Friday, September 7, 2012

Listomania, or, Gluttered (slight return)

(further to this)

Can you say "glutted/clotted"? - Spin list Animal Collective's most important influences, all 127 of them!

This reminded me of  Panda Bear's Person Pitch, where Noah Lennox actually lists his influences across one page of  the CD booklet - a cloud cluster of aesthetic coordinates, which are bizarrely wide-ranging, stretching from the already-audible like Beach Boys to less blatant ones like Fela Kuti....  But as well as "cool" and esoteric ones, there's supermainstream, unhip reference points like Duran Duran.

The obvious comparison would be with Nurse With Wound's famous List on their 1979 self-titled debut,which is also a kind of textual pictogram.  But that is a fantastically obscurantist array of experimental, freakadelic, and outsider musicians, clearly meant to be a challenge to the listener: chase these down, if you can.  A blend of evangelism and oneupmanship. Fans have been trying to track all the groups down for decades and there were even some blogs, in the early sharity days, dedicated entirely to making their way methodically through the NWW List.

Panda Bear's is much more 2000s in its spirit: open-hearted, not snobbish or exclusionary. It's a sharing with the fans and captures the mentality of the filesharing/Shuffle/Spotify/Youtube/etc generation.

Equally (back to the gluttered theme, and c.f. Grimes's "post-Internet" notion) it is quite hard to imagine the artistic sensibility that could comprehend and digest and synthesise such a disparate array of inputs. Whereas the NwW List has more coherence, a unifying slant (weird, extreme, surreal, "out" etc) that connects its choices and points to the commonality between pre-punk progressive and post-punk noise-industrial.

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