Editor's note: Anna Minard, the latest addition to The Stranger's editorial gaggle, has never heard any music aside from Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Thus, every Wednesday, we present Never Heard of 'Em, in which we force her to listen to and write her impressions about random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
The Avalanches Since I Left You (Modular Recordings)
My iTunes called this “rap.” My iTunes is a liar. This is the kind of music that people make by stitching together other people’s music and weird noises, but nobody raps. I’ll call it Frankenmusic. I’m not sure where the line is between something being “electronic” (makes you feel like you’re on drugs?) and being hiphop-ish (it has a certain kind of beat?), but this must be somewhere in there.
The album starts with a party. Everyone’s hanging out, and then they play some music—I think it has a triangle in it, and it might be disco. A lady is singing; I assume this is a “sample,” because she’s just singing the same thing over and over. These guys really seem to like that, people saying the same thing a bunch of times. It happens a lot. It happens a lot. It happens a lot. It happens a lot. It happens a lot. It happens a lot.
Sometimes there are instruments: harps, orchestras. On “Frontier Psychiatrist”—which I now realize I’ve heard before, back when it was on the radio—there’s a choir singing “aaaahhhhhs” while they play a bunch of quotes from TV. And there are horse noises for some reason. Other times it’s just a lot of beeps, and I feel like I’m inside a robot. There’s so much going on, my brain might be too slow for it all. You know what? This is probably awesome for people with ADD.
I think this album is perfect for three situations:
1. You are having a party in your backyard and you’re too lazy to get a friend to DJ it. This is one of those albums where you can’t really tell where one song ends and the next one starts (I definitely listened to the whole thing and then started over at track 1 without ever realizing it), so it’s kind of like having a DJ. And if you just listen to it all the way through, it moves through all the moods of a party.
2. You’re by yourself on a Saturday night, and you decide to get stoned and clean your whole apartment, but you really wish you were at that backyard party instead. All the parts where people are talking and laughing will make you feel like there’s a party at your house, and the weirder non-party bits in the latter half make a perfect time to go fix yourself a fucking epic meal (triple-decker frosting-and-sprinkles sandwich?).
3. You are a robot.
I give this album an “I don't really ‘get it’” out of 10.
Watch the video for "Frontier Psychiatrist" after the cut: