirls. Record precious and weirdly textured soundscapes; howl and moan for all you’re worth. Because if you don’t, something inside the rest of us will die.—Andreas Trolf