Light the Daffodil Canon: Avey Tare Performs Live

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Avey Tare (a.k.a. David Portner) released his solo debut, Down There, in 2010. It spoke in swamp to a cloud of critics that lamplighted it for intense, dark, heavy, experimental and soggy sound motion.

Avey Tare performing live at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh. © Joshua B. Pribanic

I’d say the album blows you off the sunset field to a forgotten place, a favorite memory of an abandoned house enlivened with all the eccentricities you dreamed were draped behind the broken paint chips and board. If you’re not familiar with Avey Tare’s performance over the last decade as founder in the group Animal Collective, then Down There is a foreign place — perhaps even sublime and frightening, like standing on the moss cliff behind the waterfall; but once your ear adjusts it sounds beautiful.

In late 2011 Avey Tare announced a tour for his second album (some say official solo album) that’s still in the works. Public Herald stopped at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh to showcase a +Creativity piece about this inspiring artist’s new experiment.

Disclaimer: I’m not sure what the new song titles are, so I’ve used arbitrary names. 

The new songs, with respect to the previous album Down There, lived through the deluge and floated from the swamp to a ripe gleaner’s forest. Things here are not so soggy, the sun came out for awhile and a sculpture of umbrellas sits against the trunk of the oldest white pine in illuminating primary color.

From “Jerome” you wake up. The slow percussive beat in the beginning steps out from the déjà vu, walks, runs and works your senses for an answer, as goes the first refrain “still haven’t found a way to give comfort to Jerome…”. The song feels like the closest new track to being finished.

A consonant vibe from “Sometimes” is not at all lyrical, but it’s delivery swings in glee from the branch to land upside down looking up at the oncoming storm in a dry season. As time will tell, this song could be number one on the hit list for the new album.

I wasn’t keeping track of new songs in the show, but Avey’s go-to on the road said most of the sets for the tour focussed on new tracks. I’m guessing about three songs were performed from Down There, and maybe seven unheard tracks came out of the show. Overall, being the kind of person who craves an original listening experience, I’d say the new album is hovering between nine out of ten stars. Although, Avey’s new work will require a jump down the waterfall for many people looking for new music. My advice…lean forward.

  • J

    Hey, the track list was

    1. Song For Jerome
    2. Lucky 1
    3. “sometimes”
    4. In Photographs
    5. Oliver Twist
    6. Slow Words
    7. 3 Umbrellas
    8. Laughing Hieroglyphic
    9. Death Raga

    All the new songs (except “sometimes”) were given their titles by Avey after a show when he was asked about the set list. The name for track 3 was forgotten so the fan made title was given.

    Also, not exactly sure what this sentence means: “In late 2011 Avey Tare announced a tour for his second album (some say official solo album) that’s still in the works.” Are you just implying that it’ll be his second official solo album? Regardless, he was touring for Down There and he told us he may not record the new songs. He’s still trying to figure out what to do with them (and said one or 2 are/could become AC tracks).

    Anyway, thanks for the high quality videos. Loved watching them!

    • Joshua B. Pribanic

      Thanks for the feedback J, and clearing up the track name.

      We were under the impression Avey was touring to work on new tracks for an upcoming album that some articles online have dubbed his first solo debut, calling Down There a solo LP… Not sure what they meant by that, but we had no luck finding any of Avey’s contact info to take questions about the tour. Hope that helps, glad you liked the vid. Cheers,